by Joy Dunigan
Miami Melges 32 Championship 2012, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and sponsored by Melges Performance Sailboats, is being held from 2nd to 4th March. Twenty-six of the International Melges 32 Class’ finest teams are ready to race.
Race start - 2011 Miami Melges 32 Championship
Over the next three days teams are not only looking forward to some intense yacht racing, but also the opportunity to bask in the simply more than perfect Miami weather - sunshine, warmth and classic high-performance breeze.
Up six entries from 2011, the Melges 32 fleet anticipates great competition in North America, and it truly will culminate in Miami.
The field of competitors is deep and diverse, yet runs the gamut when it comes to the class’ biggest and brightest rivalries. Defending Champion John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti is most certainly in the 'one to watch' category. Fresh off a brilliant Key West Race Week victory, Kilroy, with Lorenzo Bressani on tactics is poised for further success. Steve Howe's Warpath won the Gold Cup in early December 2011, but finished a strong fifth in Key West. To counter, he has arrived in Miami fully prepared with legendary tactician Vasco Vascotto at his side. Reigning U.S. National Champion Jason Carroll on Argo with Cameron Appleton on tactics, North American Champion Ryan DeVos on Volpe with America's Cup legend Ed Baird as tactician, and Vincenzo Onorato with Adrian Stead on tactics aboard Mascalzone Latino surely will all be in the running for the title.
The class is happy to welcome back 2009 World Champion Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem, Michael Dominguez on Bronco and John Porter on Full Throttle to the North American racing scene.
Each day, the IM32CA will issue updates as they happen from the course via the IM32CA Blog. Tune in closely to receive the latest news and developments.
The Miami Championship marks the final event of the 2012 Midwinter Championship Series. Back in December 2011, the fleet commenced the three-part series in Ft. Lauderdale at Gold Cup where Howe’s Warpath claimed a not-so-surprising victory. Kilroy proved that consistency works best in Key West going on to not only win the class division, but also prestigious Boat of the Week honors. Miami is the last hurdle in the series. Kilroy leads the series by one point ahead of Howe. Benjamin Schwartz on Pisces is in third. Bob Hughes’ Heartbreaker is fourth overall, and followed by Joel Ronning’s Catapult in fifth.
Top Five Results (After two events)
1.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti = 293
2.) Steve Howe, Warpath = 292
3.) Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces = 292
4.) Robert Hughes, Heartbreaker = 279
5.) Joel Ronning, Catapult = 277
Full Miami Winter Championship Results here.
International Melges 32 Class Association website