Three Races, Three Bullets For Melges 32 Miami Grand Prix Leader Pieter Taselaar
5 March 2009
Pieter Taselaar (New York, NY) on USA-169 Bliksem with tactician Jeremy Wilmot, Paul Atkins, Michael Coxon, Willem Van Waay, Alex Clegg, Nathan Wilmot and bowman George Peet delivered an impressive 1-1-1 score line to assume the overall lead at the 2009 ACURA Miami Grand Prix. "It's mind blowing." commented an almost speechless Taselaar after racing. "I think what made the difference today was that we got some terrific starts. They were aggressive and at full speed. We had better boat speed than we've ever had."
Three course 4 races with a bearing of 065 at 1.7 nm legs were completed under steady breeze on conditions out of the east at 15-20 mph, lumpy seas and mostly cloudy skies.
Race one of the day spelled trouble for some of the fleets top teams including Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave. They, along with Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y) on USA-128 Argo and North American Melges 32 Fleet President Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo were called over early on the start issuing them an immediate set back.
John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti with Morgan Reeser on tactics was quick to take the lead at the first weathermark ahead of Peter Rogers (Limington, UK) on GBR-121 Highlife in second with Taselaar in third. Kilroy extended his lead downwind, and held on through the gate but Taselaar, Jim Swartz (Edgartown, Mass.) on USA-007 Q and John Taylor (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-1315 Ninkasi were hot on his heels eager to take over the top spot. Taselaar made all the right moves upwind. Phenomenal boat speed was his greatest weapon as he took over the lead from Kilroy now in second, Swartz pulled up for third followed by Taylor. Ultimately Taselaar took the win with the real battle happening in second place right at the finish line. Kilroy won his dual for second against Swartz, but Taylor launched an almost successful second place attempt coming on hot from the right. Kilroy narrowly took second, Taylor was third and Swartz was fourth. Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on USA-77 roXanne was fifth.
The second race got started just past noon, this time Meadows looked to be out front early with Swartz alongside on the right. It was Swartz's turn to lead the pack around the mark with Meadows in second, followed by Taselaar. These three teams maintained position up through the final mark rounding where Meadows took a brief lead. After a troubled jibe, Taselaar and Swartz took advantage and charged forward with the leaders splitting apart and away from one another. Taselaar took his second bullet of the day in stride with Swartz in second. Third place went to Carroll.
It was business as usual for race three with continued mostly cloudy skies and the breeze still pumping. Another great start served Kilroy well as he found himself in the lead at the top mark followed by Meadows, Carroll rounded in third. Downwind Kilroy attempted to put some space between his Samba Pa Ti team and the fleet in an effort to secure the lead. Taselaar meanwhile came around fourth, rolling Carroll on the set taking over third.
Going into the gate Kilroy had a minor broach which allowed Taselaar and Meadows to pull forward challenging for the lead. Kilroy hung on to first with Meadows in second and Taselaar in third. Taselaar took out the right for pressure, as did Meadows. Kilroy's left side move cost him the lead. Taselaar took command of the fleet once more, Meadows was in second and Kate Mullin driving for John Sherlock (Port Credit, Ontario) on CAN-134 Arkle was third, Taylor rounded fourth with Joe Woods, Kullman/Carroll and Rogers rounding respectively. Taselaar's speed was just incredible downwind as he took his third bullet of the day. Meadows grabbed second and Kilroy settled for third.
Racing continues tomorrow, Friday March 6 where similar conditions and warmer temperatures are forecasted.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After three races)
1. Pieter Taselaar, Bliksem; 1-1-1 = 3
2. Jim Swartz, Q; 4-2-3avg1 = 9
3. John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; 2-6-3 = 11
4. Joe Woods, Red; 7-8-2 = 17
5. Jason Carroll, Argo; 8-3-7 = 18
6. Kip Meadows, roXanne; 5-5-9 = 19
7. Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 10-7-4 = 21
8. Carlo Alberini, Calvi Network; 12-4-6 = 22
9. John Taylor, Ninkasi; 3-13-14 = 30
10. Kate Mullin/John Sherlock, Arkle; 6-9-15 = 30