Jeff Ecklund Wins Melges 32 ACURA Key West 2008
26 January 2008
Key West, Florida - Jeff Ecklund from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on STAR is Melges 32 ACURA Key West 2008 Champion. This is a very special event for the Melges 32 as it is also its Midwinter Championship. With Harry Melges calling tactics and crew of Eric Hood, Scott Norris, Tom Burnham, Lindsay Bartel, Debbie Capozzi and Genny Tulloch, Jeff delivered a performance well worth the win. "Key West is a big event for us, so we are very happy to have won. There are some really great teams out there in the Melges 32 now. We had some good starts and nice boat speed." comment Ecklund just before taking the award.
One thing that Ecklund is very quick to acknowledge is his crew. Bear in mind this is not just any crew. They are full of youth, energy, sailing experience and overflowing with talent. "It was the usual me and Harry on board but everyone else is new — Eric, Scott and Tom. I think the fact that we had three girls with us really says something about this boat. Lindsey has sailed with us before, but to have Debbie and Genny there too was a real treat."
The fleet headed out to the course an hour earlier than originally scheduled with the mindset of getting as many as three more races completed. The conditions were to the max — 20-25 knot winds with little gusts here and there and a substantial sea chop. Ecklund literally blasted off the starting line. Claudio Recchi from Italy on Let's Roll was not so fortunate. As he tried to start at the pin end, he caught the anchor line attached to the pin end boat causing him to start far behind. But Recchi was quick to make up ground. At the weathermark it was Philippe Kahn on Pegasus 32 taking the lead and blasting downwind putting some distance between himself and the rest of the fleet. Both Ecklund, Marty and Mike Kullman from Tampa, Florida on New Wave were hot on his transom. Ecklund caught Kahn at the gate and worked hard to bring the challenge back neck-and-neck on the upwind beat. Kahn eventually got the best and took it to the finish. Kahn's team is an exceptional one as well — Richard Clarke, Bruce Mahoney, David Giles, Erik Boone, Curtis Florence and Allan Megarry.
For race two of the day, it was Michael Illbruck from Germany on Pinta stepping up to the plate and taking the win. Illbruck's team was no slouch either. He was accompanied by Cameron Horne, Vince Brun, Ross Halcrow, Don Cowie, Glenn Horne and Andrew Finnick. Together they dominated over Kahn who scored a two and Jason Carroll (Sean Doyle, Brian Fox, Peter Strotherman, Kai Cox, Patrick Mauro, Sam Rogers and Clay Bischoff) from Larchmont, New York on Argo taking third. The third and final race of the day, as well as the Key West series brought out the best in Recchi as he won over Armando Giulietti on Hiroshi from Milan, Italy scoring second and in third was Carroll again.
The final results with one discard put Ecklund at the top, two points ahead of the spectacular, all-amatuer Kullman/Carroll New Wave team comprised of John Jennings, Steve Liebel, Alex Shaffer, Judah Rubin, Ron Hyatt and Jay Kuebel. In third was early regatta leader Joe Woods on Red from the UK. Woods' team is quite a group as well that includes Ruairidh Scott, Tim Powell, Paddy Bettesworth, Jamie Binmore, Shane Hughes, Tim Edwards and Sophie Esson.
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
First and foremost the class would like to thank Peter Craig and his incredible staff at Premiere Racing as the organization of this event was world class and the committee work spectacular. We look forward to 2009!
The next event for the International Melges 32 Class is the Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta coming up February 15-17, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tampa Bay is a great place to race so be there!
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