Team LISOT (Evan Read, Olivia Crane, Andrew Mollerus, Ian Storck, Elliott Morrill and coach Trevor Moore) participated in the 22nd edition of the Rizzotti Trofeo in Venice Italy from May 22nd – May 25th. We faced teams from around the world; the organizers had managed to get teams from 4 continents. They had hoped to have representations from all 5 continents but New Zealand had to decline due to problems with the schools.
We arrived on May 21st after a long but uneventful flight. Thanks to Ambien provided by Tory Crane we all slept and arrived relatively rested in Venice. We had rented a European Van (manual) for nine passengers and Annette Morrill took on the role of bus driver for the team; only occasionally challenged by Trevor. The team was picked up by the organizers at the airport and with their guidance we all arrived at the campground Marina di Venezia where we had rented small bungalows for the team and supporters. Trevor stayed with the entire team in one of the bungalows and took on the role of cook and camp leader. Shower schedules were established and enforced. After checking out the campground, we went to the venue (with some help from Wes!). Our charter boats were not ready and we decided to visit Venice for the afternoon. We had a quick first meal in Venice (a start to a wonderful culinary experience), explored San Marco square with the pigeons and took a gondola ride before we went back by boat to the camp ground.
On the second day, the team rigged their boats and went out for a short practice sail. The supporting parents went for a leisurely lunch to a restaurant at the venue recommended by Bruno Rizzotti. We also enjoyed a few glasses on very young (fuzzy) wine and decided to go into the wine making business.
The event started officially with an opening ceremony and a skippers meeting in the evening. We had dinner in the camp ground restaurant and went to bed ready to compete the next day.
Team LISOT was in a draw with teams from Austria, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Singapore 1 and 2 regional Italian teams (Liguria and Emilia Romagna). Our first race was against Puerto Rico, the team which had just won the team racing at the South Americans. LISOT, unfortunately lost, due to a mistake. This race was followed by a loss on the finish line to Liguria. After a clear loss against a tough Austrian team, the team had a nice comeback against Serbia. A thunderstorm ended the day prematurely.
The next day, Team LISOT began with 3 straight victories before a loss to Singapore 1 and qualified for the gold fleet. The gold fleet included Singapore 1, Singapore 2, Team 4 (the other US team), Italy, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Emilia Romagna. LISOT carried forward only 1 point from the round robin and was in a tough position. Unfortunately, the team lost all races in the gold fleet (only racing the teams which they had not faced in the round robin). According to Trevor, the races were close and could have been won. Poor Ian Storck got violently ill during the afternoon but hung in for the team. He recovered quickly with a diet of Ritz crackers, pizza and Immodium and was ready to sail the next day to our surprise.
The team was scheduled to sail in the consolation round with a clean slate and hopes for moving up from the 9th position on Sunday. Unfortunately, the race committee had to make the decision to sent the teams from the gold and silver consolation round in after a few hours due to a lack of wind. The team went out on the coach boat to watch the finals with Trevor. The final round in the gold fleet included Singapore 1, Italy, Belgium and Team 4. Singapore 1 was the clear winner, with Belgium second, Italy 3rd and Team 4 in fourth position. The Singaporian team was really impressive! The final round in the silver fleet included Algeria, Croatio, Lazio and Veneto. Veneto won the silver fleet beating Algeria.
Sunday ended with the official closing ceremony and the team taking another trip into Venice at night. We ended our wonderful experience with a nice team dinner in a restaurant at the Canale Grande. None of us wanted to go home!
The trip was a wonderful experience for the sailors and the supporting parents. We enjoyed good company, a lot of laughs, terrific food and great sailing.