The crisp morning ‘Peler’ mountain breeze from the North had been regularly stronger that the afternoon’s ‘Ora’ from the South and to ensure reliable racing, some good variety and a prompt finish on the final day the call had been made for an 08:30 start, as often is the case at Malcesine.
Early breakfasts were organised and speedy rig up with an air of anticipation as white horses could be spotted in the distance across the lake. At 08:30 the whole of the northern end of Garda was still in the shade, with the sun just rising over Mt Baldo and shining brightly on the cliffs on the western shore. During the course of the three races the bright sunshine moved across the whole lake, providing an incredible sparling surface when on port tack!
The breeze strengthened from about 18kn up to 25kn on race two. By the end of race 3 there was still good pressure but it was evident holes in the northerly wind were emerging, with potential race opportunities opening up, as the Peler prepared to close down for its lunch.
The evening before, at the Rooster Daily Awards and Pasta Party, the fleet had voted for the 4 sided ‘Quad’ course in preference to the ‘P’ option. The blast reach across the top was awesome. The run provided excellent opportunities to make up ground on the ample lake waves (‘harder than Carnac’ was the verdict on those) followed by a nice broad reach, wave surfing into the bottom mark.
In the RS Aero 5s Rooster Sailing’s Kate Sargent GBR had it all on if her petiteness was to maintain her clean sweep. This time she was pushed to the limit, just edging out wins by an overlapped half boat length on Roy Van Maanen IRE and Jon Harvey GBR, by making up downwind any deficit upwind. So with a clean score of nine 1sts Kate took the RS Aerocup 5 title – one for the featherweight Ladies and a nice change for her after all her near misses! Roy took the silver and Jon came through for the bronze.
The RS Aero 7 fleet looked to be all tied up by Italy’s Patrick Zeni with all 1,2s over the first two days – but incredibly, it was not to be! Peter Barton GBR, Paul McMahon IRE and Marcus Walthur GER were fast out of the blocks upwind with Peter having an edge that ultimately gave him a healthy string of three 1sts on the final day. Even that should not have been enough with the youthful Italian needing just one 5th from the three races to secure the title. However a 7,6,12 failed to clinch it and by just one point Barton took the RS Aerocup 7 title from an overnight 7 point deficit (and in surprise, as he had done his maths wrong!), with Zeni 2nd and McMahon 3rd, just one more point adrift.
In the RS Aero 9s Liam Willis GBR left nothing to chance and hammered out three bullets, revelling in the brisk conditions, to take the overall RS Aerocup 9 title at the not so tender age of 17. Simon Maguire GBR and Harmon De Lange NED shared the 2nds. Simon took the silver overall with Harmon just edging out Thomas Sandstrom SWE for the bronze.
The fleet returned to shore just as the sun reached Fraglia Vela Malcesine over Mt Baldo. The International RS Team beavered to pack the multi trailers before the closing awards ceremony took place on the lake shore in front of the clubhouse with a final look at the incredible view across the lake to the cliffs opposite.
Many thanks to Rooster Sailing for their generous support of the 3rd RS Aerocup. A wonderful spread of prizes were enjoyed at the final awards ceremony and each daily ‘Pasta Party’ prize giving. RS Sailing assisted the RS Aero’s transport logistics and the provision of the large RS Aero charter fleet allowing far travelled sailors from USA, AUS, RUS, SWE and IRE to compete. Volvo Cars assisted with fantastic XC60s that made the drive a pleasure and the fully loaded trailers an easy tow. FV Malceine were excellent hosts and we look forward to returning again soon! Marcus Cremer, Thomas Reuhl and Matt Draysey were out each day taking beautiful photos to capture a memorable RS Aerocup!