by Joy Dunigan
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2011, hosted by the American Yacht Club (AYC) in Rye, New York, is being held 10th to 12th June. Day one was a great day.
Melges 32 Starting Line Action - Melges 32 US National Championship 2011
Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y.) on Argo took center stage to lead with at 1-2-1 result line after three races. In second overall is Takashi Okura on sled and Ed Tillinghast on Dark N' Stormy in third.
Jason Carroll, Argo - Melges 32 US National Championship 2011
The day commenced under beautiful sunny skies with virtually not a spec of breeze. An on land, two-hour postponement was followed by yet another long postponement on the water. Patience paid off with race one finally getting underway around 2 o'clock in the afternoon under extremely light air conditions.
Ed Tillinghast, Dark N Stormy - Melges 32 US National Championship 2011
The first race of the day presented a strong and entertaining battle between Carroll and Tillinghast. Feeling the full effects of a great start off the pin end of the line, Tillinghast rounded the top mark in first, followed by Carroll in second and Okura in third. Downwind, Carroll found his way to make a key gybe, edging out Tillinghast to the lead through the gate. Carroll worked hard to hold his own for the win, with Okura taking an impressive second place finish. Tillinghast was third.
Race two delivered Carroll back out in front of the fleet, this time, with Rod Jabin on Ramrod looking to make a move for the lead. Just before passing through the leeward gate, a massive 30 degree shift occurred, Jabin suffering the greatest set-back despite his persistent challenges for the lead. Carroll pressed onward for the finish while Okura moved from deep in the pack, back into second place and John Taylor's Ninkasi moved into third. Jabin held steadfast in fourth. Carroll did his best to get to the finish line first, but Okura came out of the right at the very last minute to steal the win. Carroll settled for second and Taylor took a nice third.
The final race of the day sealed the deal for Carroll. The fleet was surprised to be racing at 4:30 p.m., but Carroll was happy to squeeze in one more heat. He offered complete and total domination of the race with a start-to-finish lead to win. Mark Plaxton's Intac finished in second and Geoff Pierini's Sicktrix was third.
Take a Junior Sailing Day
Eleven juniors have assembled to take a once-in-a-lifetime ride on a Melges 32 on Saturday. Teams have been paired with AYC Juniors thrilled at the opportunity to race against and with the World's greatest sailors. Gus and Raoul James Rodriguez, Walter Florio, Jack Fullerton, Theo Bresolin, Rebecca Fung, Haley Shea, Clara and Molly Robertson, and Emily and Aisling Quirke are amongst the juniors expected to participate.
Saturday's forecast states that there will be more wind, yet a higher chance of precipitation. Three more races are scheduled.
Top Five Results (After three races)
1.) Argo, Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton; 1-2-1 = 4
2.) Sled, Takashi Okura/Eiichiro Hamazaki; 2-1-6 = 9
3.) Dark N' Stormy, Ed Tillinghast/Allan Terhune; 3-5-4 = 12
4.) Intac, Mark Plaxton/Anthony Kotoun; 5-7-2 = 14
5.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin/Chris Larson; 6-3-5 = 14
Melges 32 US Starting Line Action - Melges 32 US National Championship 2011
View the full crew list
Melges 32 Championship Website