Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Melges 24 World Championship - Tricky day 1

by International Melges 24 Class Association on 3 Oct 2013
Day 1 in San Francisco Bay at the Melges 24 Worlds Pierrick Contin – www.pierrickcontin.com
The first day of racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013, hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, California delivered three excellent races sailed in bright sunshine and winds ranging from eight to fourteen knots.

All three races had different winners, with American Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren's Rose Bud taking the first race, fellow countryman Brian Porter on Full Throttle winning the second and Bermuda's Alec Cutler on hedgehog victorious in the third.

Consistency was a hard to come by commodity throughout the fleet today and almost all of the top ten boats at the end of the day are counting at least one double digit score.

The exception to that rule was Jeff Madrigali at the helm of Kevin Welch's American entry Mikey who managed a 7,2,4 score to lead overall tonight. In second with a 13,10,1 scoreline is Alec Cutler on hedgehog. Third by way of three eighth places is Italian Andrea Racchelli on Altea. Leader Madrigali sits on 13 points with Cutler and Racchelli tied on 24 points.

In the Corinthian (no professional sailors allowed) Division - who race with the main fleet but also have their results extracted separately - America's Loren Colohan on Lounge Act tops the standings with six points after three races. Colohan is tied on points with second placed fellow American, Don Jesberg on Viva. Italy's Andrea Pardini on Maitech lies in third place. The top three Corinthian's sit in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first in the main fleet with Jesberg leading this trio.

The first race of the day started in around seven knots and saw Madrigali round the windward mark in first, closely followed by Nathan Wilmot at the helm of Conor Clarke's Irish entry Embarr in second with Hutchinson in third. Wilmot quickly dropped out of contention after having to do penalty turns soon after at the start of the first downwind leg. Hutchinson meanwhile held his nerve and his lane on the right to take the lead at the bottom end of the run after Madrigali had gybed away.

Once ahead, Hutchinson could not be touched and extended his lead throughout the rest of the race to finish over 40 seconds ahead of second placed 2013 Melges 24 European Champion, Italy's Flavio Favini on Franco Rossini's Blu Moon, who remarkably made up six places on the last leg. Third was Harry Melges III on Team Windhover.

After an initial general recall, the second race got away at the second time of asking in 12 - 14 knots of breeze. Madrigali once again rounded the first mark in the lead, this time with Brian Porter on Full Throttle close behind in second and Hutchinson in third. Porter got the better of the final couple of gybes into the leeward gate to lead at the start of the second beat.

Second placed Madrigali was in no mood to concede however and harried Porter mercilessly for the the rest of the race. Despite having Madrigali breathing down his neck for the last two legs Porter kept his cool to ultimately close out the win. Doug Wilhelm's American crew on Wilco made huge gains on the last leg to snatch third from Hutchinson close to the line.

'It's tough sailing out there, with a lot of great sailors and a lot of good boats.' said Porter afterwards. 'It's good to get a race win because it gives you a lot of confidence to be able to pull away from good boats.'

Clearly not wishing to break the pattern from the first two races, Madrigali yet again led at the windward mark in the third race of the day, after a dying sea breeze pushed the breeze on the first leg to the right. He rounded ahead of Corinthian Loren Colohan on Lounge Act in second and Alec Cutler on hedgehog in third. These three escaped a major windward mark scramble behind them which slowed the chasing pack and sparked a string of protest flags.

By the leeward gate Cutler had hit the front, with practice race winner Kim Christensen from Denmark on Soffe 2 moving up to second and Italy's Andrea Racchelli on Altea had slid into third.

While Racchelli dropped to eighth on the next beat, Cutler continued to be chased by Christensen and these two rounded the final top mark in one and two - positions they maintained to the finish. Meanwhile Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes had moved up to take third.

Hedgehog crew member Mike Wolfs said they had benefitted from a little bit of luck from a right shift on the first beat after a slow start. Having made that comeback Wolfs said a good hoist at the windward offset mark had given them a jump on the boats ahead. After that, Wolfs said delaying their gybe in relation to the leaders had given them the lead.

'We probably went another 100 to 150 yards and gybed and we were able to slowly sneak past them to leeward with a little bit more pressure on the low side.' he said. 'We ended up rounding the leeward mark by a good 15 lengths.'

Three races into the scheduled 10 race series the consistency of American Jeff Madrigali on Mikey means he is the overall leader with 13 points. In second on 24 points is Bermudan Alec Cutler on hedgehog, who is tied on points with third placed Andrea Racchelli from Italy.

Despite topping the leaderboard at the end of the first day, Madrigali - a member of the host club - said he and his crew would nevertheless need to work on their downwind performance after conceding their first mark leads in all three races.

'A lot of that was tactical and mechanical,' Madrigali said. 'I have sailed here my whole life and normally you get around the top mark and you are gone. Today though, the wind was quite spotty and there was a lot of pressure in different areas and tidal rips that were helping you upwind and hurting you downwind. We didn't handle the downwinds very well and other boats did. We need to go to school on how they did that.'

In the Corinthian Division America's Loren Colohan on Lounge Act emerged in first place having matched the six point score of second placed fellow American Don Jesberg on Viva. Italy's Andrea Pardini on Maitech lies in third place just three points behind. In the overall standings these three are equally close: Jesberg sits in nineteenth, Colohan in twentieth and Pardini in twenty-first.

Second placed Corinthian Jesberg said he and his crew had been focused solely on their overall result and had been pleasantly surprised to find they were tied on points with first in the Corinthians. Nevertheless, Jesberg said he was a fan of the Corinthian Division at Melges 24 championships.

'It was a tricky day out there and we had to be concentrating on our place in the fleet,' he said. 'Those of us who have jobs and careers and families that demand a lot of our time enjoy being able to score ourselves against a peer group.' he said.

Racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 continues until Saturday October 5th. Three more races are planned for tomorrow and ten races are scheduled for the championship Event Facebook Page
Fremantle to Bali Race 660x82BIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Safety at Sea - Baltic - 2

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted today at 6:42 pm
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted today at 4:48 pm
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted today at 12:17 pm
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted today at 9:20 am
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted today at 9:03 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted today at 7:19 am
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted today at 5:25 am
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted today at 4:33 am
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi apply the pressure in Hamburg
Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act. 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ - A sunny day on the River Elbe coupled with a lively breeze saw SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi challenge Oman Air for honours on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Hamburg, but it’s Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act.
Posted today at 2:55 am
Slow and steady will win Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race
There was no better news for 75 yachts and their crews participating in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race In a weather update this morning, from Jane Golding, Acting Regional Director NSW, Bureau of Meteorology, there was no better news for the 75 yachts and their crews participating in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, the fleet can still expect a weak five - seven southerly start to the 384 nautical mile race.
Posted today at 2:37 am