Just three points separate the four leading four boats at the Ocean BMW Melges 24 European Championship in Torquay

Three races were sailed yesterday on day three of the Ocean BMW Melges 24 European Championship in Torquay.

Eight of the 12 scheduled races have now been sailed and just three points now separate the four leading boats. Stuart Rix, helming Gill for Quentin Struass, and Gabrio Zandona, helming Joe Fly for Giovanni Maspero, are tied in first on 40 points. Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea is on 42 points and Francois Brenac, sailing with Phillipe Ligot’s Partner & Partners Sailing Team, is on 43.

Yesterday’s racing brought more tricky conditions. There was a short delay in starting as the wind filled in from around south-south-west and its strength then varied constantly from 4 to 8 knots. Joe Fly was the most consistent performer with a 1, 4, 2 score. Gill opened with a 19th, their worst result of the regatta so far, but improved as the day wore on with 12th and 3rd. Altea was consistent with 8, 10, 6 to stay firmly in contention, whilst for Partner & Partners everything in the garden was rosy with a 2nd and 1st, until the final race when they were caught up in another start line ruckus from which they could only get back up to 18th.

In the Corinthian Division, for all amateur crews, Germany’s Alba Batzill is heading the fleet. He had a mixed set of results with a 9th and 26th followed by a very close win in the final race. He’d led the fleet from start to finish but had a real tussle with Joe Fly on the final run and only just held them off. Batzill is also lying fifth in the overall results but the 22 point gap between him and the leaders puts him out of serious contention for the main trophy. Batzill’s nearest contenders for the Corinthian Trophy are Antoine Albaret and Jermoe Aubert.