Michael Mödlhammer wins the Italian Nationals and Gianluigi Ugolini crowned the new A Class Italian Champion.

The Open A Class Italian Championship, organized by the Associazione Velica Bracciano by Bracciano Lake, near Rome, ended on Sunday. There were big surprises confirming once more the vivacity of A Cat Italy’s combative 2017 season.  Pier Faccin reports.

After his victorious debut in the A Class National Regatta at The Foiling Week 2017, the young and talented Gianluigi Ugolini of the Compagnia della Vela in Rome, became the new A Class Italian Champion, ranking 2nd in the final standings. Against his expectations, the regatta was won by the Austrian Michael Mödlhammer, who showed a perfect setup for his a brand new DNA F1 and his very good training on lake conditions. In 3rd place of final open standing was the German Helmut Stumhofer, also with a brand new DNA F1. Followed by Paolo Penco of the Associazione Nautrica Sebina and Stefano Casadei of the Adriatico Wind Club.

The Italian Championship podium sees the rising star of Italian sailing, Gianluigi Ugolini, who started on A Class catamaran just a month ago, 2nd place Italian was the veteran Paolo Penco and third was Stefano Casadei.

Perfect conditions for the regattas: the Maestrale, the typical Bracciano Lake’s breeze, has gratified all crews by blowing 10 to 16 knots. It is a pity that on Sunday, by 10 minutes, it was not possible to start the 9th race as this would have allowed another discard of their next worst result in the final standings, thus giving some crews additional a chance to improve their final position.

Returning to the scores, the 6th place in the rankings, just behind Stefano Casadei, was Luigi Camisotti, also of the Adriatic Wind Club, then Andrea Ferrari, Alberto Farnesi, Stefano Tacchi and in 10th position, Giovanni Calabria.

In this edition of the Italian Championships, the A Cat Italia has decided to split the two separate categories in the final standing: one for the foiling boats (14 sailors) and the second for classic boats (10 sailors). Worthy of note, the first place was Marco Gaeti in the Classic category, who finished in 12th place overall.  All rankings can be found on the “Classe A” Facebook page.

From the technical point of view, both Michael and Helmut used a DNA F1 platform with a DNA standard rig: a DNA mast and Misha Sails mainsail. Same DNA F1 platform also for Paolo Penco, but with a Fiberfoam mast and Bryt Sails mainsail. For the new Italian Champion, an A16 eXploder platform, again with a Fiberfoam mast and Bryt Sails mainsail. Stefano Casadei was there with an "old" 2012 DNA platform updated with eXploder foils and rudders. He used a Fiberfoam mast and Bryt also.

With this appointment, the beautiful and exciting A Cat Italia agonistic season has come to its end. Now the A Class sailors' focus is on the upcoming World Championships that will take place on the Baltic Sea from 19th to 26th August in Sopot, Poland. The entry list has reached 140 sailors. At the moment, several champions such as Scott Anderson, Bob Baier, Mitch Booth, Steve Brewin, Darren Bundock, Manuel Calavia, Sandro Caviezel, Misha Heemskerk and Andy Landenberger confirm their participation.  

(Totally unrelated -  but Bracciano is the site of the Italian Airforce Museum and features several beautiful Italian Schnieder Trophy racers - well worth a visit next time you are there! Ed.)