Racing Now Underway in Key West
22 January 2008
From the USMCA - Key West, Florida - Under mostly overcast skies, moderate temps and fluctuating wind speeds from 10-15 at times and gusting higher, the Melges 24 fleet officially got racing underway at ACURA Key West 2008 presented by Nautica. In the overall spot after three races is 2007 Melges 24 European Champion Flavio Favini helming for Switzerland's Franco Rossini on 'Blu Moon'. Seated comfortably in second overall is Great Britain's John Pollard on 'Xcellent' and in third is 2007 Melges 24 World Champion Dave Ullman on 'Pegasus 505'.
Due to yesterday's absence of racing the fleet enjoyed three great races today. Consistency is apparently on the minds of some competitors as this five day event not only serves up a variety of conditions to test everyone's skills, but also requires a high level of endurance in order to prevail as winner. The first race of the day proved Favini to be a true athlete fresh off of his 2007 America's cup work and great successes in Torbole at Race Week as well as Europeans. He nailed out a 1-1-2 finish for the day, fulfilling early predictions that he would be favored to do well. France's Benoit Charon on 'Travelles.com' scored a second place finish, followed by Ullman in third. In race two, Favini simply found a gear that others clearly put forth an effort to challenge however found very difficult to overcome. The last downwind run of the race put Favini across the line first, then 2007 U.S. Melges 24 National Champion Brian Porter from Winnetka, Illinois on 'Full Throttle' in second and in third position Pollard.
The third race offered up continued lumpy seas and winds somewhat less than what the day started with. The very punchy fleet took it in stride with several entries over early including Porter. International Melges 24 Vice Chairman and 2007 Key West defending Champion Riccardo Simoneschi on 'Fratelli Giacomel Audi' from Italy pulled ahead of the fleet determined to outrun Favini. Simoneschi managed to hold on until the finish with Favini settling for second. Pollard was hot on their heels as he took third.
Going into tomorrow's racing Favini leads by a substantial eleven points, ahead of Pollard. One point back is Ullman. Porter and Charon share the fourth and fifth spots with seventeen points each.
In the Corinthian division, competition is stiff with Argyle Campbell on 'Rock n' Roll' from Newport Beach, California leading the charge. Onboard with Argyle is Matt McKinlay, Dwight Belden and Andy Casey. This sensational team is seated eighth overall and in first position as Corinthians! Following closely in eleventh place overall is 2007 Key West Corinthian Champion Bruce Ayres on 'Monsoon' — also from Newport Beach, California. Bruce is in the second position as Corinthian and in third is Loren Colehan on 'Lounge Act'.
- Argyle Campbell, Rock n'Roll
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
- Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
- Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron, Gannet
- Tom Kassberg, Flygfisk
- Dave Brede, 12happythoughts
- Gary Schwarting, Obsession
- Kelly Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye
- Martin Wedge, Eric
- Richard Mallinson, Speedemon
- Mark Beck, Risky Business
- Hank Wissenz, The Rodent
- Chris Johnson, Wiggleroom
- Guy Mossman, Riot Act
For full results and photo gallery visit www.premiere-racing.com
Thanks to Ken Stanek for the image. For more of his Key West images visit www.kenstanek.com