Local Knowledge Sees Chris Larson Top The Leader Board Of Day One At The Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis Melges 24 World Championship
27 October 2009
Annapolis, MD, USA - The Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship got underway today with two tricky races sailed in predominantly light airs out on Chesapeake Bay. As well as having to deal with a capricious breeze, which peaked this the morning at around ten knots but dropped to around six knots by the afternoon, the fifty-one-boat fleet also had to factor some complex and not insignificant current flow into their race strategies. With the local conditions playing such a major role in things, it is perhaps no surprise that it was ‘local boy’ Chris Larson at the helm of West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes who was able to make most sense of it all. Backed up by tactician Richard Clarke, Larson turned in the most consistent results for the day, with a 5,2, scoreline that sees him top the leaderboard tonight. Despite snagging a crab pot when leading race one, Flavio Favini on the Swiss entry Blu Moon still managed to post a third and fifth today and sit in second place, just one point off the lead. After recovering well from a poor start in the first race, Italy’s Carlo Fracassoli on Gullisara clawed his way back to ninth place at the finish, before taking a comfortable win in the second. This pair of top ten results were good enough to put him third overall at the end of the first day.
Reigning Melges 24 North American Champion, Terry Hutchinson on Quantum Racing, had what can best be described as a very mixed day on the water; having pulled off a spectacular win in the first race of the day and finishing in thirty-seventh place in the next. Hutchinson was surprisingly philosophical about things this evening when he commented ‘The win in race one was very satisfying as we had great speed and everything felt great. Our thirty-seventh in the next race was no more or less complicated than us allowing ourselves to get completely dorked by two competitors in the middle of the start line. There are actually a lot of positives about that second race performance and we are confident that we will be able to pick ourselves up tomorrow, with our usual attention to detail and focusing in on getting off the start and nailing the first shift.’ Bill Hardesty and tactician Vince Brun aboard Events Clothing/Atlantis also struggled for consistency today with a nineteenth in race one followed up by a solid third in race two. Asked about today’s conditions Brun shook his head ruefully and commented ‘Pretty tricky all round. It seemed to us that you had to pick a side, as there was nothing to be gained from working the middle. The spread of the fleet means that if you guess right then you are in the top few, but if you get it wrong you are nowhere.’ Nevertheless after two races the Events Clothing/Atlantis team sit securely inside the top ten in seventh place.
The ever improving Alan Field and his USA crew aboard WTF sailed two impressively composed races today and their 4,6 scoreline puts them in fourth place and well within striking distance of the podium teams. Top flight European Star helm Eivind Melleby steered Norwegian entry Full Metal Jacket into fifth overall with an 8,4 tally for the day. Current Melges 24 US National Champion Brian Porter on Full Throttle started the day with a second place before faltering slightly with an eleventh in the second race and now sit in sixth place tonight.
Reigning World and European Champion and regatta favourite Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing had a terrible start to his title defence, due in no small way to an ankle injury sustained to bow-girl Francesca Prina yesterday, which tragically may see her take no further part in this regatta. Uka Uka Racing struggled to an uncharacteristic 26,10 scoreline and sit in fifteenth place at the end of the first day. Bressani was clearly speaking candidly when he told us that ‘The first race was simply a disaster. Everything was bad, my start, our tactics the whole thing just went wrong.’ Perhaps most significant however was the recovery that Bressani pulled off in the second race after another poor start. In a twelve race series it is always risky to bet against the determination of the Uka Uka Racing and with every team here likely to put in a high score this week, only time will tell how important their tenth place this afternoon will be come the end of this regatta.
The Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Sponsored by:
Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis - Title Sponsor
Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis, the Baltimore-Annapolis area's ONLY Elite Lexus dealership for six consecutive years, will be the title sponsor of the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship. To drive a Lexus is to experience the perfect blend of automotive performance and luxury. To own a Lexus from Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis is to experience something even more: a recognition of your personal needs that goes beyond offering expert service and convenient hours. Throughout the regatta, competitors and spectators will be able to inspect a wide range of Lexus luxury automobiles, which will be on display at the regatta center.
Pusser's Rum - Official Rum
The official rum for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Pusser's Rum. Rum and the sea are inseparable, and no rum is more akin to the sea and the sailor than Pusser's Rum - the Original Navy Rum. Pusser's continues its long standing association with the Melges 24 Class by hosting the mid-week Pusser’s Painkiller Party as well as providing their legendary Pusser’s Painkiller cocktails for the daily post racing gatherings and sponsoring the Pusser's WipeOut Of The Day competition.
Coral Reef Sailing Apparel & Gill - Official Apparel Sponsor
The official apparel sponsor for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Coral Reef Sailing Apparel (CRSA) and Gill. CRSA is continuing their strong commitment to the Melges 24 class by providing apparel for the World Championship. Items can be purchased online now, or on-site at the event. Gill is a brand leader in foul weather apparel specific to the sailing enthusiast.
Atlantic Yacht Rigging - Official Rigging Partner
The official rigging partner for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Atlantic Yacht Rigging. AYRS is a full service company that can help with any of your rigging or repair needs any time of the year. From wire swaging projects to fiberglass repair and everything in between, they will be onsite providing the best service to the entire fleet.
T2P.TV - Official Video Partner
T2P.TV is an National award winning media group specializing in live, on the water video production and online broadcasting of major sailing events for almost a decade. As such they have been involved in coverage of every facet of the sport from Jr. Sailing to the America's Cup. T2P.TV will be providing official video coverage of all the racing action throughout the Championship.
Tacktick - Official IMCA Media Output Sponsor
Tacktick, the world leader in wireless, solar powered electronics for the marine industry, is the Official Sponsor of the Media Output from the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship. Tacktick's support will enable the class to provide media output in the form of daily press releases, live online reporting from the racecourse via the official Melges 24 Blog as well as on the dock video interviews with the sailors.
Other supporting sponsors include the City of Annapolis, National Sailing Hall of Fame,BoatingLaw.com, Go!The Airport Shuttle, Boatyard Bar and Grill, Sam's Waterfront Cafe, APS Ltd, Pusser's Caribean Grille at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront, Team Barbarians,RACEBOOK-US, North Sails One Design, SailFastPhoto, PantherVision, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co, Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard, Sail 22, Latis Yachting Solutions, Kathryn M Weber, CPA,MarinaCastTV, Fawcett Boat Supplies and LaCroix Waters. This event is also supported by theInternational Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA), the US Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA)and the Annapolis Melges 24 Fleet #22.
The Melges 24 Class and Eastport Yacht Club are extremely proud to be partnered with these outstanding companies and sincerely thank them for their generous support of the 2009 Worlds.