by Joy Dunigan
The Melges 32 Gold Cup has come to a close after three days of competition in which eight races took place. Steve Howe aboard Warpath with crew Morgran Larson (tactician), Jeff Reynolds, Warwick Fleury, Zach Maxum, Mark Towill, James Maloney, and Tim Klein have now been crowed the 2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Champions.
Melges 32 Gold Cup 2011
For Howe, this is his first major win in the Melges 32 Class. 'Things went really well with the boat this weekend. We made some changes to the team, which has been positive,' said Howe post racing. 'We sailed really well as a group and everyone did such a great job. We certainly enjoyed the windier conditions; that was really fun.'
The young and vibrant, reigning North American Champion Ryan DeVos on Volpe placed second overall. At his side was none other than Ed Baird, who over the course of the weekend, proved to be consistent and certainly a competitive force in the class. Rounding out the top three was Joe Woods and tactician Geoff Carveth on Red, who has consistently placed in the top five over the last three years at Gold Cup.
Only two races were conducted on Sunday. Epic conditions prevailed as the wave action was bigger than ever with a steady 20 knots of breeze all day. The wind was pretty civilized in comparison to Friday and Saturday, but having to deal with gigantic swells and cresting waves added a whole new dimension to the game. Racing got underway on time with a clean start. Howe, on the other hand thought he was OCS and returned to the line, giving them a deep start to the race.
At the first windward mark Devos' Volpe and Jason Carroll's Argo battled for position, with Carroll winning the lead. DeVos' Volpe followed in second, then Bob Hughes' Heartbreaker in third, and Dalton DeVos' Delta in fourth. Carroll and DeVos' Volpe ripped downwind with Hughes overtaking to round second through the gate, just behind Carroll. Joe Woods climbed the ladder to round fourth. Carroll held the lead through the last mark of the race. Devos' Volpe rounded in second, with Woods moving up for third.
Downwind, it was another shuffle for position as Carroll took the win, Hughes made a huge comeback to finish second, Devos' Volpe was third, Woods took fourth and DeVo' Delta completed the top five.
The last race of the day delivered the youngest driver in the fleet, nineteen-year old Dalton DeVos on Delta a solid victory. DeVos' Delta and the very Italian Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica jostled for position, with Cirillo winning the first windward mark of the race. Hughes was back in the action rounding third, Howe in fourth and John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti in fifth.
Cirillo and DeVos' Delta poured on the heat for an amazing downwind run to pass through the gate respectively in first and second. Howe moved up for third. On the last leg of the race, DeVos' Delta, with Jonathan McKee on tactics pressed upwind to overtake the lead, ultimately grabbing the win just ahead of Howe’s Warpath. Cirillo settled for third.
The IM32CA just can’t thank the Lauderdale Yacht Club enough for yet another amazing weekend. The fine organization of this event contributes to the great success of the Melges 32 Gold Cup – now a milestone, marquee event for the class. It is one that every team worldwide looks forward to, almost as much as the World Championship.
The IM32CA would like to thank several individuals in particular, a special thanks to the impeccable due diligence and persevering hard work of Regatta Chair Mark Smith and to the lovely and highly organized Lisa Frisecke. Without them, this event would not have been possible. The Race Committee was well run and provided excellent on-the-water work and coordination.
This weekend several of our Team tenders played host to media professionals and multiple photographers. A very special thanks to the Volpe, Delta, Ninkasi, Leenabarca, Mojo and Warpath teams, as without you, the hundreds of images supplied to the class would not have been possible. Your endless support and aide in helping market the Melges 32 is invaluable.
And last, but certainly not least, the IM32CA greatly appreciates the endless support provided by Melges USA and Melges Europe while onsite at key events such as the Gold Cup.
Top Ten Results (Final, After Eight Races):
1.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 1-1-1-[19/OCS]-1-2-8-2 = 16
2.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; 3-2-6-2-4-4-3- = 24
3.) Joe Woods/Geoff Carveth, Red; 4-5-5-4-9-3-4-[19/DNC] = 34
4.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 12--4-7-2-8-1-4 = 38
5.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 9-4-3-9-8--5-1 = 39
6.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica; 6-8-8--5-1-12-3 = 43
7.) Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces; 2-11--3-6-6-9-9 = 46
8.) John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti; 7-3-2-1-[19/DNF]-[19/DNC] = 48
9.) Alex Jackson/Charlie McKee, Leenabarca; -7-10-13-3-5-7-7 = 52
10.) Joel Ronning/Bill Hardesty, Catapult; 5-6-7-6-12-10--10 = 56
2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup website