“You started the engine in the regatta!” “No, you accuse me falsely.”


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powerWhat is the most infamous accusation for a regatta-goer? That of having the engine running during the competition. This is the accusation that has unleashed a storm over the real time winner of GiragliOne, the race for solo sailors organized by Circolo Nautico Riva di Traiano on the Riva – Scoglio della Giraglia – Riva course (a total of 250 miles) in conjunction with the Rome-Giraglia: Carlo Potestà, first aboard the Elan 410 Phantomas, was disqualified following a protest for using the engine during the race. If memory serves, we do not recall similar incidents in recent times. This is a serious matter, if upheld even on appeal, which may result in the withdrawal or suspension of the FIV membership based on the provisions of rule 69 of the regatta rules (governing unsportsmanlike conduct). For now the disqualification is effective (in the Phantomas ranking he received a DNE, Disqualification not excludable). At the protest (filed by the three solitaries Matteo Miceli, Mario Girelli and Sergio Frattaruolo) tracking records were brought in, which, according to the Jury’s verdict, have incompatibilities with the speeds to be attributed to sail propulsion. Potestà had gotten off to a rather slow start, due to the wrapped gennaker, and then completed a textbook comeback.

In yellow is the path of Phantomas, in red is the path of Mario Girelli's Pogo 40 Patricia II, and in green is the path of Matteo Miceli aboard Eco 40
In yellow is the path of Phantomas, in red is the path of Mario Girelli’s Pogo 40 Patricia II, and in green is the path of Matteo Miceli aboard Eco 40

The 55-year-old Tuscan software engineer, a fresh winner of Rome for One, doesn’t stand for it and reached by phone tells us his side of the story: “Maybe I went too fast,” he explains wryly, “coming out of the bonanzas too quickly, but that doesn’t prove anything, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, tracking is not a reliable test because it takes readings every 15 minutes, and between each point it calculates the average speed. In fact, it often happens that the data provided by it are out of whack. I also object to the way the protest was filed, which must be filed no later than two hours after the end of the race, but I was not notified until many hours later.”

Potestà argues that the discussion of the protest also took place in an unbiased manner: “During the discussion, Miceli, Girelli and Frattaruolo were not called individually to confront me but all three were present (initially there was also a fourth protester, Marco Franco, who aboard Fral 2 won the Rome-Giraglia per Tutti in real, but who withdrew his protest). And I had quite a bit of difficulty making my case, as I was constantly interrupted. Moreover, I feel that the judges did not handle the situation as well as they could, I asked for concrete evidence to be brought to me but it was not provided.” The opinion of the protesters is different, who believe that the discussion took place with full respect for the person and the sailor and that the judges were highly competent.

Potestà, who is now at great risk, hopes that the three “acted in good and faith” and announces that he will appeal through legal avenues on two fronts: on the one hand concerning sports justice, on the other civil (assisted by a legal friend and sailor) for a claim for moral damages. “Even at Roma for Uno there were dockside rumors of my possible use of the engine, but I don’t understand how they could find foundation since by regulation we had the engines spliced and there are the photos documenting it.” There is another rumor going around the dock, in defense of the Tuscan: doesn’t an engineer sailor who races for passion and wins aboard a “normal” Elan 410 risk overshadowing the media attention on those who sail professionally, and thus need visibility also to attract sponsors?


Among the soloists, the final ranking has thus changed: first at the finish line is thus Matteo Miceli (ECO 40), who arrived at 12:15:08, overtaking only in the final part of this hard-fought race Mario Girelli (Patricia II), who arrived at 12:20:20. In the afternoon arrivals were Sergio Frattaruolo (Extreme Sail Academy) 14:07:57 who preceded by not even two minutes after a long chase Riccardo Capociuchi (Gaiarda!!), who arrived at 14:09:18. Oscar Campagnola closed the ranks yesterday morning at dawn. In IRC the winner is Gaiarda!!, with in second place Patricia II followed by Matteo Miceli’s ECO 40.

Rome-Giraglia for All
In the X All category, these are the real time finishes: the first to cross the finish line was Comet 45S Egeria Fral 2, which arrived in port at 11:58:48 on Saturday, followed by Neveralone at 13:14:18, by Ammuina at 14:28:40, by Nautilus at 14:30:00, by Lunatika at 14:30:50, by Diabolika at 16:01:00, by Milù at 16:36:05, by Margherita II at 17:11:10, by Istericasissi at 21:42:38. In IRC, the victory went with full merit to Diabolika, 11 meters owned by Stefano Pennacchini. In second place was Carlo Alberto Scoppola with his First 40.7 Ammuina, and in third was Nautilus, Pino Stillitano’s X-35, skippered by Flavio Trezzi and Matteo Vischi (co-skipper). Nautilus was first in ORC, followed by Ammuina and Comet 45S Egeria Fral 2, led by Marco Franco and Giancarlo Di Giovanni (co-skipper).

Rome-Giraglia x 2
In the real-time X2 was won by Stripptease, who arrived at 14:33:00, trailing Sventola (17:01:00) by two and a half hours, Excelsa (18:23:05) by five hours, and Fra’ Diavolo (20:51:52) by six and a half hours. On the top step of the podium in IRC goes Sventola, Massimo Salusti’s Bavaria 38, which raced in tandem with Alessandro Magnani. In second place were Riccardo Maria Serranò and Fabrizio Galletti on Stripptease and in third Excelsa, with the pair Vincenzo Stuppia and Alberto Tamantini.


(source cover image repubblica.co.uk)




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