The finishing positions in the Devoti-One International Regatta on Lake Garda remained uncertain until the competitors had drifted across the line of the final race. With the grand finale race counting for triple points, Andrea Gianmarini’s speed in the dying breeze off the Torbole shore proved decisive, as his race victory converted to overall victory in the regatta.
It was a similar story for Alberto Ferrari who seized the advantage when two of the series leaders fell into a windless hole just metres from the finish. Ferrari screeched – or rather ghosted – past local Olympic Star sailor Silvio Santoni and British visitor Andy Rice who had gone into the final race level-pegging for the lead. In the end Santoni and Rice were relegated to third and fourth overall.
The regatta was a first test for the weight equalisation of the D-1 boat, with Gianmarini and Ferrari both weighing in at just under 80kg while Santoni and Rice were 94kg and 88kg respectively. The gennaker requires sailors to hike out downwind in any more than 6 knots of breeze, meaning the lightweights don’t generate much of a speed advantage while upwind the wider wings keep them in the hunt alongside the heavyweights. British competitor Adrian Brunton was the heaviest competitor at 102kg, and he won one of the lightest races of the weekend, although he too fell victim to the vagaries of the final run in the all-important triple points race.
With 20 sailors having competed in Torbole this past weekend, class founder and builder Luca Devoti anticipates fleets of 40 to 50 boats for the five-regatta Tour of Italy series being planned for 2010. “Sailors are responding well to the boat and to the format. Fewer races means you don’t have to be Superman to win in the D-1 class, and I’m really pleased by the spirit of fun that people have shown here in Torbole. This winter we will be hard at work building and selling more boats throughout Europe, and we are just about to ship our first boats to the USA, so the D-1 looks set for worldwide popularity.”