Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - GR

Melges 24 World Championship - Tricky day 1

by International Melges 24 Class Association on 3 Oct 2013
Day 1 in San Francisco Bay at the Melges 24 Worlds Pierrick Contin – www.pierrickcontin.com
The first day of racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013, hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, California delivered three excellent races sailed in bright sunshine and winds ranging from eight to fourteen knots.

All three races had different winners, with American Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren's Rose Bud taking the first race, fellow countryman Brian Porter on Full Throttle winning the second and Bermuda's Alec Cutler on hedgehog victorious in the third.

Consistency was a hard to come by commodity throughout the fleet today and almost all of the top ten boats at the end of the day are counting at least one double digit score.

The exception to that rule was Jeff Madrigali at the helm of Kevin Welch's American entry Mikey who managed a 7,2,4 score to lead overall tonight. In second with a 13,10,1 scoreline is Alec Cutler on hedgehog. Third by way of three eighth places is Italian Andrea Racchelli on Altea. Leader Madrigali sits on 13 points with Cutler and Racchelli tied on 24 points.

In the Corinthian (no professional sailors allowed) Division - who race with the main fleet but also have their results extracted separately - America's Loren Colohan on Lounge Act tops the standings with six points after three races. Colohan is tied on points with second placed fellow American, Don Jesberg on Viva. Italy's Andrea Pardini on Maitech lies in third place. The top three Corinthian's sit in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first in the main fleet with Jesberg leading this trio.

The first race of the day started in around seven knots and saw Madrigali round the windward mark in first, closely followed by Nathan Wilmot at the helm of Conor Clarke's Irish entry Embarr in second with Hutchinson in third. Wilmot quickly dropped out of contention after having to do penalty turns soon after at the start of the first downwind leg. Hutchinson meanwhile held his nerve and his lane on the right to take the lead at the bottom end of the run after Madrigali had gybed away.

Once ahead, Hutchinson could not be touched and extended his lead throughout the rest of the race to finish over 40 seconds ahead of second placed 2013 Melges 24 European Champion, Italy's Flavio Favini on Franco Rossini's Blu Moon, who remarkably made up six places on the last leg. Third was Harry Melges III on Team Windhover.

After an initial general recall, the second race got away at the second time of asking in 12 - 14 knots of breeze. Madrigali once again rounded the first mark in the lead, this time with Brian Porter on Full Throttle close behind in second and Hutchinson in third. Porter got the better of the final couple of gybes into the leeward gate to lead at the start of the second beat.

Second placed Madrigali was in no mood to concede however and harried Porter mercilessly for the the rest of the race. Despite having Madrigali breathing down his neck for the last two legs Porter kept his cool to ultimately close out the win. Doug Wilhelm's American crew on Wilco made huge gains on the last leg to snatch third from Hutchinson close to the line.

'It's tough sailing out there, with a lot of great sailors and a lot of good boats.' said Porter afterwards. 'It's good to get a race win because it gives you a lot of confidence to be able to pull away from good boats.'

Clearly not wishing to break the pattern from the first two races, Madrigali yet again led at the windward mark in the third race of the day, after a dying sea breeze pushed the breeze on the first leg to the right. He rounded ahead of Corinthian Loren Colohan on Lounge Act in second and Alec Cutler on hedgehog in third. These three escaped a major windward mark scramble behind them which slowed the chasing pack and sparked a string of protest flags.

By the leeward gate Cutler had hit the front, with practice race winner Kim Christensen from Denmark on Soffe 2 moving up to second and Italy's Andrea Racchelli on Altea had slid into third.

While Racchelli dropped to eighth on the next beat, Cutler continued to be chased by Christensen and these two rounded the final top mark in one and two - positions they maintained to the finish. Meanwhile Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes had moved up to take third.

Hedgehog crew member Mike Wolfs said they had benefitted from a little bit of luck from a right shift on the first beat after a slow start. Having made that comeback Wolfs said a good hoist at the windward offset mark had given them a jump on the boats ahead. After that, Wolfs said delaying their gybe in relation to the leaders had given them the lead.

'We probably went another 100 to 150 yards and gybed and we were able to slowly sneak past them to leeward with a little bit more pressure on the low side.' he said. 'We ended up rounding the leeward mark by a good 15 lengths.'

Three races into the scheduled 10 race series the consistency of American Jeff Madrigali on Mikey means he is the overall leader with 13 points. In second on 24 points is Bermudan Alec Cutler on hedgehog, who is tied on points with third placed Andrea Racchelli from Italy.

Despite topping the leaderboard at the end of the first day, Madrigali - a member of the host club - said he and his crew would nevertheless need to work on their downwind performance after conceding their first mark leads in all three races.

'A lot of that was tactical and mechanical,' Madrigali said. 'I have sailed here my whole life and normally you get around the top mark and you are gone. Today though, the wind was quite spotty and there was a lot of pressure in different areas and tidal rips that were helping you upwind and hurting you downwind. We didn't handle the downwinds very well and other boats did. We need to go to school on how they did that.'

In the Corinthian Division America's Loren Colohan on Lounge Act emerged in first place having matched the six point score of second placed fellow American Don Jesberg on Viva. Italy's Andrea Pardini on Maitech lies in third place just three points behind. In the overall standings these three are equally close: Jesberg sits in nineteenth, Colohan in twentieth and Pardini in twenty-first.

Second placed Corinthian Jesberg said he and his crew had been focused solely on their overall result and had been pleasantly surprised to find they were tied on points with first in the Corinthians. Nevertheless, Jesberg said he was a fan of the Corinthian Division at Melges 24 championships.

'It was a tricky day out there and we had to be concentrating on our place in the fleet,' he said. 'Those of us who have jobs and careers and families that demand a lot of our time enjoy being able to score ourselves against a peer group.' he said.

Racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 continues until Saturday October 5th. Three more races are planned for tomorrow and ten races are scheduled for the championship Event Facebook Page
North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - Floatersupffront 660x82

Related Articles

Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug