by Joy Dunigan
Melges 24 - Acura Key West 2008
The last day of racing at ACURA Key West 2008 presented by Nautica brought out the very best in the Melges 24 class.
With an astounding on-the-water performance from Dave Ullman on 'Pegasus 505' with tactician Charlie Ogletree and crew of Andy Escort, Pablo Soldano and Brian Hutchinson they hammered out a 1-2-1 finish beating out four day leader Flavio Favini helming for Franco Rossini on 'Blu Moon'. 'It's nice to finish up with a good day of breeze and great sailing. It was a great day. We always like breeze because we always do well in the breeze,' commented a very happy Ullman.
Dave has won five times in the Melges 24 at Key West and today he adds another trophy/title to his collection. A very dissappointed Favini had a tough day. Despite a nice recovery in the second race after being called over early, Favini's troubles intensified in the third race.
They had trouble on the spinnaker hoist resulting in a tear in the chute. They quickly doused, changed out the spinnaker but it just wasn't enough to keep up with Ullman's impeccable boat speed.
Today's weather conditions were ideal for the Melges 24. The teams headed out to the course an hour earlier that originally planned in an effort to make up some races. The breeze was pumping — ranging 20-25 early on with 2-3 ft short chop. For the start of the last race of the regatta there were the usual over early suspects but for the most part the fleet launched clean off the starting line including Ullman favoring the pin, diligently working his way to the top mark rounding first. On the hoist Ullman punched it as he pulled ahead as far as ten boat lengths in front of the fleet. The next closest batch of competitors included Favini, John Pollard on 'Xcellent' from the UK and Alan Field from Los Angeles, California on 'WTF'. Ullman increased his lead substantially and went on to win
With Ullman collecting the overall win, Favini in second, taking an impressive stand is Field in third overall. In fourth was 2008 Melges 24 Corinthian Champion Bruce Ayres on 'Monsoon' from Newport Beach, California, fifth was Pollard, Brian Porter on 'Full Throttle' was sixth and in seventh was Miles Quinton from the UK on 'Natural Mojo'. Rounding out the top ten is Benoit Charon from France on 'Tresvalles.com' in eighth, in ninth was Bora Gulari at the helm for Chuck Holzman on 'Flyer' and in tenth is Simon Strauss on 'I Won Yoga'.
TOP TEN RESULTS
1.) Dave Ullman, Pegasus 505
2.) Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon
3.) Alan Field, WTF
4.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
5.) John Pollard, Xcellent
6.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle
7.) Miles Quinton, Natural Mojo
8.) Benoit Charon, Tresvalles.com
9.) Bora Gulari/Chuck Holzman, Flyer
10.) Simon Strauss, I Won Yoga
FULL RESULTS (http://www.premiere-racing.com/08_KW_Results/kw08_div3_series.htm)
First and foremost the class would like to thank Peter Craig and his incredible staff at Premiere Racing as the organization of this event was world class and the committee work spectacular. We look forward to 2009!
Bruce Ayres is the 2008 Melges 24 ACURA Key West Corinthian Champion. He and his steady crew of Jon Pinkney, Don Smith and James Malm have always been one to watch and the performance delivered this year was stellar. His outstanding results on Thursday moved him up the leader board. His slam dunk, first place finish in race two today sealed the deal moving him up to fourth overall! In second place was Argyle Campbell on 'Rock n' Roll' and in third was 2007 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron on 'Gannet'.
1.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
2.) Argyle Campbell, Rock n'Roll
3.) Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron, Gannet
4.) Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye
6.) Dave Brede, 12happythoughts
7.) Tom Kassberg, Flygfisk
8.) Richard Mallinson, Speedemon
9.) Martin Wedge, Eric
10.) Gary Schwarting, Obsession
11.) Hank Wissenz, The Rodent
12.) Guy Mossman, Riot Act
13.) Mark Beck, Risky Business
14.) Chris Johnson, Wiggleroom
The next event for the International Melges 24 Class is the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta coming up February 15-17, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Not only is this event a sanctioned North American Ranking event, it is also part of the Southeast Regional Racing Circuit. There will be a weigh-in so do stay tuned to the official website of the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association as more information will be posted soon. Tampa Bay is a great place to race so be there!