New 2018 ORC Italian Champions
25 June 2018
2018 DHL Italian ORC Championship, concluded Saturday June 23rd in
Forio d’Ischia with national ORC champions determined in four
classes. In its 24th Jubilee edition, this year’s event was
organized by the Royal Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia in cooperation
with Circolo Nautico Punta Imperatore, under the auspices of the
Federazione Italiana Vela (FIV) together with UVAI (Unione Vela
Altura Italiana) plus the Regione Campania, the Municipality of
Forio d’Ischia and Coni – the Italian Olympic Committee, through its
Regional Committee of Campania
In all the regatta brought 60 participating teams and hundreds of sailors to the “green” island near Naples for four days of competition. The first three days featured light and shifty winds, but on the last day Ischia woke up with a NE “gregal” blowing over 20 kts. The Race Committee, chaired by Mario Lupinelli, moved the course towards Lacco Amendo for a truly challenging last day, with 2 races completed for the fleet.
In Group A (Classes 0, 1 & 2), the Swan 42 Mela with ORC European Sportboat champion Enrico Zennaro on board, had a convincing early lead that later gave way to Sandro Paniccia’s Felci-designed Scuderia 50 Altair 3 racing under the burgee of C.V. Portocivitanova. Altair’s victory was particularly gratifying after having lost the Class A title at last year’s Worlds in Trieste by a mere second.
Class 0 Corinthian was won by Raffaele Giannetti’s Vismara 46 Duende - Aeronautica Militare from C.N. Riva di Traiano. Class 1 Corinthian was won by Digital Bravo, Alberto Franchi’s Swan 42 from C.N. M. di Carrara, and in Class 2 Cruising was Nicola De Gemmis’s GS 39 Morgan IV 3M from C.C. Barion.
In Group B, the Class 3 Corinthian the races were won by the Italia 9.98 Sugar, raced by Ott Kikkas from Estonia with an Italian crew, so the Italian title went to the runner-up: Andrea Bazzini’s modified X35 Extrema from Circolo Velico Ravennate.
(Sugar was one of two Estonian teams participating at the Italian Championship in serious preparation for next month’s World Championship in The Hague…another was Matti Sepp’s X-41 Technonicol, fitted with a keel designed by Matteo Polli, which raced to 6th place in Group A.)
In Classes 4-5 Corinthian, Edoardo Lepre’s Este 31 Mart D’Este from C.V. Fiumicino is the new Campione d’Italia in this class.
This event also had a special prize presented by DHL for the first overall in the 2 Divisions, which went to Altair 3 and Sugar. The 6 owners on the stage raised together the prestigious De Zerbi Trophy, which for one year will be under the custody of the Ischia organizer, the RYCCS.
Sandro Paniccia, owner-driver of Altair 3, declared: “It was a nice championship, hard and very competitive. The difference from last year, when we won in Monfalcone, was here in Ischia we had many more big boats. The seven races have all been closely fought, tack after tack and gybe after gybe, and the result was uncertain until the very last minute of the last race. The race course was perfect and the Race Committee did an excellent job. I have to thank above all my pal Ricci, who prepared the boat to its best. Having Luis Doreste in the cockpit made the difference, and all the crew made no mistakes.”
The sponsors of the event were DHL, ICS - Istituto di Credito Sportivo, Ferrarelle, Pasta Garofalo, B&G, Mini Caseificio Costanzo, Dermolab; Sandro Paniccia, owner driver of Altair 3, the Division A Champion, declared: "'It was a nice championship, hard and very competitive. The difference from last year, when we won in Monfalcone, was here in Ischia to have many more big boats. The seven races have all been closely fought, tack after tack and gybe after gybe, and the result has been uncertain until the very last minute of the last race. The race course was perfect and the Race Committee did an excellent job. I have to thank above all my pal Ricci, who prepared the boat at its best. Having Luis Doreste in the cockpit made the difference, and all the crew made no mistakes.”
“Hosting another Italian Championship in the Gulf of Naples has been great, and we are proud to have fulfilled the expectations of the many competitors who arrived to Ischia from all parts of Italy and beyond,” said Carlo Campobasso, president of the Circolo Savoia. “We deployed an impressive organizational effort, which fulfilled all expectations, both at sea and ashore. The Gulf of Naples showed this week its best face, with ever changing winds that challenged all crews.”
“We are very happy to have hosted this successful championship,” said Pasquale Orofino, president of co-organizer Circolo Nautico Punta Imperatore. “The objective of our Club is to add Ischia to the list of “eligible” locations where to host National or International Races. We have already hosted important races in the past, but this event confirmed that Ischia is a valid and challenging race course at sea, and can offer a unique hospitality ashore.”
Francesco Lo Schiavo, Chairman of FIV Zone V said: “With this Championship we are completing a project where competitive regattas have given a strong impact on the local governances, concentrating the available organizational resources on the race courses and where spaces, structure and receptivity have made a difference. The Federation will from now on consider Ischia and Forio’s harbor to host other important events in future racing calendars.”
Alberto Nobis, delegated by title sponsor DHL, said: “It was my first time in Ischia, a wonderful island. We believe our “gamble” with this sponsorship was a winning one, and will give us better opportunities to expand our business in Campania.”