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Key West Race Week preview - Melges 32 fleet ready

by Joy Dunigan on 16 Jan 2012
Melges 32 downwind fleet action - Key West Race Week 2011 ©2011 JOY
Quantum Key West Race Week 2012, sponsored by Quantum Sails, 25th anniversary edition kicks off today, Monday 16th January, in Florida, USA.

In the famous words of biographer Walter Isaacson referencing Steve Jobs’ early tenure at Apple Computers — the Melges 32 fleet is ready to ‘turn on, boot up and jack in’. Nineteen teams, originating from six nations — United States, Japan, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Italy, and Austria — have registered and confirmed participation in Key West, anxiously awaiting the careful and articulate direction of PRO Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio.

Let the truth be told, there are no slouches in this fleet. Glancing from the top, to the bottom of the scratch sheet, the Melges 32 has once more delivered a great collection of super star-studded teams that possess the will power and ability to win one of sailing’s most coveted titles.

2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Champion Steve Howe on Warpath, with tactician Morgan Larson is definitely among the teams most favored to win. After placing second overall last year in Key West, Howe is back and determined to conquer all, especially since World Champion William Douglass’ Goombay Smash is not present to defend his title. John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti and tactician, three-time Melges 24 World Champion helmsman Lorenzo Bressani will forever be a favorite. Kilroy’s phenomenal performance last March at the Miami Championship and runner-up position at Worlds, secured his stature as one of the fleet’s greatest challengers. Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino with tactician Gabriele Benussi is expected to fair equally well.

'Key West is one of my favorite events. For ten years, Mascalzone Latino has taken part in this event. It’s our first time racing in Key West in the Melges 32, without a doubt it will be more competitive than ever,' says Onorato.'For us, it is the first of many events on the USA Sailing Series that will best prepare us for the World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club taking place in Newport, R.I. in September.'

Others teams that complete the ring of contention include Chris Larson calling tactics aboard Joel Ronning’s Catapult, Benjamin Schwartz’s Pisces with America’s Cup legend Ed Baird serving as tactician, and Morgan Reeser calling tactics on Geoff Pierini’s Shakedown.

Needless to say it will be an extremely exciting week in Key West where forecasted conditions look to be amazing on Monday and Tuesday, then plateauing for the remainder of the week.

To appropriately kick off the new year, the IM32CA would like to welcome several new fleet additions include Bermuda’s Alec Cutler on Hedgehog, Makoto Uematsu on Esmeralda, Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissma 1 and Keisuke Suzuki on Swing.

Coming in loud and clear from the racecourse, the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) will be bringing the latest and greatest racing updates via the Official Class Blog.

Full Entry List
1.) Phil Lotz/Eric Doyle, Arethusa
2.) Joel Ronning/Chris Larson, Catapult
3.) Malcolm Gefter/John Mollicone, Celeritas
4.) Ed Tillinghast, Dark n’Stormy
5.) Makoto Uematsu, Esmeralda
6.) Terry McSweeney/Seadon Wijsen, Flat Stanley
7.) Robert Hughes/Tovar Mirsky, Heartbreaker
8.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog
9.) Mark Plaxton/Anthony Kotoun, INTAC
10.) Vincenzo Onorato/Lorenzo Bressani, Mascalzone Latino
11.) Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell, Mojo
12.) Benjamin Schwartz/Ed Baird, Pisces
13.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Johann Spitzauer, Robertissima 1
14.) Dario Galvao/Daniel Glomb, roXanne
15.) John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti
16.) Geoffery Pierini/Morgan Reeser, Sicktrix32
17.) Takashi Okura/Kenichi Nakamura, SLED
18.) Keisuke Suzuki/Jesper Radich, Swing
19.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Full Crew Event website
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