by Joy Dunigan
Melges 32 World Championship 2012, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), third day of racing got underway on Wednesday where PRO Hank Stuart fired off three more great races. With two more days left to race, the pressure to do well is extremely intense as Bombarda's Andrea Pozzi with tactician Gabriele Benussi sit atop the leaderboard ahead by two. In second overall, is John Kilroy Jr. on Samba Pa Ti who felt the full effects of a great day of successful racing with Paul Goodison on tactics. Ben Schwartz on Pisces with Chris Rast as tactician is now third. Tied in points with Schwartz, seated fourth and fifth respectively is Steve Howe's Warpath and Alec Cutler's Hedgehog.
Melges 32 Start of Race Four - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3
The day started out with light, challenging and very shifty conditions. With the breeze at only 5-7 knots, every mark rounding meant that the NYYC Race Committee had to work just that much harder to keep up with the ever shifting wind. Japan's Keisuke Suzuki with tactician Jesper Radich on Swing played the shifts just right enabling him to turn up the heat in Race One and establish a massive lead from the get-go. Suzuki lead, then extended throughout the race securing an almost 10-boat length advantage to win over second place finisher Schwartz on Pisces. Pozzi was third.
John Kilroy Jr, Samba Pa Ti - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3
Kilroy claimed an event milestone as his team currently is the first challenger at Worlds to carry three bullets in their scoreline. With Goodison on tactics, Kilroy came on strong and focused in the second and third race of the day taking both wins, landing him an impressive second place overall, up from yesterday's eighth position.
Andrea Pozzi, Bombarda - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3
Pozzi had a great first two races, which ultimately helped him sustain the lead, finishing third and second. Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissima had a nice day to take third in Race Two. Finally, Jason Carroll's Argo Team looked to be back on track as they finished second in Race Six of the championship, followed by Howe in third.
Defending Melges 32 World Champion William Douglass showed up on the course today with the most unusual of sailing attire - complete head-to-toe, day-glo orange, skin-tight body suits (with matching shoes nonetheless). Thanks to modern technology, images were quickly posted of the glow-in-the-dark sailors on the class' Facebook page. As one can imagine, the comment meter went off the chart with thoughts and feedback. Check out the absolutely hilarious commentary for yourself at the Official Melges 32 Facebook Page.
Two more races, with the option for a third, are scheduled for Friday, September 28 with a start of 11.00.
Top Ten Results: (As of Tuesday, September 25, after two races)
1.) Andre Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda; 1-6-9-3-2- = 21
2.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; -8-1-12-1-1 = 23
3.) Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces; 4-1--2-4-13 = 24
4.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2--4-7-8-3 = 24
5.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 5--2-4-7-6 = 24
6.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 3-3-12--9-9 = 36
7.) Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem; 7--6-11-5-11 = 40
8.) Andy Lovell/Steve Benjamin, Rougarou; 14-5--13-6-4 = 42
9.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 8-4-3-6--22 = 43
10.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 6--5-20-3-14 = 48
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Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3
Steve Howe, Warpath - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3