CARRERA Wins J/24 Argentine Nationals & Pan Am Qualifiers
December 19, 2014
Over the past few weeks, the Argentina J/24 Class was hosting two major regattas on the Rio del Plata, hosted by Club Nautico Olivos. The first regatta was the J/24 Argentine Nationals, and the second was the Pan Am Qualifiers in J/24s for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Nationals took place over two weekends, starting on November 22-23 and concluding on November 29-30. The regatta saw 15 teams participating. Teams showed up from the Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Cordoba, Mendoza and Mar del Plata J/24 fleets. After three days of racing, very light winds marred the first weekend of sailing, and the CNO PRO managing to get in just three races. The following weekend, the CNO PRO Ernesto Lupi managed to squeeze in three more races in reasonable breezes on Saturday, thanks to their early start at 1100 hours. In the end, the team on CARRERA, skippered by Matias Pereira with crew of Augusto Rossi, Roberto Bellinoto & Federico Ambrus managed to hold onto their lead from the first weekend to take the championship by just one point. Sailing in the Nationals for the first time, Rodrigo Benedetto and his team of Alejandro Giralt, Augusto Bassanetti, Hernan Suarez & Sebastian Peri Brusa took second place by winning two of the six races. The LUCA VIVES team of Alejo Rigone, Gustavo Gonzalez, Joaquin Suarte Argerich, Fernando Gwodwz & Matias Maffioli took third place on a tie-breaker. Rounding out the top five were Santiago Doval in fourth and Chiqui Figueroa in fifth. The Argentina selection qualifiers for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games took place this past weekend. The most significant difference for the Pan Am qualifiers versus the Nationals is that the boats sailed with 100% jibs only, and there were only four crew members permitted for each boat. Yet again, Matias Pereira’s crew on CARRERA (Federico Ambrus, Guillermo Bellinotto & Juan Pereira) sailed like champions to become the Argentina representative in the 2015 Pan Am Games. The three-day selection event was again characterized by unusually light winds. Eight teams participated in the event. The first day saw light 6-8 knot NE winds with remarkably large wind shifts all day. The CNO Race Officer Santiago Sharpin managed to run three races. Yet again, Pereira established an early lead the first day, never to relinquish it until the end of the regatta. The second day saw drizzle, light unstable air from the ESE and reduced visibility to some fogginess. Nevertheless, after postponing sailing until 1340 hrs, the first race started and Aeljo Rigoni’s LUCA VIVE won the first race of the day. Another postponement ensued with the second and last race of the day started at 1640 hrs. Despite the light winds and lousy weather, CARRERA won the fifth race of the series to lengthen their lead over the fleet. Nevertheless, the racing was very tight and close together, with the entire fleet finishing in less than two minutes. The final day of racing on Monday was not much different than the previous two days. Again, the fleet was postponed to a 1315 hrs start time. CARRERA again showed her transom to the fleet, winning race 6, followed by Francisco Van Avermaetre’s MENDIETA and Luis Cerrato’s NORMAII SANDRO. The second race of the day didn’t start until 1430 hrs. It was declared the last race by PRO Santiago Sharpin, enabling Pereira’s crew to take a DNS drop race and still win the championship! After starting slowly, the MENDIETA crew (Van Avermaetre with Rafael de Martis, Carlos Lacchini & Geronimo Galvan) won the last race and secured second place overall. Taking second in the last race and happily getting a bronze was Alejo Rigoni’s crew on LUCA VIVE (Gustavo Gonzalez, Joaquin Duarte & Fernando Gwodwz). For more J/24 Argentina sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.de/.