Ullman Takes Overall Honors in St. Pete's, Butler Crowned Corinthian Champion
15 February 2009
The 2009 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD has concluded and revealed yet again, Dave Ullman as champion of the Melges 24. Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.) on USA-515 with Doug Fisher, Andy Escourt, Dan WIttig and Scott Liebel topped the 45 boat fleet with a whopping 12 point lead over second place finisher David O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) on USA-700 Ardor. "We had a great time here in St. Pete's this weekend. It's great to see young people like David O'Reilly and his team out here doing this. They are really good. I am so impressed. They will be a force to reckon with in years to come." said Ullman. In third was Alan Field (Newport Beach, Calif.) on USA-587 WTF.
The Race Committee was quick to hoist the AP flag first thing but it was short lived. Teams ventured out to the course arriving around 11 with the sun out, a light 4-5 mph breeze with pockets of a little less, very calm seas, semi-warm temps and patchy cloud cover. It wasn't long before the fleet rolled into its first start with Paul Hulsey (Detroit, Mich.) on USA-740 Hoodlum Racing blasting off the pin end, Ullman a little further up the line, more in the middle with some pretty good speed as well.
At the top mark with the fleet chasing, Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) on USA-751 Quantum Racing finally got a shot at the lead with Joe Blouin (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-719 Wicked Witch in second, followed by Seth Seigler (Charleson, S.C.) helming USA-626 4 Sale By Owner for Ned Goss in third. Ullman trailed in fourth, while the youthful and spirited team of O'Reilly was fifth. Hutchinson extended his lead downwind, Ullman moved into second, Siegler was third all taking to the right. O'Reilly moved up to fourth taking the left. Blouin, Mossman, Field and Hulsey selected the highly favored right. Back upwind for the finish Hutchinson took the win by a mile, Ullman clinched second and Seigler held on for third.
The second race of the day and final heat of the series introduced encroaching thunder clouds which many predicted would play havoc with the breeze direction. The fleet got a nice start plus a weathermark rounding in just before the wind performed a complete 180. The race committee chose to abandon and send the fleet to the docks.
Congratulations are in order to Rob Butler (Ontario, Canada) on CAN-177 Eager Beaver and his crew of Sandy Butler (wife), Jim Dickey and Larry Huibers as they are 2009 Melges 24 Corinthian St. Pete's NOOD Champions. Their closest competition was Bob Kroetch (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-457 Rogue who came second, in third overall is J A Booker (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-119 Carmelita took third Corinthian.
A very special thanks goes out to all the teams that traveled the distance, most especially those from the farthest corners of the USA and Canada. Thanks to the entire staff at Sailing World for making this a great event. Last, but certainly not least is a massive thank you to Melges Performance Sailboats who supplied official Melges gear for the Corinthians to compliment their trophies! Melges has always been a strong supporter of the Melges 24 Corinthian division.
TOP TEN RESULTS (Final)
- Dave Ullman, USA-515; 3-1-2-2-5-2 = 15
- David O'Reilly, Ardor; 1-3-6-5-6-6 = 27
- Alan Field, WTF; 9-7-12-6-1-5 = 40
- Guy Mossman, USA-786; 4-10-3-11-12-4 = 44
- Debbie Willits, Black Widow; 2-6-16-1-7-14 = 46
- Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing; 15-15-5-9-2-1 = 47
- Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing; 10-4-14-8-3-9 = 48
- Seth Siegler/Ned Goss, For Sale By Owner; 19-12-4-4-15-3 = 57
- Argyle Campbell, Rock n'Roll; 26.4/ZFP-2-7-12-4-8 = 59
- Stuart McNay, Erica; 17-9-8-7-10-23 = 74
FULL CORINTHIAN RESULTS (Final)
- Rob Butler, Eager Beaver
- Bob Kroetsch, Rogue
- J A Booker, Carmelita
- George Haynie, Firewater
- Greg McCliment, Cujo
- Jim Gunderson, BIG SKY
- Gary Schwarting, Obsession
- Kia Cox, Free Range Lobster
- Scott Baste, Room 444 Improvement
Relive the racing by visiting the official Melges 24 Blog and Melges 24 YouTube Channel. Check out some very cool interviews with overall winner Dave Ullman, fourth place finisher Guy Mossman also, Debbie Willits, David O'Reilly and Ned Goss.
Also see the official event website www.sailingworld.com.