Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Catch-up at Acura Key West - Day 2

by Bill Wagner on 24 Jan 2008
Acura Key West 2008 Tim Wilkes © http://www.TimWilkes.com

Action at Acura Key West 2008 was scheduled to begin on Monday, but high winds and heavy seas forced regatta organizers to abandon on all four courses without starting a race. Winds were still strong, but more manageable, on Tuesday – blowing steady between 17-20 knots out of the east. That enabled officials with Premiere Racing to complete three races for all classes – the first time that has happened in the 21-year history of the popular regatta.

As the results rolled in during the first day of racing there were a lot of familiar names finishing at the front.

Winners in the Melges 24 class included such perennial contenders as Franco Rossini and Riccardo Simoneschi. By day’s end, Masquerade was in her usual perch atop the J/105 class. Two-time defending world champion and past Key West winner Mascalzone Latino seized the early lead in Farr 40.

Dan Meyers, who has raced a variety of big boats in Key West, showed off his new Numbers while moving quickly to the top of IRC 1. Other opening day pacesetters with a history of success at Acura Key West include the J/80 Rumor and the Mumm 30 Groovederci.

However, there were also some newcomers atop the leader board after Day 1. No Naked Flames, a brand new Sllim 37 owned by Irish brothers Andrew and Carl Allen, performed well right of the box in taking the lead in IRC 2. Stark Raving Mad, James Madden’s new J/125, also posted superb results while showing it could be the boat to beat in PHRF 1. Meanwhile, the Swan 42 class made its one-design debut at Acura Key West with Tiburon, owned by Mark Watson of Newport, R.I.,

Mascalzone Latino, skippered by Vincenzo Onorato of Italy, put forth an impressive performance in seizing the overall lead in Farr 40 class on the first day of racing while also earning the Sperry Top-Sider Boat of the Day honor.

America’s Cup veteran Adrian Stead called tactics for Onorato, who steered Mascalzone Latino to a pair of seconds and a third place finish in three races on Tuesday. Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, Newport, R.I.) and Mean Machine (Peter de Ridder, Monaco) are tied for second with 10 points, three behind the Italian entry.

“Leading after the first day means nothing. Obviously, we really want to lead after the last day,” said Onorato, who won Farr 40 class at Key West in 2006. “For the morale of the crew, it is nice to start off well.”

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark had a solid opening day with a pair of Top 10 finishes and stands 11th overall in the highly-competitive 25-boat fleet. Defending Key West champion Alinghi, the Swiss boat skippered by Ernesto Bertarelli, had a tough opening day and stands 13th overall.

That Alinghi, the two-time America’s Cup winner, could suffer a pair of back-of-the-fleet finishes shows how strong the Farr 40 class has become, Onorato said.

“This is the second year that we have come to this regatta in the role of world champion and that is a lot of pressure. It is hard to maintain that high standard in this class because the level of competition is always going up,” Onorato said. “You have to come to these regattas mentally prepared and your team must constantly improve.”

Numbers, the second largest boat in the entire 262-boat fleet, had a superb day in grabbing the lead in IRC 1 class. The Judel/Vrolijk 66-footer, owned by Dan Meyers of Newport, R.I., won two races and was runner-up in the other.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to push the boat around the course better,” said Meyers, who took delivery of the new design in the fall. “Our crew work was okay today. We had a couple problems at the leeward mark roundings. That is something we need to work on as the week progresses.”

Blu Moon, a Swiss entry skippered by Franco Rossini, built a relatively comfortable nine-point lead in Melges 24 class – largest of the regatta with 46 boats. Flavio Favini steered Blu Moon to a tremendous line of 1-1-2 for a cumulative score of four points.

Dave Ullman, a four-time winner of Acura Key West, is lurking in third place. Simoneschi, sailing a chartered Melges 24 for his regular sponsor Giacomel Audi Racing, won the third race and cannot be discounted.

“We are still figuring out how to tune the boat. We had problems with boat speed in the first race, but had it set up better by the third race,” Simoneschi said. “We had very good sailing conditions today. It was really fun going downwind with the big waves making for fantastic surfing.”

Masquerade, skippered by San Francisco native Thomas Coates, is seeking to win J/105 class for an unprecedented fourth straight year. Coates and his veteran crew of West Coast sailors, got off to a good start with a pair of bullets sandwiched around a third. However, Brian Keane and his Massachusetts-based team on Savasana, also had an outstanding day and are just three points behind.

“We liked our starts and had the boat going fairly fast, but the competition is fierce once again and we’ll have our work cut out for us to maintain that lead,” Coates said.

No Naked Flames was commissioned by the Allan brothers for the purpose of being part of the Irish team for the 2008 Commodore’s Cup. It was designed by Mark Mills and has America’s Cup veteran Chris Main on the helm.

“Considering that today was the first time we have ever hoisted the spinnaker on this boat, we are obviously quite happy with our results,” Main said of a stellar line of 1-4-2 that gave No Naked Flames a tiebreaker advantage over the Swan 45 Murka 2. “For the first day of our first regatta, it is really pleasing to be leading the class. If we can continue to get good starts and fine-tune our crew work throughout the week, we will be fine.”

“To get in three races at a regatta of this size and a venue of this nature can be a daunting challenge. That is a significant number of classes on four separate courses and requires precision race committee work,” event director Peter Craig said. “Factor in that we have to hear protests and hand out awards at 6:30… it makes three races in one day quite a feat.”

Craig had high praise for regatta scorers Tom Fisher and Jeff Johnson, who had to sort through three races worth of results involving 262 boats under a severe time crunch so the nightly awards ceremony could start on time.

Results at Premiere-Racing.com

Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin Lensesupffront 660x82

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009