by Event media
With an impressive turnout of twenty-seven Melges 32s (up seven entries from 2007) this fleet is deep in talent and very excited about perhaps being 'the fleet to watch.' It is also one of the fleet's most celebrated regattas — the 2008 Melges 32 Midwinter Championship!
The day began with a short postponement, then at 11:30 a.m. a signal was made to leave the docks and head for the race course. Competitors hopped aboard as did the press and photographers only to encounter fierce racing conditions on arrival to the Division 1 circle.
It wasn't long after everyone arrived for the start the race committee abandoning all races for the day. The winds were 25+ gusting much, much higher — well into the thirties with 8-10 ft seas, big chop and swells, overcast skies and patches of rain.
Racing will continue on Tuesday with once again what appears to potentially be as treacherous a forecast. Winds are still expected to be on the up-and-up and more rain than today.
Acura Key West is known for its world-class race committee work, optimum conditions and top-knotch rivalry. Each year, Premiere Racing features a very diversified International Team Competition.
Teams of three — a Melges 32, Melges 24 and Farr 40 from various country origins are grouped — Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain (2), Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland, USA (3 — East Coast, Great Lakes and West Coast).
Among the Melges 32s selected are Canadian John Sherlock on 'Arkle'; Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll on 'New Wave' from Tampa, Florida; Michael Illbruck on 'Pinta' from Germany; Peter Rogers on 'Highlife' and Joe Woods on 'Red' from the UK; Armando Giulietti on 'Hiroshi' and Claudio Recchi on 'Let's Roll' from Italy; Stephen Pugh on 'Taboo' from Sausalito, California; and Jim Swartz on 'Q' from Edgartown, Massachussetts, Jeff Ecklund on 'STAR' from ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Philippe Kahn on 'Pegasus 32'.