by Joy Dunigan
The International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) will usher in round two of competition at the 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series (VISS) this weekend, March 22-24, held in conjunction with the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club in beautiful St. Thomas, USVI. Nine top-shelf Melges 32 teams have arrived and are anxiously awaiting some very heated competition, in particular Virgin Gorda, Event No. 1 winner and current series leader Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima.
Roberto Tomasini Grinover, Robertissima 1 at Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series
Tomasini Grinover sits center stage with repeat tactician Vasco Vascotto at his side. For Event No. 2, he has elected to take his efforts up a notch by employing the additional efforts of Giovanni Cassinari and Federico Michetti, one of the most highly decorated Melges sailing champions in the world.
The rest of the fleet is equally star-studded. Virgin Gorda third runner up, Jason Carroll and tactician Cameron Appleton on Argo are also present with their sights firmly set on the top prize. Richard Goransson's Inga From Sweden plans to pack a punch with Hamish Pepper calling the shots. Ryan DeVos' Volpe is fully equipped with former America's Cupper Ed Baird acting as tactician, while his younger cousin Dalton on Delta, continues to ramp things up with Jonathan McKee on tactics.
The Caribbean Fleet is very well represented by Mark Plaxton on INTAC, who just recently earned the 'Most Worthy Performance Overall' title for winning every single race of the St. Maarten's Heineken Regatta. Puerto Rico's Jaime Torres on Smile and Wave will be happily smiling and waving as he revs up his Melges 32 for a serious, yet fun filled weekend of super charged sportboat racing.
Russia's Valentin Zavadnikov will drive the Team Synergy initiative, while Great Britain's Tony Buckingham aboard Ngoni debuts his Melges 32 in the North American/Caribbean realm.
Thursday, March 21 will round out registration and the last few weigh-ins. Racing will commence on Friday, will continue on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.
Full Entry List:
1.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo
2.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta
3.) Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden
4.) Mark Plaxton/Richard Clarke, INTAC
5.) Tony Buckingham/Chris Nicholson, Ngoni
6.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima
7.) Jaime Torres/Riccardo Pappa, Smile and Wave
8.) Valentin Zavadinkov/Tommaso Chiefi, Team Synergy
9.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe
Top Five Series Results (After one event, 10 Races):
1.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover, Robertissima - 100 pts.
2.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca - 99 pts.
3.) Jason Carroll, Argo - 98 pts.
4.) Richard Goransson, Inga From Sweden - 97 pts.
5.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe - 96 pts.
Full USA Sailing Series results