Girls on Film dominates to lead 5.5 Metre Alpen Cup

Peter Morton’s Girls on Film (GBR) crewed by Peter Morton/Andrew Palfrey/Ben Cornish, has taken the lead at the 5.5 Metre Alpen Cup at Circolo Vela Torbole on Lake Garda, after three more races were sailed on Friday local time.

John B (BAH), crewed by Gavin McKinney/Lars Horn Johannessen/Mathias Dahlman, drops to second, while Switzerland’s Momo (Dieter Schoen/Fuitjof Kleen/Thomas Auracher) is up to third, but it is still anyone’s game with only three points separating the top three boats.

Girls on Film was on fire. In a moderate, cold southerly of 14-16 knots, Morton and crew took the opening race after passing Ali Baba (BAH), crewed by Craig Symonette/Flavio Marazzi/William Alloway, on the first downwind. Momo finally crossed second with Ali Baba third.

John B sailed well enough to finish second – Robert Deaves pic

In the second race, Girls on Film led at the top, but by now the whole fleet had headed to the left downwind and went down the run almost locked together. John B had best downwind to move from fifth to first, but Ali Baba was soon in the lead to win from Girls on Film and John B. It was a really close finish with the top five boats almost overlapped across the line.

In the final race, Girls on Film, continuing to dominate the right corner, led all the way for a big win in slightly less breeze. John B took second with Momo third.

Will Alloway, bowman on Ali Baba said, “It was a pretty classic Garda day. We had an Ora come through at 15-16 knots, so beautiful conditions. Three pretty standard Garda races.

“The right was pretty strong and the boats that had a good start and managed to tack out to the right generally arrived top three at the top. From then on in it was about getting to the left side on the downwind and getting the inside track,” he said.

“An awesome day’s sailing and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Girls on Film crosses swords with Ali Baba – Robert Deaves pic

Alloway added that there were lots of place changes today. “There were plenty of opportunities to overtake boats today, which is unusual for Garda. Normally the faster boat wins here as long as you get a clean start and sail smart, so it was really good to see it.

“There are some really good teams here, though obviously we are missing a few of the good top teams, but it’s all to win at the moment.”

Ben Cornish, bowman on Girls on Film said, “We launched into a typical Lake Garda day with a morning northerly, following but about 14 knots from the south. If you look at the brochure for Lake Garda that’s what we got today.

“We had had three really close races, some of the closest racing I think I’ve seen in the class. Boats coming across the finish overlapped – a really competitive day.

“We had a good day. We had a bit of a game plan to try and own the right hand of the race course. We made some good starts and were early to tack out on all three. The long patient game was just a little gain feature out to the right and it came good three times in a row, so a good day for us.”

Girls on Film is one of two new boats that Morton has built this year. After a few problems yesterday, today was the first real chance to show what the new boat could do against the fleet.

Cornish continued, “It was a bit of an unknown coming here. Morty and Dog (Palfrey, from Australia) had a massive project with the new boat. It’s amazing to be able to come here and line up with people in conditions where you take a lot of the variable out of it.

“It’s almost like a bit of a wind tunnel here. On the Solent and other venues, you are often questioning whether it was a shift or the tide. Here, you get really honest feedback from the boat.

Racing was close – Robert Deaves pic

“I think we can all be pretty happy that the package we had out there today was certainly never slow at any point, so that must be rewarding for Morty and Dog, who have chunked in a lot of time amongst a lot of other guys to make a good final product.

“The margins in the boats are so small, there’s not much in it. Upwind, it certainly felt like we had really good modes and downwind we were the same and probably never slower than the boats around us. If you were to try and analyse the performance of the boat, you’d be pretty pleased with it today.”

Racing concludes on Saturday.

Results after 5 races
1 Girls on Film (GBR 41, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ben Cornish) 7
2 John B (BAH 22, Gavin McKinney, Lars Horn Johannessen, Mathias Dahlman) 8
3 Momo (SUI 229, Dieter Schoen, Fuitjof Kleen, Thomas Auracher) 10
4 Marie-Françoise XXII (SUI 232, Jürg Menzi, Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) 17
5 Ali-Baba (BAH 23, Craig Symonette, Flavio Marazzi, William Alloway) 18
6 Otto (NOR 68, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Lasse Berthelsen, Luka Strahovnik) 18
7 Ali Baba (GER 84, Richter Wolf-Eberhard, Beata Kallkowski, Wolfgang Schreiber, Oliver WeiB) 26
8 Forza del Destino (SUI 211, Prapopoulos George, Simon Pfänder, Gil Pfänder) 28
9 New Moon II (BAH 24, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) 40

Event website and results: https://www.circolovelatorbole.com/en/regatta/detail/195

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