Meanwhile, the European Melges 24 Fleet continues to throw up record numbers, with 86 boats from 16 nations tearing up the Med in 20 knots of breeze at the Euro Champs. Neither the fleet size nor the great conditions in Hyeres, France are a surprise – nor is the double bullets in the first two races from reigning world champs Uka Uka Racing. The Rufo Bressani-driven team showed its usual dominance today despite breaking a mast yesterday afternoon while practicing in 30+ knots. Can anyone touch Uka Uka? With a crew with piles of championships and an owner that hikes like this, probably not…
Our old friend Federico Michetti, trimmer and team manager, explains: “We don’t have any secrets in the adjustments or in the sails that the others can’t have. Our ace in the hole, that thankfully no one but us can have, is our helmsman – simply a phenomenon! Before calling Rufo (Lorenzo Bressani) to helm Uka Uka I sailed with him in Alassio during one of his first outings on the 24. Though he didn’t know the boat I realized almost instantly that he was the right man for the Uka Uka project, that’s how talented he is. And you can bet that I’m really satisfied with my choice! I wish I could frame today’s performance like a picture – we start with a bang, but the road is long in this event.”
You can follow the IMCA’s attempt at On-The-Water Anarchy here – mark roundings, video, pics – just like we taught ’em.