by Joy Dunigan
The Melges 32 World Championship has now completed the third day of competition which delivered two more races under pristine conditions. Lots of sunshine, hot temps and just enough breeze enabled John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti to stay at the top of the chart. Seven points back, Italy's Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica is seated in second overall and Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai is third.
Melges 32 World Championship 2011 Day 3
Light airs prevailed for the first race of the day with William Douglass' Goombay Smash and tactician Chris Larson taking an early lead, followed by Steve Howe and tactician Morgan Larson on Warpath in second. Luca Lalli's B-Lin Sailing with Tiziano Navi on tactics rounded third with Oscar Strugstad and tactician Andy Horton on Dawn Raid, Cirillo and Alexis Michas and tactician Brian Ledbetter on Zetiana completing the top level field of competitors.
Up wind and down the group battled, constantly changing positions. Douglass seemed to be the only one with real staying power as he held off the competition to take the win. Cirillo came second, Strugstad had a great race finishing third.
The last race of the day, and number six in the championship series, brought on a comfortable, classic and predictable 10-12 knots of Palma breeze for the start. A bearing of 215 at 1.7 nm, Course 4 put Ishida around the windward mark first with Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone in second, following closely. Tactician Vasco Vascotto quoted on Tuesday that when Samba Pa Ti is behind, they fight for position, and that they did. They picked up several places to pass through the gate in second, heading right for pressure, just ahead of Lupi taking the left gate.
Back upwind, Lupi regained his second place position, rounding the top mark almost in line with Ishida. Downwind to the finish, Lupi put on this best suit of speed to win, while Kilroy surpassed Ishida to finish fourth. Jason Carroll on Argo pulled up to take a pleasant third.
Friday's racing will officially put the Championship over the 'hump' and on the homestretch to a grande finale with Kilroy enjoying a nice lead. But, the event is far from over and any sensible Melges 32 racer will agree, the winner is still too early to call, even despite Kilroy appearing to be the strongest and most consistent. The title is not out of reach for Cirillo, or Ishida.
Top ten results (after six races, one discard):
1.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti; 5-1-10-1--2 = 19
2.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 10-9-3-2-2- = 26
3.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 1--2-13-7-4 = 27
4.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; -3-12-6-1-7 = 29
5.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-12-13-4--3 = 35
6.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One; 9-7-4-11-11- =42
7.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; -18-6-3-18-1 = 46
8.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 7--5-15-15-8 = 50
9.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH; 13-11-1--17-9 = 51
10.) Steve Hunt/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 4-14--9-4-21 = 52
Official Event Website