Jesberg Wins 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship

Jesberg Wins 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship  ©2009 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association Related topics:

8 September 2009

The 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship, hosted by the Sausalito Yacht Club awarded Don Jesberg (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-162 Viva the NAC title today along with his entirely Corinthian crew of tactician Zarko Draganic, Andrew Holdsworth, Thomas Iseler, Eric Baumhoff, Stephen Marsh, Jeff Wayne and Kristen Loewenthal. In second overall, was Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo and in third was John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti.

For the third day in a row, racing took place under stunning conditions. Sunshine, cool temps, lots of current and breezy conditions catered to the Melges 32 fleet for completion of the eight race series. 

Jim Swartz (Edgartown, Mass.) on USA-007 Q had an incredible day. His 1-2 daily finish started with a strong performance in the first race. At the start, he assumed his usual pin end pole position, blasting off the line with speed. Upwind and out to the left initially, he then covered the right for pressure. Swartz found himself in the lead at the top mark, followed by Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on USA-136 Rougarou in second and Philippe Kahn (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-166 Pegasus 32 in third. At the offset, Kahn jibed out for clean air. Despite his efforts, Swartz was too fast pulling through the gate still in the lead. Kahn caught up for second with Jesberg and Pugh chasing. Swartz  held on for the win, Kahn took second and Derek Campbell (Seattle, Wash.) on USA-138 Banshee took third.

For the final race of the day and last in the eight part series, Swartz once more brought out the speed, as did Lovell. Looking really strong up the middle to the top mark, Lovell seemed to finally find his groove taking the early lead, Kahn rounding right on his transom and Swartz in third. Downwind the fleet was evenly split. As they passed through the gate the triple dual between Lovell, Kahn and Swartz intensified. On the finish leg with Swartz on the right and Lovell working the middle, Lovell barely took the gun no more than half a boat length for the win. Kahn dropped back to finish third while Jesberg and Pugh dueled across the finish, Jesberg getting the upper hand for fourth, Pugh settled for fifth.

The International Melges 32 Class Association would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Don Jesberg and team as well as all the Owners that traveled to make this event a success. Most especially, thanks again to the Sausalito Yacht Club, in particular Jeff Zarwell and Regatta Pro. The racing, as well as the off-the-water festivities were well-organized and very professional.

Just look at the results and anyone can see the ultra-competitiveness of the Melges 32. Of the seven competing teams, five won a race, five finished last and only 18 points separated first place from last. This is the high level of competition and performance that the Melges 32 promises and delivers time, and time again.

With the conclusion of the 2009 North American Championship, all eyes now turn to the opposite side of the bay to the St. Francis Yacht Club where the Melges 32 Class will race the 2009 Rolex Big Boat Series. This event will serve as the U.S. Nationals. Weigh-in takes place on Wednesday, September 9, racing starts on September 10 and finishes this Sunday, September 13.

Full Results (Final After 8 Races)
1.) Don Jesberg - 4-3-1-1-3-1-[5]-5 = 18
2.) Stephen Pugh - 2-4-3-3-1-[7]-4-4 = 21
3.) John Kilroy - 1-1-2-2-4-4-[8]-8 = 22
4.) Philippe Kahn - 5-2-4-4-5-[6]-2-3 = 25
5.) Jim Swartz - 3-5-[7]-6-6-3-1-2 = 26
6.) Andy Lovell - [7]-7-5-5-2-2-6-1 = 28
7.) Derek Campbell - 6-6-6-[7]-7-5-3-6 = 39

Photo galleries are now online for the 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship featuring fast, fun racing with the backdrop of beautiful California. If you’re not here, this is what you’re missing!

International Melges 32 Class Association

Rockskipper Photography | Leslie Richter