Lovell Named 2009 Melges 32 U.S. National Champion, Kahn Rules The Bay Tour

13 September 2009

San Francisco, Calif. (September 13) - Congratulations are in order for Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on USA-136 Rougarou as he is the 2009 Melges 32 U.S. National Champion, also the division winner of the 45th annual Rolex Big Boat Series. Onboard with Lovell was his brother Johnny calling tactics, Scott Nixon, Karen Sproul, John Bowden, Burt Benrud, Jonathan Colarusso and Michael Danish. “We raced a bunch in light air, last week at North Americans was a learning curve. We prefer the heavy air, but we still never saw more than 20 knots.” said Lovell after collecting the title. “It was challenging and it made it fun.”

The final day of racing concluded under continued cloudy skies and light breezes. After an initial on-the-water postponement that lasted more than an hour, the fleet went racing. The one and only race was the historical, bay tour. It was a clean start with overnight leader Lovell out on the right for pressure who was quick to take the race lead. A long reach up and across the bay resulted in Lovell rounding a minute ahead of Philippe Kahn (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-166 Pegasus 32, then Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo. Kahn was the first to set the kite for the second mark looking to make a move on Lovell's lead, gaining fast. Pugh in third, Don Jesberg (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-162 Viva a little off the pace in fourth. On their way to the city front, Lovell stalled completely and at one point said they felt like they were going backwards. Lovell and his team got the boat moving again, but not before the entire fleet has passed leaving them dead last.

Kahn turned on the speed as he headed for the bottom, pulling out front by a substantial margin, Pugh right on his heels. They brought it back to the bridge for the finish, Kahn winning by approximately a minute-and-a-half. Pugh was second, Jesberg finished third. Lovell finished nine minutes behind.

Lovell won the championship with an impressive 1-2-1-5-1-1-4 scoreline putting him ahead by three points Jesberg, Pugh finished third overall.

The International Melges 32 Class would like to extend a very sincere thanks to all the owners that traveled to compete and be with the fleet over the last two weeks. Without your participation the championships would not have been the same.

A very special thanks to North American Fleet president Stephen Pugh as he generously provided the class with the Taboo tender to bring race reports and photos to everyone back home that was unable to attend. Thanks to Tom Geisler, who traveled to promote the 2010 U.S. National Championship and assisted with driving the IM32CA press boat. Otherwise stories and photos would not have been possible.

An additional thanks to John Craig and Melanie Roberts with the St. Francis Yacht Club for accommodating the Melges 32 Class Nationals. The IM32CA looks forward to working once more with these fine individuals as the class prepares for the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by StFYC.

Full Results (After 7 Races)
1.) Andy Lovell, 1-2-1-5-1-1-4 = 15
2.) Don Jesberg, 3-1-3-3-2-3-3 = 18
3.) Stephen Pugh, 2-5-4-2-4-2-2 = 21
4.) Philippe Kahn, 5-3-2-1-7/DNF-7/DNF-1 = 26
5.) Pat Hughes, 4-4-4-2-3-4-7/DNF = 31
6.) John Porter, 7/DNF- 7/DNF- 7/DNF- 7/DNF- 7/DNF- 7/DNF - 7/DNF - 7/DNF = 49

The 2010 U.S. National Championship will be held on July 29-August 1, hosted by the Little Traverse City Yacht Club, in Harbor Springs, Mich. This event is slated to be incredible as Event Contact Tom Geisler has informed that preparations are already underway. Further information regarding logistics, accommodations, schedule of events and the NOR will be distributed very soon.

Next on the grand tour of September events is the 2009 Melges 32 World Championship taking place in Porto Cervo, Italy, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on September 22-27. Teams are in full-on preparation mode as this will be the first Melges 32 World Championship destined to be the best.

In addition to the Photo Gallery placed online by the International Melges 32 Class Association, the 45th running of the Rolex Big Boat Series boasts a great many media outlets to help you watch and enjoy this legendary event.

First, check out the Official Website of the RBBS/Melges 32 U.S. National Championship. Inside you will find the Race Deck Webcam as well as Live Video from Sailgroove.

Tucker Thompson and his team at t2p.tv are onsite in San Francisco at Nationals. They will have great footage of racing each day beginning Thursday, September 10 thru Sunday, September 13, On Demand each night after 9 p.m. PDT. Check It Out!

Also be sure to view the very cool photo galleries created by some of the world's greatest photographers. View Event Images.

View The Full Crew Lists : 2009 Rolex Big Boat Series | U.S. National Championship