Andrea LaCorte Conquers the M32 European Championship
RIVA DEL GARDA, ITALY (July 16, 2023) — Andrea LaCorte and his Vitamina Veloce Cetilar team executed a stunning, stand-out performance this weekend in Riva del Garda to win the M32 European Championship and the M32 European Series title.
Conditions were picture perfect: This primetime July weekend showcased why this is the place holds the top spot on every sailor’s bucket list. Lake Garda has been a summer haven for M32 sailors for years. “These catamarans in this place is the perfect marriage,” said LaCorte.
It was a Vitamina masterclass: They grabbed the European Championship lead on the first day and never loosened their grip.
But they were thirstier than that: To snatch the European Series title away from Håkan Svensson’s Cape Crow Vikings, they needed to get clever. Vitamina would need to win the event and push the Vikings into third place or lower.
The event’s podium was constantly changing. The M32 fleet knows to never write results with a Sharpie. Today that proved true.
In the penultimate race, the Vikings were leading. That spelled trouble for the closely-trailing Vitamina. To save points, Vitamina slowed up to keep Gravedigger and China One Ningbo near the Vikings on the event scorecard.
Scores were announced over the VHF just before the final race: China One Ningbo, Gravedigger, and the Vikings were tied for second place in the event. Could Vitamina rely on Gravedigger or China One Ningbo to beat the formidable Vikings in the final race, thus securing the Series for Vitamina? Only time will tell.
Everyone prepared for a Vikings vs. Vitamina standoff with the whole summer at stake. Some were having Gilmour vs. Minoprio flashbacks from the match racing days. The tacticians are back to dueling here on the M32 playground. The starting gun goes off. Let the match race commence! Gravedigger floored it too early and went OCS. The Vikings were smiling. But you can’t count anyone out. Gravedigger sailed a heroic downwind leg, fighting from last place to a well-deserved race win and second place in the European Championship. Vitamina followed the game plan, kept the hungry Vikings at bay, and took the Series win.
It was a hard-fought battle. “Not easy at all,” said LaCorte. In the end it was Vitamina’s day, showcasing they have what it takes to win both the European Championship and the European Series after four events. Andrea LaCorte and his Vitamina Veloce Cetilar team are the kings of summer.
“It comes down to the very end, and that’s what you want in sport,” said Nicholas Heiner of Gravedigger. “We’re already looking forward to next year.”
“Thank you for a fantastic battle,” said Svensson, ever a fleet stalwart and good sportsman. “The Vikings are going home to Valhalla after the loss in the battle to celebrate, recharge, and come out a stronger warrior at the next event. Congratulations on your victory, Andrea!”
BACK TO GARDA NEXT SUMMER
The curtain is closed on the Italian summer for the M32 fleet. Next up is the World Championship Newport this fall followed by a Miami winter. Riva will host four events next summer including the World Championship.
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There’s never been a better time to join the fleet. The M32 Class lowers the accessibility and lessens the learning curve by offering demo boats at every event on the M32 calendar. The cost of the demo boat is waived if you buy the boat and join the fleet.
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August 2-4: European Championship
September 2-8: World Championship
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Photos by Kevin Rio
Story by Hannah Lee Noll