Late Day Racing for the Melges 24s on Day Four of Acura Key West
24 January 2008
Key West, Florida - Despite an initial postponement at ACURA Key West 2008 presented by Nautica, the Melges 24 fleet conducted racing during the late afternoon hours on Thursday enabling two additional heats to be added to the bag. With a total of five races completed Flavio Favini helming for Switzerland's Franco Rossini on Blu Moon is still the overall leader. Beyond that, it was a complete shake-up with Alan Field from Los Angeles, California on WTF in second and in third, Benoit Charon from France on Tresvalles.com.
The fleet arrived on the scene around 1 p.m., and felt the frustration of yet another postponement but the race committee was confident that the wind mother nature promised would be delivered. Approximately an hour later the wind gradually began to increase and the race committee set the course. By race time, the skies were still overcast with the sun beginning to bear down. Patches of blue that initially appeared here and there grew larger, the sun eventually made a showing and the breeze built to 10-12 knots at 320 degrees. The fleet made a clean sweep of the start as Corinthian extraordinaire Bruce Ayres from Newport Beach, California on Monsoon shot out to the front of the pack. As the race progressed he slowly but surely put distance between himself and the fleet. As he rounded the weathermark in first, another Corinthian came along as well — Argyle Campbell also from Newport Beach, California on Rock n' Roll.Their closest challenge was 2007 World Champion Dave Ullman on Pegasus 505, Miles Quinton from the UK on Natural Mojo and Field. Ayres went on to display an amazing burst of speed that took him all the way to the finish. Campbell finished in second and Ullman was third.
It was a spectacular day for the Corinthian fleet as Kelly Gough helming for Shawn Grisham on Bulls Eye decided to take the top spot out for a spin in race two as he practically lead part of the race aggressively chased by Ullman, Favini, Charon and Quinton. "We had a really good start in the second race of the day, and as most know, to get out front and stay in clean air means life is good. We had our rig really dialed in. It was a lot of fun. The wind was perfect today for us. The whole trick was we had clean air from the start and we hit the first two shifts," commented Bulls-eye crew member John Fleming. Gough|Grisham finished a close second to Favini if first, Charon pulled up to third, Quinton was fourth and in fifth was Field.
As it stands Favini is the official leader going into Friday's racing five points out in front of Field in second. The points spread gets a little tighter between the third thru fifth positions. It's tight. Charon is seated in third with 28 (two points out of second), Ullman has 34 and in fifth with 36 is Brian Porter from Winnetka, Illinois on Full Throttle.
Racing is scheduled to start one hour earlier than originally slated for Friday.
TOP TEN RESULTS
- Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon
- Alan Field, WTF
- Benoit Charon, Tresvalles.com
- Dave Ullman, Pegasus 505
- Brian Porter, Full Throttle
- John Pollard, Xcellent
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
- Miles Quinton, Natural Mojo
- Bora Gulari/Chuck Holzman, Flyer
- Argyle Campbell, Rock n' Roll
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. Gunter Tzeschlock, IMCA Chairman formally recognized Lorenzo Bressani as World Ranking Champion and made a very special presentation to Porter for his accomplishments as 2007 North American Ranking Champion. The party was a blast!
It was a spectacular day on the Corinthian front with Bruce Ayres on Monsoon taking the win in race one of the day. His outstanding performance catapulted him into the first overall position in the Corinthian division. Bruce is the defending Corinthian champion in the Melges 24 at Key West. Overnight leader Argyle Campbell had a great first race yet a dissappointing second race allowing him to slip to second. Colehan maintains third.
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
- Argyle Campbell, Rock n'Roll
- Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
- Kelly Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye
- Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron, Gannet
- Tom Kassberg, Flygfisk
- Richard Mallinson, Speedemon
- Dave Brede, 12happythoughts
- Gary Schwarting, Obsession
- Martin Wedge, Eric
- Hank Wissenz, The Rodent
- Mark Beck, Risky Business
- Guy Mossman, Riot Act
- Chris Johnson, Wiggleroom
The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh and considered the most unique one design Sportboat in the world as well as one of the fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. More information can be found at the official website of the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA), the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA).
For more information or press photos, please contact:
U.S. Melges 24 Class Association
Press Officer | Class Communications Director
+1 (912) 398-5776