Hutchinson Takes Control in St. Pete's

Hutchinson Takes Control in St. Pete's ©2008 JOY | U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Related topics:

16 February 2008

St. Petersburg, Fla. - Former America's Cup Emirates Team New Zealand tactician Terry Hutchinson at the helm for Scott Holmgren from Edmond, Oklahoma on USA-631 Quantum Racing/Rosebud assumed the lead of the Melges 24 class on day two in St. Petersburg, Florida at the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta. Terry's crew consists of owner Holmgren as well as Scott Nixon, Brian Janney and Phoebe Patterson. In a three way tie for second place is Brian Porter on USA-649 Full Throttle from Winnetka, Illinois; Doug Clark helming for Geoffery Pierini on USA-551 Gazoo from Bernardsville, New Jersey and John Podmajersky on USA-511 from Chicago, Illinois. Each with 18 points a piece.

The first race of the day started on time with a nice 5-7 knots of breeze, gorgeous sunny skies and warm temperatures. The race was kept short and sweet as the wind would potentially be in short supply - three legs, course length of 1.5 nautical miles at 095 degrees. The first start was clean with a select number of individual recalls. Clark got a tremendous jump on the fleet with a carbon copy mark rounding performance of day one. He was followed by overnight leader Paul Hulsey from Detroit, Michigan on USA-615 Hoodlum, then Porter in third and Hutchinson in fourth putting some pressure on the race leaders. Hutchinson took it to the finish leg, where he gained ground on Clark and took the win. Porter pulled up to take second and in third was Marc Hollerbach on 'USA-700 Fu" from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.

After almost two and half hours of postponement a second race was attempted. The first start, resulted in a general recall. The race committee kindly reminded the teams of the current as well as a Z Flag penalty in effect for the second start. It was high-drama down the line. Porter bolted out to the front of the fleet while Podmajersky tucked in ahead of Hutchinson right at the pin end, just making his way in on the start. Hutchinson had some speed and was quick to follow Porter. Jeff Duval from Sarasota, Florida on Doc Holiday on the other hand not only took command of the very light 5-6 knots of breeze, he also rounded the weathermark first ahead of Porter, Hutchinson, Podmajersky and Corinthian competitor Alex Shafer on USA-677 Sweaty Betty rounding respectively. The challenging light air produced some tough racing, but Duval got out front and stayed out front for the win, leaving Porter and Hutchinson to battle it out. Hutchinson bested Porter on the finish leg taking second place. Porter was third. Podmajersky was fourth and Shafer finished in fifth.

Looking ahead to tomorrows racing the conditions are forecasted to be ideal Mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the high 70's approaching the 80 degree mark, breeze out of the south, southeast between 11-15 mph and potential gusts up to 21 mph. Should mother nature deliver on her promise it will be a fantastic day of Melges 24 yacht racing


  1. Terry Hutchinson/Scott Holmgren, Quantum Racing/Rosebud
  2. Brian Porter, Full Throttle
  3. Geoffery Pierini, Gazoo
  4. John Podmajersky, USA-511
  5. Alex Shafer, Sweaty Betty
  6. Jeff DuVal, Doc Holiday
  7. Billy Gooderham/Richard Reid, Zingara
  8. Marc Hollerbach, Fu
  9. Henry Colie, Babs
  10. Kristen Lane, Outhouse



On Friday night the 49 Melges 24 teams partied hard at Cha Cha Coconuts. Melges Performance Sailboats provided the party giveaways - awesome, black, stealth vests, Melges hats and belts were given to the top four Corinthians seated within the top ten - Alex Shafer, Paul Hulsey, George Haynie and Billy Gooderman. The oldest Melges 24 competitor Ralph Jones on USA-90 Sick Puppy received some goodies as did, Rich Foster who's team weighed in right on the maximum M24 crew weight of 793.6 lb, the farthest traveled - from California, Peter Lane, Kristen Lane and Alan Field were recognized. A very special award was crafted for the Melges 24 Race Committee 'Imposter' - Mike Hoey.


While waiting for the wind on Friday, the teams were anxious to hear from the race committee in regards to additional races being held. Three attempts had been made to communicate in which no response had been received. A certain Melges 24 sailor, sensing some humor would be a nice remedy to relieve the tension not to mention the boredom, took it upon himself to impersonate the lovely, New Zealand-accented race committee member communicating with the fleet, broadcasted on VHF, "There will be no more racing for the Melges 24 fleet today." Teams all over the course began taking out their engines, pointing the boats for the dock and getting ready to enjoy some cold beer. The real race committee came across the VHF to communicate that the fleet had an imposter. Those that rushed to put motors on the boats quickly put them away in sheer disappointment. In the meantime, the Hoodlum Melges 24 crew of Paul Hulsey was having a good laugh at the whole spectacle. Later on we learned and revealed Mike Hoey was guilty in the first degree and took home a couple of prizes for his creativity.

Mike later confronted the real race committee and confessed. All was taken in great stride and feel it is safe to report Mike has officially earned a new friend in the racing community.


Undeniably the results are tight as Alex Shafer and his 'Sweatty Betty' crew really dialed things in for Saturday's races — 10, 6. Alex's team consists of Bill Wiggins, Laura Muma, Justin Hood and Lily Tomlinson. They are the top Corinthian team of the day, as well as the overall Corinthian results leader.


  1. Alex Shafer, Sweaty Betty
  2. Billy Gooderham/Richard Reid, Zingara
  3. Marc Hollerbach, Fu
  4. Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing
  5. Joe Blouin, Wicked Witch
  6. Kelly Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye
  7. Justin Chambers, Liberty 5
  8. George Haynie, Firewater
  9. Charlie Clifton, John's Boat
  10. Jack Kern, Devil Dog
  11. Gary Schwarting, Obsession
  12. August Hernandez, High Voltage
  13. Tom Single, Juggling Act
  14. Richard Mallinson, Speedemon
  15. J. A. Booker, Carmelita
  16. Steve Jones/Eric Andrews, Sick Puppy
  17. Tom Wyman, Hot Seat
  18. James Whatmore, Goux Get Moma
  19. Jim Gunderson, BIG SKY
  20. Tom Carter, Trust Me
  21. Scott Baste, Room 444 Improvement
  22. Sean O'Conner, Just Add Water
  23. Tony Stanley, Hermes
  24. Jerry Creasman, Aiemef
  25. Chris Franszek, Chappy


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:

Joy Dunigan
U.S. Melges 24 Class Association
Press Officer | Class Communications Director
+1 (912) 398-5776