Melges 32s Get Back To Racing On Day Four Of Acura Key West
25 January 2008
Key West, Florida - The fleet was dreading the possibility that racing might not happen on Thursday, but instead, around noon, the signal was given to depart for the course area and prepare to race. With the long, onland postponement issued at 9 a.m. and then another minimum hour long on the water postponement at 1p.m., the fleet finally kicked off racing around 2 o'clock.
The weather was a complete surprise as everyone had envisioned very different racing conditions for the day. The sun worked hard at burning off the overcast skies producing cooler, milder tempatures, but wind was also on tap at 10-12 knots and periodically gusted to 15.
Race one had plenty in store for the overnight leaders such as Joe Woods on Red from the UK, Claudio Recchi from Italy on Let's Roll, Philippe Kahn on Pegasus 32 and Michael Illbruck on Pinta. Working her way to the lead position, tack-by-tack was lady helm Kate Mullin on board Arkle. Kate did an extraordinary job making her way to the front. In the final stretch she took the lead and held on to the finish. Following behind was Stephen Pugh from San Francisco, California on Taboo and in third was Jeff Ecklund from Ft. Lauderdale on STAR.
The second race of the day didn't start until late with overcast skies back in for the duration, winds up and a slight sea chop. The conditions were ideal for the twenty-seven strong fleet. With a peek of sunshine, the Melges 32 start was clean. This time, it was Ecklund taking to the leading edge as the fleet mostly stayed to leeward on the first upwind leg. Ecklund took to the first mark with Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll from Tampa, Florida on New Wave right behind and Illbruck. Ecklund played the shifts taking the lead to the finish, leaving his friendly rival Kullman/Carroll to battle it out with Illbruck. Illbruck and the all amatuer team of Kullman/Carroll made it a close finish with Illbruck ultimately taking second place honors. Kullman/Carroll finished in third. Another full-on Corinthian team is Pieter Tassler on Bliksem finishing in fourth and in fifth was Pugh.
The overall points spread is tight which means there is no margin for error looking ahead to Friday's final round of racing. Racing is scheduled to start one hour earlier that originally planned. Ecklund leads, Kullman/Carroll are three points out of first place and in third is Woods.
TOP TEN RESULTS
- Jeff Ecklund, STAR
- Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll, New Wave
- Joe Woods, Red
- Claudio Recchi, Let's Roll
- Kate Mullin/John Sherlock, Arkle
- Stephen Pugh, Taboo
- Philippe Kahn, Pegasus 32
- Michael Illbruck, Pinta
- Pieter Taselaar, Bliksem
- Bob Hesse, Lake Effect
For the record, those of you who were unable to make the Melges Rocks party last night — this was the party to have a ticket to. All Melges sailors were not only packing the Island Dogs Bar on Front Street until the wee hours of the morning but spilling out onto the street! There was an amazing band, the beer and wine flowed freely courtesy of Melges Performance Sailboats. A very special presentation was also made to recognize Recchi and his entire team for their accomplishments as 2007 Melges 32 World Ranking Champions. The party was a blast!
Visit the official event website of ACURA Key West 2008.
Kattack Performance Applications has partnered with the International Melges 32 Class Association for ACURA Key West 2008.
For more information about the Melges 32 in Key West, please contact:
International Melges 32 Class Press Officer
+1 (912) 398 5776