For four days straight, Russia's Pavel Kuznetsov and tactician Evgeny Neugodnikov, with Tavatuy crew members Konstantin Besputin, Egor Koniukhovskii, Oleg Krivov, Alexander Patrushev, Anton Sergeev and Valeriy Zatsarinskiy declared that the 2017 Melges 32 Boero World Championship belonged to them. Without debate, their performance was one of strength, consistency and no fear. Today, for what seems like an ever-elusive dream to some, is a reality for Kuznetsov - he and his team are 2017 Melges 32 World Champions.
"After four years of great sailing and so much fun in the Melges 32 Class, we can raise above us the most beautiful and important trophy of our entire career," said Kuznetsov post racing. "The team did a great job, and I am so proud to be bringing this accomplishment, for the first time to Russia, a country that deeply loves to sail. We just want to celebrate this huge success."
"We know we were possibly not the most favored to win, but in fact, we placed a great deal of pressure upon ourselves in the first race, which ultimately put us on the path to winning the Worlds. We knew we had the speed. We were making the right tactical choices, and more and more, we realized the title was within our reach."
Right up until the last, runner-up Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina with tactician Lorenzo Bressani sailing Torpyone gave every ounce of effort, leaving only two points of separation from the leader going into the final race, prompting a literal cut-throat start to Race Ten.
This is the second time in three years that this brilliant, very exciting Melges 32 team has been the runner-up to accepting the Worlds trophy. But, they do not leave the 2017 season empty handed. As reigning Melges 32 European Champions, they will commence the 2018 circuit with more determination than ever before, all sights set on the next World Championship encounter.
Arriving in third overall is yet another more-than-deserving Italian team - that of Edoardo Pavesio's Fra Martina with the extraordinary Manuel Weiller Vidal as tactician. Pavesio's team has been on the upswing all season long, but all the hard work and perseverance has paid off in Cala Galera as he stands with Class giants atop the winner's podium.
Despite a fourth place finish at Worlds, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G.Spot with tactician Branko Brcin rejoices as the first ever and overall champion of the 2017 Melges 32 World League. The circuit consisted of five stages, Worlds hosted by Circolo Nautico e della Vela Argentario was the fifth and final 2017 event.
"As the president of the Melges 32 Class and Vice President of the organizing circle, I am very pleased with the series of races, each one fought for right up to the last minute," said Serena di Lapigio. "I am very grateful to the PRO and entire Race Committee as they successfully managed to complete all ten scheduled races. As a competitor, I suppose I would have preferred to end the event on the podium, but I am still very pleased to have won the 2017 Melges 32 World League."
Christian Schwoerer with tactician Nick Asher aboard La Pericolosa rounded out the top five, his best finish yet the in the Melges 32 Class.
Coming from behind on Friday to take over the lead and stick it on Saturday, Francesco Graziani at the helm of Vitamina with tactician Andrea Fornaro and team members Valerio Badalassi, Amedeo Barbara, Iacopo Bargoni, Ettore Botticini, Lorenzo Delrio and Alessio Pardini are 2017 Melges 32 Corinthian World Champions.
"This was the goal since the beginning of the season, and quite frankly, it's all thanks to great teamwork, spirit, deep friendships and sacrifice for each other," said Graziani. "The racing has been very tough in this division. The great sportsmanship given by Martin and our fellow countrymen on Caipirinha shows the real charm of the Melges 32 Class. Surely we will see more teams competing next year in the Corinthian division."
The Melges 32 World Championship presented by Boero Yacht Coatings is proudly supported by Helly Hansen, Toremar, North Sails, Garmin Marine Italia, Lavazza and Barracuda Communication.
Top Five Results (FINAL - After Ten Races, One Discard)
- Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeny Neugodnikov, TAVATUY; 1-1-2-5-10-5-7-2-2- = 35
- Edoardo Lupi-Massimo Pessina/Lorenzo Bressani, TORPYONE; 7-8-6-2-1-6-2-1-8-[18/UFD] = 41
- Edoardo Pavesio/Manuel Weiller Vidal, FRA MARTINA; 3-7-8-1-7-7--3-13-3 = 52
- Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G.SPOT; 2-3-4--2-13-9-12-4-6 = 55
- Christian Schwoerer/Nic Asher, LA PERICOLOSA; 10-2--4-9-3-5-7-7-9 = 56
All results are available here.