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Melges 32 Gold Cup - Grinover and Caroll battle for title

by Joy Dunigan on 2 Dec 2012
PH-JOY 162 USMCA/ Joy Dunigan ©
On the second day of racing at the 2012 Melges 32 Gold Cup Roberto Tomasini Grinover and his boat Robertissima 1 remains on top of the standings despite facing a far more formidable challenge from the competitors. Argo’s Jason Carroll is still in second place, though he successfully narrowed the gap to keep him in title contention going into the final day of the sailing tourney on Sunday.

With two full days of competition and six of eight scheduled races complete (including a discard), Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima 1 holds the overall Gold Cup lead for a second straight day. In second place is Jason Carroll on Argo who kept his second place position as well, yet closed the points gap substantially putting him within striking distance of the trophy. Andrea Pozzi's Bombarda stands firm in third.

The first race of the day got underway on time under stunning conditions. A beautiful 15-20 knots, moderate seas, warm temps and lots of sunshine kicked things off. It took the overly aggressive fleet three attempts at a start to get things going with Pozzi sneaking in ahead of Alex Jackson's Leenabarca at the top mark to lead, followed by Carroll and Tomasini Grinover. Pozzi laid down a strong performance to win. Jackson persevered to finish second, while Steve Howe's Warpath made great strides on the final downwind run to finish third. Carroll and Tomasini Grinover rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth.

The last two races of the day witnessed Tomasini Grinover and Carroll waging a fierce war. Tomasini Grinover took his worst score of the event in the second race of the day while Carroll and his spirited Argo Team triumphed with a double-bullet afternoon.

In race two, Carroll, along with Dalton DeVos on Delta and Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica kept to the right for pressure, working it back to the middle for the rounding. DeVos grabbed the initial lead with Carroll hot on his heels followed by new boat owner Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden in third. Downwind, Cirillo overtook Goransson while DeVos and Carroll maintained the top two spots. On the last beat, Carroll got ahead of DeVos, taking the lead at the final weathermark rounding ahead by at least a boat length. Carroll launched his Melges 32 to take the win. Cirillo accelerated past the young DeVos on the final run to take second. DeVos settled for third.

A little more breeze for the start of race three and a slight course adjustment added extra fuel to the Tomasini Grinover/Carroll fire. Ultimately, it was Carroll that had speed and positioning when it mattered most. Carroll lead Tomasini Grinover around the track for a second time, scoring another major win. Tomasini Grinover came second and Pozzi finished third. Cirillo's Fantastica and Howe's Warpath finished fourth and fifth respectively.

With only one more day of racing left, the overall points standing is seriously tight. Tomasini Grinover leads by one point, Pozzi is behind Carroll by three, and Cirillo and Howe are tied with twenty-one points each.

Two more races are scheduled for Sunday with an 11.00 start.

Take A Junior Sailing Day: Due to the big breeze and rough sea conditions, the historic Take A Junior Sailing Day aspect of the Gold Cup was canceled in favor of the full safety of participating junior sailors. For Melges 32 Class Owners, this has always been a very special aspect of the event and truly it was missed. However, the Melges 32 Class looks forward to having the juniors back next year.

The IM32CA is a strong supporter of youth sailing, hence its proud inclusion of the Take A Junior Sailing Day initiative at Gold Cup. An extension of the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation (LYCSF), currently chaired by former Melges 32 owner and past Class President Jeff Ecklund, LYCSF's mission is to favorably impact the lives of young people, educating them about boating, sailing, marine safety, sea conditions, maritime 'rules of the road', racing, tactics, first aid and improve spacial and mathematical skills. They aim to provide them with tools that build character and support the areas of education while advocating leadership among young people in South Florida.

Melges 32 website

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