I just returned from racing the Esse 850 European Cup in Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy. This was my 3rd visit to Lake Garda and all I can say is that it is the best place in the world to sail! Great breeze, flat water, friendly sailors and perfect weather. There is a reason why so many one design classes have their regattas there. Last week the Melges 32 were sailing 19 strong.
The regatta was dominated by Eric Monin from Zurich with 6 firsts (out of 8 races). Oliver Wolfensberger was 2nd followed by Daniel Schroff in 3rd. There is a good mix of talent in the class and amateurs can be competitive.
The builder, Josef Schuchter, is extremely helpful in arranging charters at a reasonable cost and delivers the boat right to Lake Garda. For all the US Esse owners, I encourage you to call him and sign up for next year. It will be the best trip of your life!