Quantum Key West 2012 day 2 proved to the Melges 32 overnight leaders (and, the rest of the fleet for that fact) that winning this championship isn't going to be as easy as yesterday may have made it seem.
With three additional races now complete, Benjamin Schwartz with tactician Ed Baird on Pisces now lead, with overnight leader John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti is in second place, by virtue of a countback (14 points each). Alec Cutler with Richard Clarke as tactician on Hedgehog is third, eleven points further back.
In race one, Schwartz found himself in a face off with Geoff Pierini on Sicktrix for top mark honors. Pierini won the mark, but failed to execute on the spinnaker set, allowing Schwartz to roll right past taking first place with him, Keisuke Suzuki with tactician Jesper Radich on Swing followed in second, Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino came third. Schwartz held his own through the gate and back upwind with a change of course being implemented. Schwartz continued his lead of a boat-length-and-a-half around the final windward mark with Onorato in tow, chasing hard for the lead. Suzuki remained third, Pierini rounded fourth with Kilroy in fifth. Downwind, Onorato held Schwartz to the fire, challenging tack-for-tack in an attempt to gain advantage. Schwartz took the win ahead of Onorato, Suzuki finished third.
After a quick reset of the course, race two got underway. PRO Peter Reggio prescribed a Course 4, with a bearing of 125 at 1.5nm. Going into the first mark, brand new Melges 32 owner Makoto Uematsu and tactician Gerry Mitchell on Esmeralda took the lead and held on through the gate. At the last mark of the race, Uematsu was mere moments ahead of Schwartz when he surrendered the lead to perform a penalty turn. Schwartz was quick to seize control of the lead. Schwartz won easily, while Uematsu maintained second place. Kilroy finished third.
The last race of the day went to Malcolm Gefter and tactician John Mollicone on Celeritas. From start to finish, Gefter held off the likes of Bob Hughes' Heartbreaker and Steve Howe's Warpath to win his first ever Melges 32 race.
What makes Wednesday so special? Besides being hump day, race six will mark the point when discards go into effect on the scoreboard. The breeze is predicted to be light on Wednesday, so it's still to be seen how much racing will actually take place. TOP TEN RESULTS (After 5 Races)
1.) Benjamin Schwartz/Ed Baird, Pisces; 3-3-1-1-6 = 14
2.) John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti; 1-1-5-3-4 = 14
3.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 4-2-8-4-7 = 25
4.) Vincenzo Onorato/Gabriele Benussi, Mascalzone Latino; 2-4-2-11-9 = 28
5.) Bob Hughes/Tovar Mirsky, Heartbreaker; 10-13-6-8-2 = 39
6.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 12-5-15-5-3 = 40
7.) Keisuke Suzuki/Jesper Radich, Swing; 11-9-4-12-5 = 41
8.) Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell, Mojo; 6-12-10-6-8= 42
9.) Makoto Uematsu/Gerry Mitchell, Esmeralda; 11-9-4-12-5 = 41
10.) Malcolm Gefter/John Mollicone, Celeritas; 8-10-17-10-1 = 46
International Melges 32 website