After something of a drubbing in the quarterfinals of the Swedish Match Gold Cup, Andy Green and his GBR Challenge crew are heading to Italy for the Trofeo Roberto Trombini, to face the world’s best match racers once again
Andy Green and his GBR Challenge crew, having fallen of their collective bike quite badly in Marstrand last week, are back up and pedalling furiously at the Trofeo Roberto Trombini – the first round of the new Swedish Match tour – in Marina di Ravenna, Italy.
Organisers are billing this event as ‘Italy versus The Rest of the World’ with the Italian defence led by Prada’s strike helmsman in Auckland, Francesco de Angelis. Also flying the tricolore will be Olympic Soling helmsman Nicola Celon, veteran of the Olympic Star class Frederico Strocchi and the latest recruit to Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino America’s Cup syndicate, Paolo Cian. Cian arrives fresh from an unsuccessful but honourable, if hopelessly under prepared, defence of their Rolex IMS Offshore World title in Valencia.
Leading the Rest of the World will be Swiss Kiwi Russell Coutts, still charged from his impressive win for the Alinghi syndicate at the Swedish Match Gold Cup. Peter Holmberg, a two-time winner here, fills in for Chris Dickson as representative of the Oracle Racing syndicate while Magnus Holmberg, current Swedish Match series champion, races for the Swedish Victory syndicate and Team StoraEnso.
Green is not the only skipper hoping for a dramatic change in fortune. Team New Zealand’s top helmsman Dean Barker will be hoping to improve on his lowly 13th place in Sweden and James Spithill of One World Challenge will also be looking to impress his lead helmsman Peter Gilmour.
Luc Pillot, still buoyant after losing 2-1 to Coutts in the Swedish Match Gold Cup final, will be a contender while Morten Henriksen of Volvo and America’s Cup challengers illbruck might struggle in such rarified company, given their lack of practice at this level.
The racing starts today and concludes on Sunday 15 July.