Lake Garda provided excellent but trickier conditions than usual for the opening day of the 2018 Alpen Cup. The south wind “Ora” kicked in at around 11.30am and allowed the race committee to complete the three planed races.
But first the crews were invited to the opening that included the skipper’s meeting and a welcome drink at the CVT. 12 boats from six nations are participating at this year’s edition with returning former world champion and Gold cup winner Kristian Nergaard from Norway after three years of absence.
The first two races were sailed in about 14-18 knots and quite standard with more pressure on the left-hand side of the course. It was all about keeping the lane coming off the start and to sail as fast as possible to the rocks. The game always opens a little up when choosing the lay line to go to the top mark. Some teams looked promising first, when tacking off the rocks early, but the most inside one, NOR 57, made the race in first position to the top mark and didn’t give it away any more. Kristian Nergaard and his team managed to win the first two races in style. Jürg Menzi, SUI 228, was second in the first race, while Mark Holowesko, BAH 21, took the second place in race two.
By the start to the final race of the day, the wind started to be very shifty and was much softer with 16-8 knots. Bernard Haissly, SUI 214, and his team took the glory of the third race by starting all the way at the committee boat end of the line, found a right-hand shift with more pressure than all the other competitors that chose the middle or left-hand side to start. Some boats including previous successful teams like NOR 57, SUI 228 and BAH 21 chose the left side of the course and where at the back of the fleet when arriving at the first top mark. Some of them managed to climb up on the ranking again, some not. Arend Jan Pasman NED 26 took a solid second place in this very tricky race.
Racing continues Friday with three scheduled races starting at 1pm.