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News from Italy

Post by Webmaster » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:33 am

A report from the 6th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup Torbole (Italy) 14-17 October 2010.

I arrive in Torbole 12 October coming from Malcesine on a sunny and mild day. From the lakeside road, driving slowly through all the little villages, I admire the scintillating watery surface, the many boats out sailing. Every corner or square or roundabout is tended with flowers.

I have my Dragon, ITA 62, behind my car on her trailer, all covered up with her traveling tarpaulin. After the Alassio Dragon Week, I had left her with Mario Quaranta boatyard in Imperia for some repairs and hull polishing. When I drive into the car park of the Circolo Vela Torbole, there are already several Dragons. I am here to take part in the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup of the German Dragon Association, an event now at its 6th edition, masterfully organized by the Muenchener Yacht Club, the Chiemsee Yacht Club, and the Circolo Vela Torbole.

13 October in the morning. After finalizing the inscription by submitting the boat papers, and while waiting for my crew to arrive, I take down the mast with the help of Vincent Hösch and start removing the tarpaulin. Then the crew arrives, and we set up the boat, “armiamo la barca”, as we say in Italian, and we launch her. The intention is to go out sailing and do some tests. In Alassio we suffered with boat pointing ability and we want to do some changes.

Torbole is tucked at the northeast end of Lake Garda, with Riva at the northwest. The lake has essentially two winds: the Pelèr, a North wind that blows very early in the morning till about 11:30 AM, and the O’ra that starts at around 1 PM and blows from the South. In the North part of the lake, as in Torbole, due to the high mountains that create a “funnel” effect, the O’ra accelerates to wind speeds of some 15 to 20 knots and sometimes higher.

An ideal sailing area, as the many sail racing events organized here demonstrate. Yet, the area still unknown to many of us and worth to explore not only for its sailing qualities but also for its wines and food. One specialty: the carne secca, or dry meat, is a must, and it is at its best at the Trattoria Belvedere in the village of Arco, a short driving distance north of Torbole.

Races started punctually soon after 1 PM 14 October 2010. Just before, the Circolo had organized a nice opening ceremony of the event with a cold buffet and, for whoever wanted, spumante Trento DOC, or beer. The excellent race committee managed three races in the first day, with winds ranging 10 to 12 knots. Vincent Hösch, helming his Billy Boy, GER10, with on board Peter Liebner and Thomas Maxer, dominated from the outset, with 3, 1, 1.

Peter Fröschl, with Nikolaus Stoll and Peter Abele on board of his Follow your Dreams, GER 433, won the first race and managed 1, 11, 11, while the other favourites, Gavia Wilkinson Cox, on her Jerboa, GBR 716, did 4, 2, 9, and Anatoly Loginov, this year winner of the Gold Cup, on his Annapurna, RUS 27, did 21, 3, 6.

The right side of the race field it surely gives a big lift to the boats daring to get very close to the shore – so close that it looks like one can touch the threes or the stones. The wind accelerates even more closer one gets to shore and it is incredible how much one can gain upwind and close to the layline. After tacking on port side, one can often reach the upwind buoy easily. The downwind run was mostly on starboard tack, with the jibe close to the downwind mark.

Friday 15 October, the race committee kept us on shore waiting for the Pelèr to pick up speed. Crews had their lunch at the excellent club restaurant enjoying a very friendly atmosphere and the sun and mild climate of Lake Garda. Hösch incurred in an OCS from the outset, but with a baggage of experience, boatspeed and plenty of local knowledge of the area and its winds, clinched another 3, 1 taking a commanding lead, while Wilkinson Cox and Loginov followed with 6, 4, 11 and 3, 5, 2 respectively. Later, I spoke with the race officer who told me that at the windward mark winds were up to 20 knots with a minimum of 15 knots at the jury boat!

Saturday 16 October started with cloudy skies promising rain. The race committee took the fleet out as soon as the Pelèr started. We managed one race. Gavia Wilkinson Cox won this last race, while we could see Hösch and Loginov battling to the wire for the second place. At the end of the race Hösch was second and Loginov third.
Every day, at the end of the races, a rich buffet with Trentino wines and speck and cheese specialties or a hearty hot pasta, greeted the crews in a friendly and warm atmosphere.

The last day win was not enough for Gavia Wilkinson Cox to pass Loginov. She shared the podium being 3rd, with Hösch and Loginov being 1st and 2nd respectively.

One can find wonderfully action-packed photos at http://promovideo.photoshelter.com/gall ... EVIb8UpiI/.
To sum up, a very well organized event and a sailing area that is most beautiful and windy at the same time.

I would say that the Hans-Detmar Cup is a must in the Dragon sailing calendar of every sailor. The hospitality and the warmth of local staff and officials, but also of the hotel and restaurant staff where we stayed or went for dinner added to a pleasant feeling of happiness and left a mark in my and my crew’s hearts.

Still I am puzzled: why Italian Dragon sailors do not come to race here? I was the single Italian boat participating in the event.

I really hope that more Italian boats will race here next year.

Allora, arrivederci a Torbole !

ITA 62 Murzi Ezio Gianni, Albino Fravezzi, Angelo Costa

Full Results of the 6th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup 2010 available at the IDA Fixtures and Results

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