Pinta Triumphs Over The Melges 32 Fleet — New Wave Earns Miami Grand Prix Championship Title!
9 March 2008
Michael Illbruck and the Pinta team led at the end of each day in Melges 32, an amazing feat considering it was the German skipper’s second regatta in the highly-competitive class. Illbruck is a newcomer to the up-and-coming Melges 32 class, taking delivery of his boat just prior to Acura Key West 2008.
The German skipper did not steer as Pinta placed seventh in that regatta. He made his debut as helmsman in Miami and performed admirably, winning four races and second or third in five others in totaling 16 points – 10 better than runner-up New Wave.
"We learned a lot in Key West that we were able to apply to this regatta. It was a challenge because of the heavy air and high seas, but the crew did an outstanding job," Illbruck said.
John Kostecki, who skippered Illbruck’s victorious entry in the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race and is now with the BMW Oracle America’s Cup syndicate, called tactics aboard Pinta. Ross Halcrow of BMW Oracle and Dan Cowie of Emirates Team New Zealand served as trimmers.
"In my biased opinion, John Kostecki is the best sailor in the world. He is incredibly competitive and always puts you in the right spot," Illbruck said. "However, it takes more than one man to make a boat go fast. This was a team effort and every member of the crew did a fantastic job. We’re all good friends who enjoy each other’s company and that is very important for chemistry."
New Wave, co-owned by Michael Carroll and Marty Kullman of Clearwater, Fla., took home the Acura Grand Prix Championship for Melges 32 after placing second at both Key West and Miami.
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