Bressani Launches An Italian Assault On Key West Melges 24 Fleet
20 January 2009
20 January 2009 - The Melges 24 fleet was supercharged in Key West today, where two more fantastic races were completed taking the fleet right up to the half way point of the event. Overall, the competitiveness of the Melges 24 just doesn't get any better than this. Reigning Melges 24 World Champion Lorenzo Bressani helming Lorenzo Santini's (Civitanova Marc, Italy) ITA-715 Uka Uka Racing still leads the Melges 24 Class. He is joined in second place by Chris Rast helming for Franco Rossini (Lugano, Switzerland) on SUI-621 Blu Moon and in third is Riccardo Simoneschi (Genova, Italy) on ITA-783 Giacomel Audi.
The race committee was determined to get the first heat started on time, but some unsettled weather quickly approaching the course postponed things for a short while. It was breeze on conditions from the very start ranging 12-15 mph. The first race was finally set at 330, and called for a course 4 with the breeze steady on the increase including a chance for rain, which managed to moderately hold off. At the start there was a light drizzle but hardly a deterrent for the Melges 24.
The start of race one of the day was really great as every team got off the line with a lot of speed — an impressive sight! The committee boat was the favored end all day, but most headed out left, then favoring the right again as they all looked for some shore-side pressure. At the top mark Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.) on USA-587 WTF took an immediate and strong lead. Slowly but surely they put distance between themselves and the remaining top five competitors. "This is what we come to Key West for!", exclaimed Field on Monday afternoon after racing, where it's believed his real romp to triumph began. "We still need to work on some things. We need more stamina as this is a really tough fleet, but we love it!"
Rounding the mark right behind Field was Kyle Vowels (Chicago, Ill.) on USA-160 One Sixty and Neily Williamson (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) on USA-771 Millewa Milluna in third, then USMCA President Travis Weisleder (Fishing Bay, Va.) on USA-605 X. Field went on to take the ultimate win, his first here in Key West in the Melges 24. Holding steady with a very strong result was Rast taking the second place position, followed by Gabrio Zandona helming for Giovanni Maspero (Como, Italy) on ITA-777 Joe Fly in third.
Race four in the ACURA Key West series was all about the power that is here in Key West representing the country of Italy. The Italians simply love this boat and their passion today was their greatest asset. With the very same course bearing as race one and the breeze really beginning to build, overnight leader Bressani took a substantial lead at the top mark a couple of minutes ahead of Rast and Zandona. That was the standing for the remainder of the race. Bressani, Rast and Zandona were joined by Simoneschi in fourth.
With Bressani's impressive performance today he still maintains the overnight lead. Rast is second, Simoneschi is third, Zandona is fourth and Field moves up to fifth.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After four races)
Lorenzo Bressani/Lorenzo Santini, Uka Uka Racing; 1-1-5-1 = 8
Chris Rast/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon; 4-2-2-2 = 10
Riccardo Simoneschi, Giacomel Audi; 6-5-4-3 = 18
Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero, Joe Fly; 10-3-3-4 = 20
Alan Field, WTF; 13-4-1-6 = 24
Vince Brun, Bailout; 2-6-14-5 = 27
Brian Porter,Full Throttle; 5-8-8-7 = 28
John Kolius, KO Sailing; 3-7-9-12 = 31
Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 7-12-15-8 = 42
Kyle Vowels; One Sixty; 8-13-11-10 = 42
Bruce Ayres (Newport Beach, Calif.) on USA-747 Monsoon firmly hangs on to the lead in the Corinthian Melges 24 division, and still seated ninth overall. Loren Colehan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) on USA-556 Lounge Act remains second, moving up a spot overall to 11th.
Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
Gary Schwarting, Obsession
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.