Jim Swartz Still Out Front At The 2009 Melges 32 East Coast Championship
16 May 2009
Rye, N.Y. (May 16) - Jim Swartz (Edgartown, Mass.) on USA-007 Q took competition to the max today at the 2009 Melges 32 East Coast Championship, hosted by the American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. maintaining his overall lead position. "Anything can happen tomorrow. We're going to just try not to have any bad races tomorrow." commented Swartz. In second overall is Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on USA-174 Leenabarca, and fourth is Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on USA-77 roXanne.
The fleet was not only greeted this morning with gloomy, dark overcast skies but a very heavy fog that prompted a brief on land postponement. Shortly thereafter the seven-strong Melges 32 fleet left the harbor. The first start was delayed considering the original start time was originally scheduled for 10:30. Three great races were conducted - two short and one extended, each presenting the championship with three different winners.
On the course, things were equally grim as back on land. A heavy fog gave way to extremely low visibility conditions making it hard to set the course, much less race. Lumpy seas were part of the mix, cool temps and a nice breeze. Once off, the first race of the day witnessed a great comeback for Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y.) on USA-128 Argo with John Baxter as tactician. They charged the fleet with great speed taking the first win of the day. Swartz and Meadows were his greatest contenders, landing second and third.
With a course bearing of 180 degrees at 2nm and twice around, race two brought out the best of Jackson and his team. A great start and sound decisions upwind put him out front as the breeze really started to play around and shift. Jackson maintained his lead upwind. Swartz placed second and in third was Geoffery Pierini (Bernardsville, N.J.) on USA-184 Shakedown.
Race three was a lengthier and longer race but, John Taylor (Jupiter, Fla.) had a superb day, taking it all in stride.Taylor's pretty good start and choices landed him with a lead. For nearly the entire race both Carroll and Jackson tried to catch him, but it wasn't meant to be. The two finished respectively. The next best battle was between Meadows and Swartz as they jostled for position. Jackson took second, Pierini was third, Carroll fourth and in fifth was Meadows.
Also making today very special was the Take A Junior Sailing program. Several of AYC's aspiring youth sailors actually raced onboard with the Melges 32s making this one of the most unique opportunities for juniors in the sport. "I really learned a lot", said Walter Florio, who served under Jim Swartz's leadership. "I had a lot of fun. I love sailing so it was great just to be able to go out. I had a great time." he admitted decked-out from head-to-toe in his Q Team gear.
Racing concludes on Sunday.
Top Three Results (After Seven Races)
1.) Jim Swartz, Q; 1-1-1-4-2-2- = 11
2.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 2-3--2-4-1-2 = 24
3.) Kip Meadows, roXanne; 3-2-4-6-3--5 = 23
View Full Results