Lorenzo Bressani Takes Charge of Key West Melges 24 Fleet
20 January 2009
Reigning World Champion Lorenzo Bressani helming for Lorenzo Santini (Civitanova Marc, Italy) on ITA-715 Uka Uka Racing is leading the Melges 24 division at ACURA Key West 2009, presented by Nautica by a small 4-point margin, but nonetheless leading this deep and talented fleet. In second overall is Chris Rast helming for Franco Rossini (Lugano, Switzerland) on SUI-621 Blu Moon and in third is Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif) on USA-553 Bailout.
The first day of racing was quite interesting as the predicted forecast never quite delivered what was to be expected. As the teams made their way to the course they were greeted with warm sunshine and a nice 8-10 mph of breeze out of the Southwest. But, that was quick to change.
For race one of the day the fleet managed a super clean start with Brun lashing out rounding the top mark in first, followed by Bressani, then John Kolius (La Porte, Tx.) on USA-776 KO Sailing in third. It was a heated first downwind run, but making things intriguing was the incoming squall. The rain part of the weather forecast definitely rang true as teams struggled to find the mark in the white out conditions. Not only could the cooler air temperature be felt almost immediately, but a big shift in the breeze took its toll as well. Moving into first as the race progressed was Bressani ultimately winning out over Brun. Kolius settled for third, Rast took fourth, and in fifth was 2007 U.S. National Champion Brian Porter (Winnetka, Ill.) on USA-749 Full Throttle.
It took just a little more than an hour to get the second start into play as the race committee was determined to provide nothing short of excellence for the fleet. After a couple of postponements, and several attempted, then terminated starts the Melges 24s went back to racing, this time with Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.) on USA-587 WTF turning up the heat taking the lead at the first weathermark, Bressani hot on his heels. With the breeze in the 15-18 mph range, Field missed a huge shift that cost him dearly. It ruined his lead knocking him back to a fourth place finish. Bressani and his Uka Uka Racing team pulled off another astounding win taking home two bullets for the day. Bressani is one of total determination and today's performance certainly proved once more that his World Champion status still reigns supreme over this extremely challenging class of sportboat.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After two races)
1.) Lorenzo Bressani/Lorenzo Santini, Uka Uka Racing; 1-1 = 2
2.) Chris Rast/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon; 4-2 = 6
3.) Vince Brun, Bailout; 2-6 = 8
4.) John Kolius, KO Sailing; 3-7 = 10
5.) Riccardo Simoneschi, Giacomel Audi; 6-5 = 11
6.) Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero, Joe Fly; 10-3 = 13
7.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 5-8 = 13
8.) Alan Field, WTF; 13-4 = 17
9.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 7-12 = 19
10.) Kyle Vowels; One Sixty; 8-13 = 21
It was a tough day for the Corinthians, however the favored Bruce Ayres (Newport Beach, Calif.) on USA-747 Monsoon is officially leading the Corinthian Melges 24 division, and seated ninth overall. Ayres is the defending Corinthian champion in Key West with his closest competition being Loren Colehan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) on USA-556 Lounge Act second in the Corinthian division and placed 12th overall. Gary Schwarting (Naples, Fla.) on USA-622 Obsession is third Corinthian, placed 14th overall.
1.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
2.) Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
3.) Gary Schwarting, Obsession
4.) Peter Cucci, El Matador
The U.S. Melges 24 Class is working hard to bring you all the action in Key West. Check out the very latest in photos, videos and blog entries.
A very special thank you goes out to Shawn Grisham and his Bulls Eye Racing Team for the use of their protector this week in Key West. Due to his tremendous generosity we are able to bring you great photos, video and all the latest news from Key West. An addition, very special thanks to Bruce Ayres and Travis Weisleder. Their additional support to the Melges 24 Class is immeasurable! Thanks to you all.