Here's the english version of the Brontolo apology again.
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.