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Thread: Melges 32's Plow Into Opti Fleet

  1. #21
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Brontolo's Owners Apology

    16 Jul 2013

    The video of a Melges 32 fleet sailing through the middle of an Opti fleet on Lake Garda last weekend went viral in both viewing and comments.

    As with all arguments there are two sides to the story and the owner of Brontolo posted his apology and then his reasoning for taking that option on his Facebook page. The transcript here is verbatim:
    My name is Filippo Pacinotti and I am the owner of the Melges 32 Brontolo.
    Brontolo is racing the Melges 32 European Circuit since 5 years now.
    During the 4th leg of the 2013 Circuit in Torbole – Lake Garda – Italy for reasons that I will try to explain in details at the end of this statement my boat during racing sailed through the Optimist Fleet that was competing for their Pre Worlds organized by the Yacht Club of Riva del Garda (Fraglia Vela Riva).
    It happened 2 times upwind and 2 times downwind in 2 different days.
    Brontolo was not the only Melges 32 sailing there, it happened to multiple boats of the fleet.
    I thought a lot about how to start this kind of press release and the I decided to go straight forward:
    I have to express my most sincere apologies to 4 groups of people:
    • The Kids – especially those who have potentially been scared by our behavior.
    • Their Families for the same reason above
    • The Coaches that have undirect responsibility on the water for their athletes
    • The Optimist International Class that, I imagine, was putted under heavy pressure for what happened.
    Let me have even some words for my crew, including the afterguard, that has no responsibility either if some exists.
    I could have easily gybed away being the helm in my hands.
    Again, on my opinion, there are reasons why this has happened, the helmsman is not looking for excuses but some additional infos should been analized.
    Hopefully what above is clear enough.
    Now why this has happened?
    • North Lake Garda is a very particular place where to sail, crowded and superbusy on the water during summer time (hundreds of dinghies, kitesurf, windsurf etc). It is a place like many knows which obliges you to sail on the extreme border of the racing area (left or right it depends).
    • The racing areas for the Optis and the Melges 32 were overlapping. Both racing committees were, on my opinion, not reacting to this fact in the way they could (moving one of the field away from the other even after many complaints).
    • Communication between the Yacht Clubs and the racing committes was simply not working.
    • Moroever, with the exception of the last day, the starting time for the 2 fleets was basically the same.
    • Conflicts were basically guaranteed.
    • As a results the “encounters” with the Opti Fleet were usual, I would not say safe but usual.
    • While racing we thought was an option to go extreme left and to cross the Opti Fleet we maneuvered to find our hole, depowering the boat letting the kite fly for a while and then proceed until the finish line as well documented in the video posted.
    • We thought was safe enough. We did not hit anybody, nobody was even close to be injured, we had no discussion with our racing committee that clearly saw us and many other right there.
    • The Melges 32 Brontolo did not infringe any rule letting, on our opinion, enough water for everybody to sail.
    To make what has become a long story short this has been a bad day for me, for sure this it is not going to happen again to my boat and I feel sorry for what happened.
    At the same time let’s try all to stay objective and understand well that there were too many coincidences not created by the competitors.
    Hope this helps.
    Filippo Pacinotti
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #22
    Nice of the owner to man up!

  3. #23
    J/92 Ragtime!
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    As written elsewhere, there is a well-known advantage on that lake of going left to get to "the wall" for better breeze and wind angle. In deciding to make that their priority (over safety and ROW rules) and cross the Opti fleet, they made a big assumption there would be "a hole" in the line of Opti's. At full speed with kite flying, there were no options if such a hole didn't appear.

    If the photos show even one Opti (on starboard) had to alter course, Brontolo (who was on port) should withdraw. In doing so they might avoid the Rule 69 hearing, which I believe is coming.

  4. #24
    Nice responses. Kudos.

    I STILL say that the thing to do was to sail the course without endangering the kids...to hell with the racing advantage obtained by going 200 or 300 feet further to the left or whatever, and then afterwards, protest the PRO and the RC.

    Hopefully, the whole incident will kick some people in pants and get some communication going before someone gets seriously hurt on the lake.

  5. #25
    Rule 69 investigation - someone is taking it seriously.

  6. #26
    Melges guys were mega dweebs and glad to see they're starting to own up.
    But before things escalate into an AC style legal fiasco, maybe they should resolve things they way 70's sitcoms taught me to: put the Melges crews into dunk tanks and let the Opti kids have at it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DJgnVOMyl0

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Photoboy View Post

    The incident over the weekend where a fleet of opti sailors get interrupted by some wayward Melges 32 sailors, has gotten a lot of attention. The offending M -32 claim that the PRO's working the optis were at fault for putting there course so close to the M-32 course. Here's a statement post recently in that vein:


    “The most exciting part of the day today though was again having to sail through the optis and seeing those kids faces. At one point I think we almost took out a few of the little tykes when we had to sail past their gybe mark. It was ultra sketchy and although I am sure they dug it, their parents were probably pissed. I mean we are a 32 foot boat sailing at 19 knots through their course. Dangerous indeed, but its not our fault that the PRO’s set up the courses so close to each other and started at basically the same times which all but guaranteed some conflict. The part of sailing here is that there is usually a lot going on, kiters, windsurfers, 49’ers, etc. It’s just part of the deal.”

    Photos courtesy Norman Sailing, LLC
    Who wrote that bullshit statement? You recklessly fly into a pack of optis on port tack and "it's just part of the deal"? Fuck whoever wrote that.

    Aw hell... maybe rules and human decency just didn't apply to them. Did anybody check the Melges fleet for pink flags?
    Whizzo Butter: "Absolutely indistinguishable from a dead crab."

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Shife View Post
    Who wrote that bullshit statement? You recklessly fly into a pack of optis on port tack and "it's just part of the deal"? Fuck whoever wrote that.

    Aw hell... maybe rules and human decency just didn't apply to them. Did anybody check the Melges fleet for pink flags?
    That little gem was written by SA's very own Reverand Petey.

  9. #29
    Of course.
    Whizzo Butter: "Absolutely indistinguishable from a dead crab."

  10. #30
    Group 3 Studmuffin
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    i find this very personal and reassuring that Filippo tried to explain his reasoning that resulted in such a situation and image. everyone has an opinion as to what happened, how to avoid it, etc etc etcccc. but only he and others sailing that day will know the true circumstances. i commend Filippo for this apology and explanation especially when you think English is not his native language. this is why i am growing to really LIKE the sailing community.

    ok, except for todd

    [QUOTE=Photoboy;32396]16 Jul 2013

    The video of a Melges 32 fleet sailing through the middle of an Opti fleet on Lake Garda last weekend went viral in both viewing and comments.

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