SUI 318 Champions of Riva del Garda, Charles Nankin, Joao Vidinha & Wolf Waschkuhn

The Italian Grand Prix (our 1st European Grade 1 regatta of 2024) took place on beautiful Lake Garda, hosted by the Fraglia Vela Riva Yacht Club from May 1st to 4th. It was fantastic turn out of 36 boats which included 12 Corinthian teams, showing the popularity of this iconic venue. It’s worth noting that at the same time 26 teams were racing in Douarnenez, 12 Dragons were sailing the Palma Vela, Mallorca and 4 more Dragons were out racing in Antigua…   What a Class. 🙂

The host club of Fraglia Vela Riva is situated at the Northern end of this picturesque lake, with stunning backdrops everywhere you look. Unfortunately, the usual “thermal” Peler (North) & Ora (South) winds were somewhat missing at the beginning of the regatta as conditions were overcast with some rain. This meant the opening 4 races were sailed in fairly testing winds and the Race Committee led by Antonio Micillo did an excellent job keeping the fleet happy and competitive during the difficult conditions.

36 teams racing on Lake Garda at the Italian Grand Prix in a variety of conditions.

Of these opening 4 races, SUI 318 took race 1, GER 1207 race 2, DEN 423 race 3 & SWE 409 race 4. Race 5 was started in a solid northerly wind and all was well until the bottom gate first time, it was apparent the wind was dropping so it was decided to shorten the race at Mark 1 after the second upwind leg. The race was convincingly won by JPN 56 Peter Gilmour crewed by his Son Sam & Yaji Yasuhiro, but unfortunately as the wind continued to die away only 14 teams managed to finish in the allocated time limit. This is not ideal for a Grade 1 regatta and I think we all learned a lesson for future events.

Race 6 was started after a southerly breeze filled in and this time it was SWE 800 Jan Secher who took the bullet helming his beautiful teak decked “Miss Behaviour” crewed by Richard Sydenham & Gerald Mitchell. It was decided to try for a 3rd race and even though the course had to be finished at Mark 1 second time up, it was a fair race. SUI 318 helmed by Wolf Waschkuhn took his second race win of the series and moved him and his team of Joao Vidinha & Charles Nankin up to the overall lead.

Yanmar sponsored the Gala Dinner and a great time was had by all.

On the final day our wind expert Fausto (who had called it right all week) said we would have the “Ora” wind by 1pm and sure enough race 8 was sailed in the best conditions of the series. Starting in 12kts the wind soon increased to 15kts at the bottom of the course and up to 20kts at the windward marks. A perfect way to finish off a wonderful regatta in this much visited part of the world. The winner of race 8 was our IDA vice Chairman SWE 416 Martin Palsson who took advantage of the wind bend off the cliff at the end of the second upwind leg. Grant Gordon in GBR 833 finished right behind in 2nd place but it was SUI 318 “1 Quick 1” Wolf Waschkuhn, Joao Vidinha & Charles Nankin who took the overall Championship by finishing in a strong 3rd.

Shortly after the Start of Race 8 in the most perfect “Ora” wind.

In 2nd place overall was SWE 800 “Miss Behaviour” with Jan Secher & 3rd overall was GER 10 “Silly Billy” with German legend Vincie Hoesch on the helm. Meanwhile the top Corinthian Team was lady helm Tanja Jacobsohn GER 1256, crewed by her Husband Bernhard & Jan Scharffetter. Runner up in the Corinthians was ITA 50 Marco Andrea Gerbaudo, crewed by Camilla Michelini, Andrea Totis & Davide Ortelli. 3rd Corinthian was race 8 winner SWE 416 Martin Palsson, crewed by Berra Johansson & Goran Alm.

Corinthian Winners GER 1256 Tanja Jacobsohn, Bernhard Jacobsohn & Jan Scharffetter.

Corinthian Podium:  2nd ITA 50,  1st GER 1256 & 3rd SWE 416

Overall Winning Podium 2nd SWE 800, 1st SUI 318 & 3rd GER 10

In closing this was a fantastic opening Grade 1 with a full series of 8 races completed. The Fraglia Vela Riva did such a wonderful job to make us all welcome and provide a first class service both on and off the water. I would like to single out Giulia & Stefano who worked exceptionally hard making things run well ashore and all the Race Management Team led by PRO Antonio, with our Lake expert Fausto making the most out of the everyday conditions. Thank you all and Well Done!

Many thanks also to Zerogradinord for the amazing photo’s. More can be found on their website.

Higher, Faster, Longer……    Stavros.    (From the Committee Boat).