2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge - Red light special

2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge
After a brief consultation with his Race Committee scouting the race course in the early morning hours, PRO Anderson Reggio sent the Melges 32 fleet out for an 11 a.m. start despite a bleak forecast for light wind. It was the right call as only one light air race was completed before the hot Florida sun squelched off any remaining gradient breeze.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

Fortunately, the steep lump experienced on Friday had smoothed itself resulting in flat water conditions in the seven - nine knot range making morning tune-up sessions very pleasant. Sail selection was a topic of discussion as the pre-race breeze was just enough to fly a medium jib and bigger kite. However, with the light forecast in mind, most selected their light jibs and small kites which in the end was the right call.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

Without a lot of indicators as to which side of the course would pay biggest, the pre-start sequence saw a handful of tacticians standing on their booms looking for signs of advantage. With the course set at 180 and 1.2 nautical miles, the fleet went racing on time with Dalton DeVos' Delta, Dieter Schoen's Momo, Alec Cutler's Hedgehog and Deneen Demourkas' Groovederci all being called OCS.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

In what would be solid conditions for a comeback, the fleet split right and left with each side getting their turn at looking strong. The lead pack of Chris Wienjtes' Stormvogel, John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti, Joe Woods' Red and Tony Buckingham's Ngoni started on the leeward half of the line, tacked two-thirds to the left corner and found a nice vein of pressure, catapulting them to the top of the course in good shape.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

With a rapidly dying, shifty breeze and the fleet approaching the gate, Reggio called for a course change to starboard along with a shortened course. With Woods' safely through the gate, the Race Committee accidentally dropped the Charlie Flag overboard. Race Committee member Andi Hoffman went in after it, and just in the nick of time, as she was dangling off the side of the boat, got the flag back in place for the next boat to round through the gate. Hoffman quickly jumped back onboard, grabbed her sign and went back into place as if nothing even happened - talk about a dedicated, on-their-toes Race Committee!

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

From the very first mark, Woods was in control and with each turn extended his lead. 'We got a bit lucky on the start finding a hole late and being able to pop out with a clean lane. Our plan was to be to the left of everybody and with the team up front doing a great job keeping the boat moving, we were able to take the lead. From there we had a better view of the pressure. We were able to be conservative and minimize maneuvers which was crucial.' said Red tactician and current America's Cup Sailor Chris Draper.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

Woods hung onto his lead to win despite huge variations in pressure sweeping down the course. Kilroy and Cutler battled hard to take second and third respectively.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

Buckingham's Ngoni posted his third consecutive top five finish while DeVos' Delta and Jason Carroll's Argo struggled to maintain their day one form. DeVos slipped to second overall, while Carroll fell to sixth. Fleet newcomer, Wientjes found his best result yet in the highly competitive Melges 32 fleet grabbing a seventh place finish.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

With three more races, better breeze and an initial warning of 11 a.m. scheduled for Sunday, a single discard will kick in. Surely this will shake up the results and leave the winner of this event, most likely to be decided on the last run of the last race.

The Miami Spring Challenge is hosted at Miami Beach Marina in Miami, Florida, supported by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Melges USA.

Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge Day 2 - 2014 Melges 32 Miami Spring Challenge

Top five results: (After Four Races)
1.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; 2-6-5-2 = 15
2.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-1-8-9 = 19
3.) Tony Buckingham/John Kostecki, Ngoni; 13-2-2-4 = 21
4.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clark, hedgehog; 7-10-4-3 = 24
5.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 8-5-1-11 = 25

Top Five 2014 Miami Winter Series results: (After Two Events and Four Races)
1.) Alec Cutler, Hedgehog = 292 pts
2.) Richard Gorranson, H/H Inga From Sweden = 282 pts
3.) Deneen Demourkas, Groovederci = 279 pts
4.) Dieter Schoen, Momo = 279 pts
5.) Chris Wientjes, Stormvogel = 269 pts

View full 2014 Miami Winter Series results here.
View full crew list here.
View Official Yachtscoring event website.
View photo gallery – JOY here.

2014 Miami Spring Challenge - Melges 32 Event No. 3 Preliminary Cumulative Results:

   BowSail NumberYacht NameYacht DesignOwner/SkipperRace
1
Race
2
Race
3
Race
4
Total
Miami Spring Challenge Racing
 One Design Division
  Melges 32
  1.13USA 13131Samba Pa TiMelges 32John Kilroy 265215.0
  2.12USA 1215DeltaMelges 32Dalton DeVos 118919.0
  3.219GBR 5869ngoni Melges 32Tony Buckingham 1322421.0
  4.1BER 1HedgehogMelges 32Alec Cutler 7104324.0
  5.111SUI 1Robertissima Melges 32Roberto Tomasini Grinover 8511125.0
  6.128USA 128ARGOMelges 32Jason Carroll 5431325.0
  7.66GBR 275RedMelges 32Joe Woods 1276126.0
  8.322SWE 322HH Inga From SwedenMelges 32Richard Goransson 4810628.0
  9.18USA 180VolpeMelges 32Ryan DeVos 31171233.0
  10.164GER 164MOMOMelges 32Schoen Dieter 61212535.0
  11.233JPN 233SwingMelges 32Keisuke Suzuki 10391436.0
  12.201USA 201GroovederciMelges 32Deneen Demourkas 91311841.0
  13.151USA 151Dark N'StormyMelges 32Edward Tillinghast 119131043.0
  14.155USA 155StormvogelMelges 32Chris Wientjes 141414749.0
 
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