Pieter Taselaar’s (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) Bliksem (USA) has taken victory in the Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009, the first edition of the Worlds for the class, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. Taselaar’s team included Jeremy Wilmot (Newport, R.I.) as tactician and his brother Nathan (Sydney, Australia), who is a 470 Men’s Olympic Gold medalist (2008). Other crew members were Americans Willem van Waay (San Diego, Calif.), George Peet (Detroit, Mich.), Alex Clegg (East Greenwich, R.I.) and Australians Paul Atkins, and Michael Coxon.
Bliksem’s victory became a reality late yesterday evening when its protest against Claudio Recchi’s Team 93 (ITA), then sitting in second place, was upheld, leaving them untouchable at the head of the overall classification. A fight for second and third place took place today which saw Giovanni Maspero’s Joe Fly (ITA) just managing to sneak into second place ahead of, but on equal points with, Uka Uka Racing (ITA) owned by Lorenzo Santini and Alessio Marinelli with Armando Giulietti at the helm. Team 93, which had dominated the event for the first three days of racing, finished fourth overall, one point behind.
Taselaar was understandably happy with his victory: “It was a very tough week; the other competitors were of a very high standard. We have been working hard for a year and a half now. You never know if it’s going to work, but it would seem it has. I have a great team. We are absolutely delighted to have won this World Championship and there is absolutely no better place to do it than in Porto Cervo.”
One race was held today, bringing the fleet to the maximum of 10 scheduled, in light breezes of approximately 5-6 knots from the northeast. Opus One (GER), owned by Wolfgang Stolz, led the fleet from the start with Joe Fly hot on its heels. The German boat led around the first two marks, but Maspero’s team, with Francesco Bruni calling tactics, managed to overtake them to finish first ahead of Luigi Melegari’s Matrix Cortina D’Ampezzo (ITA), with Ray Davies calling tactics, and Opus One.
The event concluded with a prize giving ceremony at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Clubhouse. The Audi Melges 32 World Championship brings the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s sailing season to a close.
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