Key West Race Week Melges 32 fleet enjoyed absolutely stunning conditions today. With two additional races complete, Steve Howe on Warpath (Morgan Larson, tactician) now leads the overalls just ahead of Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca (Rob Greenhalgh, tactician) in second, followed by overnight leader Doug Douglas on Goombay Smash (Chris Larson, tactician) now third.
Plentiful sunshine, an initial 6-8 knots of breeze, manageable seas and temperatures in the mid-70’s made it a perfect day for sailboat racing as the Melges 32s prepped for the Course 4 first gun. It was an all around good start for Howe and his Warpath crew as they easily won the pin end start with Douglas alongside. Douglas was blistering fast upwind launching out front of the fleet almost immediately, nailing the first mark rounding with Bob Hughes on Heartbreaker (Chris Rast, tactician) in second and Jackson in third. Downwind, Jackson made his move rounding through the gate first coming in from the pressure driven right, closely followed by Hughes. Douglas’ speed served him well on the final upwind beat. He slowly, but surely overtook Jackson for second, leaving a very determined Leenabarca in third.
Race two commenced under the same conditions and bearings as the first (190 @ 1.7nm), this time a Course 5 with the breeze noticeably diminishing. It was a devastating start for Jackson as he was called OCS, yet recovered to finish seventh. On the contrary, Howe offered nothing but complete domination holding off stiff competition from Phil Lotz’s Arethusa (Ed Baird, tactician). The two assumed the first and second fleet positions from the very start to finish, to win. Fleet newcomer Mark Plaxton on INTAC (Peter Holmberg, tactician) had a wonderful final race of the day to take third, Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai (Hamish Pepper, tactician) finished fourth while Terry McSweeney’s Flat Stanley rounded out the top five.
Going into Wednesday, everyone clearly has their work cut out for them as it will put six races (potentially) on the board and discards go into effect. Howe leads by one point, Jackson is right behind and Douglas is third some 12 points out of first. Depending on how well each of the top teams perform, Wednesday may determine their fate with only three days to go in Key West. Top Ten Results (After four races)
1.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-6-5-1 = 14
2.) Alex Jackson/Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca; 3-2-3-7 = 15
3.) William Douglas/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 4-1-2-15 = 22
4.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 8-9-4-10 = 31
5.) John Kilroy, Jr./Nathan Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 5-10-6-11 = 32
6.) Phil Lotz/Ed Baird, Arethusa; 11-3-17-2 = 33
7.) Bob Hughes/Chris Rast, Heartbreaker; 7-21-1-8 = 37
8.) Yukihiro Ishida/Tony Rey, Yasha Samurai; 13-7-14-4 = 38
9.) Peter Rogers/Ruairdah Scott, Highlife; 1-20-11-9 = 41
10.) Oscar Strugstad/Andy Beadsworth, Dawn Raid; 6-5-21-12 = 44
Results click here
(From right to left) Bob Hughes |Heartbreaker, Doug Douglas | Goombay Smash and Alex Jackson | Leenabarca - Key West Race Week - http://melges32.com/