Bressani Is 2009 Melges 24 ACURA Key West Champion
26 January 2009
Another fine day of Melges 24 yacht racing at ACURA Key West 2009, presented by Nautica has come to an end — and, Lorenzo Bressani at the helm for Lorenzo Santini on ITA-715 Uka Uka Racing along side of Federico Michetti, Jonathan McKee and 15-year old Matteo Cprecacenere are 2009 Melges 24 Key West Champions! "We are so very happy with this victory, 'said three-time Melges 24 World Champion crew member Federico Michetti. "This event has been fantastic. The Melges 24 is a fantastic boat and we are very excited about winning."
For Bressani, the regatta was pretty much his to be had. Something quite terrible was going to have to happen in order for him to not win, after all he was seated some seven points ahead in first overall. To beat Bressani would not have been an impossible feat as this is the Melges 24 where almost always it is down to the last day, last race, last beat for the win.
Today's two races embodied classic Key West racing. Absolute beautiful conditions prevailed with the breeze consistently shifting to the right all day, but no where near as insane as the shifts that plagued the course yesterday.
The first race of the day was dominated initially by the top American Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.) on USA-587 WTF. He got a huge jump on the fleet right from the start taking an immediate lead. Field was looking for a win as he rounded the first weathermark in the top position, followed by Brian Porter (Winnetka, Ill.) on USA-749 Full Throttle finally finding his groove, Riccardo Simoneschi (Genova, Italy) on ITA-783 Giacomel Audi in second, then Bressani, then John Kolius (La Porte, Tx.) on USA-776 KO Sailing. Downwind Porter gained on Field and took the official lead upwind. Field was not easy to let the lead go. He put on a great chase, but Porter was simply too fast, caught just the right shifts and went on to win. Field took second, followed by Bressani.
Race two confirmed Bressani's win, but put the fleet on notice that Chris Rast helming Franco Rossini's (Lugano, Switzerland) on SUI-621 Blu Moon was not about to give up. Rast took charge, but with massive challenges from Field, Jens Wathne (Bergen, Norway) on NOR-789 Party Girl, top running Corinthian Bruce Ayres (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Simoneschi. Rast took command of the race from the first weathermark plus four more legs to the finish. The first downwind run put Porter ahead of Simoneschi, the two splitting the difference at the gate. Porter selected to work the left side while Simoneschi took to the right. Ayres and Wathne battled for fourth. Simoneschi came out ahead of Porter to take second place behind Rast in first. Porter took third, Bressani managed fourth and Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.) on USA-553 Bailout took fifth.
The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association would like to extend a very special thanks Peter Craig, Jeanne Kleanne and Alison Snipes of Premiere Racing! If it was not for your hard work and dedication to sailing this event would not be possible.
Race reports, photos and the live blog uploads would not have been possible if not for the support of Melges 24 Bulls Eye owner Shawn Grisham who unfortunately could not be with us this week in Key West, although had planned to be. Bruce Ayres and USMCA President Travis Weisleder also leant their support to the cause as well. Thank you all!!!
TOP TEN RESULTS (Final)
- Lorenzo Bressani/Lorenzo Santini, Uka Uka Racing; 1-1--1-1-2-5-2-3-4 = 20
- Chris Rast/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon; 4-2-2-2--6-3-1-6-1 = 27
- Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero, Joe Fly; -3-3-4-8-1-2-5-7-9 = 42
- Riccardo Simoneschi, Giacomel Audi; 6-5-4-3-2--12-4-4-2 = 42
- Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 5-8-8-7--4-6-3-1-3 = 45
- Alan Field, WTF; -4-1-6-4-8-1-8-2-12 = 46
- Vince Brun, Bailout; 2-6--5-9-3-4-10-8-5 = 52
- John Kolius, KO Sailing; 3-7-9--3-5-7-9-5-7 = 55
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 7-12-15-8-6-7--14-10-8 = 87
- Kyle Vowels; One Sixty; 8-13-11-10-12-12-14-19--10 = 109
Congratulations to Bruce Ayres as he is once again, 2009 ACURA Key West Melges 24 Corinthian Champion! Bruce and his crew of Dave Sheldon, Don Smith and John Pinckney are the pride and joy of this fleet. "Overall we did not do as well as we would have liked. This year was a tough year for us." said Ayres.
Second Corinthian goes to Loren Colehan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) on USA-556 Lounge Act, Gary Schwarting (Naples, Fla.) on USA-622 Obsession was third and rounding out the group was Peter Cucci (Rochester, N.Y.) on USA-123 El Matador.
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
- Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
- Gary Schwarting, Obsession
- Peter Cucci, El Matador
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. Bill Wiggins served as our boat driver, kept us on the water and in position to bring you not only the live conversation and blog commentary, but photos and video too. Thanks to you all!!!
Last, but certainly not least — a sincere thanks to Justin Chisholm, International Melges 24 Class Press Officer who graciously provided additional Melges 24 commentary and helped keep the blog at its best in Key West!