Taselaar Still In Control Of Melges 32 Fleet In Miami
6 March 2009
Pieter Taselaar (New York, N.Y.) on USA-169 Bliksem is still very much in command of the Melges 32 fleet in Miami at the 2009 ACURA Grand Prix. He delivered a complimentary performance to yesterday's outstanding results leaving him in first place overall. Moving up to second was John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-188 Samba Pa Ti and in third is Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) GBR-700 Red.
It was yet another astounding day of racing for the Melges 32 fleet as two more races were added to the bag. "Today was some of the best racing I've done in a very long time," says multiple olympic champion sailor, Charlie Ogletree, tactician aboard Geoff Pierini's USA-178 Shakedown.
Race one of the day began under mostly cloudy skies with a comfortable breeze 10-15 mph of breeze and choppy seas. A course 4 was set at 100 degrees with nice long 2 nm legs.
Like all days racing the Melges 32, today was no different — starts were the ultimate key to success with Kilroy getting a great jump on the fleet at the gun, Swartz also playing the left side for pressure. Taselaar alongside of Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave punched up the middle.
Kilroy lashed out at the fleet with some really great speed. They were first around the weathermark assuming an early lead with Swartz and Jason Carroll (New York, NY) on USA-128 Argo right behind. The set was clean as Kilroy knew that mistakes would be unacceptable if he wanted the win. His comfortable lead continued through the gate, this time with Taselaar and Kullman/Carroll coming on strong encroaching on the top five.
The last weathermark spelled disaster for Samba Pa Ti as Kilroy hit the top mark during the rounding. At the offset he performed his penalty turns with Kullman/Carroll and Taselaar seizing the moment for advancement. Kullman/Carroll took it to the finish with Taselaar in second. Woods with a remarkable race took third and Kilroy finishing in fourth, in fifth was Swartz.
Race two brought on more ideal sailing conditions — magnificient sunshine, 20-22 mph of breeze, a course 5 on the board and a steady bearing of 100 — perfect Melges 32 sailing was in store for the fleet. Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) on ITA-186 CALVI Network charged the fleet coming in at the top mark first, challenged by Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on USA-77 roXanne in second, Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo in third. The downwind run was a blast to watch — teams were stoked as they settled in for perfect planing conditions!
Alberini held on to the lead through the gate, Woods followed in second, while Pugh maintained third. Meadows was fourth and in fifth, John Taylor (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-1315 Ninkasi. Back upwind Pugh took charge, followed by Meadows and Woods respectively. Pugh took his lead through the bottom gates, but the upwind leg to the finish produced Alberini as the winner. Woods took second, Kilroy managed third, Pugh settled for fourth and in fifth was the Kullman/Carroll team.
Racing continues on Saturday, March 7 with similar conditions and warmer temperatures.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After three races)
1. Pieter Taselaar, Bliksem; 1-1-1-2-7 = 12
2. John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; 2-6-3-4-3 = 18
3. Joe Woods, Red; 7-8-2-3-2 = 22
4. Jim Swartz, Q; 4-2-3avg1-5-14 = 28
5. Carlo Alberini, Calvi Network; 12-4-6-9-1 = 32
6. Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 10-7-4-7-10 = 38
7. Kip Meadows, roXanne; 5-5-9-14-6 = 39
8. Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll, New Wave; 15-14-5-1-5 = 40
9. Jason Carroll, Argo; 8-3-7-11-11 = 40
10. John Taylor, Ninkasi; 3-13-14-8-8 = 46