The J/24 Midwinter Championship 2013 commenced racing on Monday with John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen taking the top spot on the leaderboard after five races in Tampa Bay, Florida.
John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen team has seized the lead after five races on the opening day of the J/24 Midwinter Championship. Beautiful conditions allowed the abundance of racing for the 20-boat fleet in Tampa Bay, Florida. Sailing with Tim Healy, Geoff Becker, Dan Rabin and Gordon Borges, Mollicone started with an 8, but then lodged a line of 3,1,1,2 for seven total points, dropping his worst score after race five. Mike Ingham on USA5448 also recorded an impressive day to land in second with nine points, trailed by Will Welles on Cougar with 12 points.
Under sunny skies and temperatures near 80 degrees at Davis Island Yacht Club, winds began at six to eight knots for the first three races. Ingham got things started with a victory in the initial bout, and Welles and Robby Brown’s USA 799 followed. Welles snagged the top spot in race two, while Team Tarheel, helmed by Peter Bream, took second. Mollicone came in third, and then claimed first in race three, tracked by Ingham and Tony Parker. By race four, the breeze built to a gorgeous 12-15 knots. Mollicone excelled and won that contest, with Ingham close behind as well as John Heaton’s Mijah. The day closed out with Bream triumphing, and Mollicone and Jim Guarnieri’s Kraken rounding out the top three.