Tom Slingsby, world Laser champion from Australia, wins Sunday’s double-point medal race with a formidable lead and claims overall victory in the second edition of the D-One Gold Cup in Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda. Second and third places go to two British skippers, Nick Thompson and Giles Scott, respectively. Andrea Casale finishes fourth overall and first among the Italian sailors while Fabbio Toccoli, ninth overall, is the best non-professional skipper.
Riva del Garda, July 31st: Tom Slingsby turned the closing race of the 2011 D-One Gold Cup into his own personal parade on the waters off Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda. Going into the medal race that carried double points with no possibility of being discarded the overall score table was still wide open and a few duels were expected within the fleet for the individual podium spots. The first attempt at running a race was short lived and had to be canceled towards the end of the first run when the early-morning northerly (Peler) died down. The intense duel between Thompson and Glinsby would have to be repeated. After a half-an-hour wait, the “Ora” (the southerly breeze on Lake Garda) kicked in earlier than expected and gave the race committee the opportunity to give a second start at 11am.
That race proved to be a non-event, even with a light breeze between 6 and 8 knots. The Australian had a conservative start but thanks to his boat speed and excellent helming, he managed to build a lead of more than 100 meters at the first weather mark over second-placed Giles Scott. Slingsby then extended the lead to over 200 meters at the finish line. A finish in ninth place for Andrea Casale meant Scott was victorious in his duel third podium spot as the Italian finished ninth in the medal race. Argentina’s Agustín Zabalua, winner of the 2010 Gold Cup, scored an excellent third place and finished eleventh overall.
As a result, Tom Slingsby wins the second edition of the D-One Gold Cup and proves that the dinghy designed by Luca Devoti, when helmed by Olympic champions, can reach excellent speed and provide an impressive show on water. It is important pointing out that the top five skippers in the overall leaderboard weighed between 80kg and 98kg in a windy venue like Riva del Garda, a very wide range for dinghies.
Slingsby dominates the leaderboard with 8 points (3-1-1-2-1-1-1), followed by Thompson (1-2-2-1-2-2-4) and Scott (2-4-4-3-5-5-2). Andrea Casale wraps up the Gold cup with a brilliant fourth place (4-3-3-4-3-4-9), showing that he still has all it takes to be competitive on a dinghy. Giorgio Poggi is eighth while Fabio Toccoli, with a ninth place is also the winner in the Corinthian division. Riccardo Pontremoli from Genoa closes the top ten. Nathalie Testa wins the title in the women’s division while German Eberhard Bieberitz is the best-performing Master.
“It’s been a real pleasure racing on the D-One here,” stated a clearly jubilant Tom Slingsby (three-time world Laser champion). “It’s a great boat, great people and great class. Having 36 yachts from 11 nations in the second edition of the D-One Gold Cup is a good result. I decided to come here and race because I was definitively intrigued by the potential of this dinghy. The D-One can have a great future and grow very fast. I will certainly train again and race on a D-One, this time bringing many of my friends, to whom I definitely suggest they tried it.”
The next edition of the D-One Gold Cup will take place in Tuscany, near the end of next year’s summer. The 2011 Volvo Cup D-One, after the events in Alassio, Bracciano, Cattolica and Riva del Garda, will proceed to Marina di Scarlino in conjunction with the National Championship (16-18 September) and the Barcolina of Trieste (1-2 October).