Two Bullets For Favini But Larson Tightens Grip On The Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis Melges 24 World Championship
2 November 2009
Annapolis, MD, USA - After yet another light and fickle day on the water, the fifty-one boat international fleet competing at the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, now appear resigned to racing in sub seven knot breezes. With day five of the regatta seeing maximum pressure of no more than six knots, the Race Committee certainly had to have their wits about them to get two races off as soon as the opportunities presented themselves.
So far this regatta, 2001 Melges 24 World Champion Flavio Favini aboard the Swiss registered Blu Moon, had produced an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance, but today Favini spectacularly returned to more familiar form; winning both of the day's races in some style. Whilst still handicapped by a trio of double-digit scores earlier in the week, today's sparkling performance leapfrogs the Blu Moon crew from up eleventh to seventh overall tonight.
Going into day five, overnight leader Chris Larson on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes, held a tenuous six-point lead over Norway's Eivind Melleby on Full Metal Jacket. Topping the leaderboard at a major regatta such as this one produces its own special kind of mental pressure, but the experienced Larson certainly showed no signs of stage fright in the first race of the day, turning in a confident performance to take second place behind Favini and extending his winning margin at that stage to sixteen points. With second placed Melleby faltering with a sixteenth, an eighth for Gabrio Zandona on Joe Fly was good enough to move the Italian team back up to second overall but only with a four point margin over Melleby.
In the second race of the day Andrew Wills on Cracker Racing held on to his first mark lead until the end of the second beat when he finally succumbed to sustained pressure from both Favini and Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing. On the final run Favini comfortably saw off Bressani's advances and ghosted across the finish line to take his second victory of the day by a margin of several boat lengths. After a difficult start to the regatta reigning World Champion Bressani now sits in third overall and mathematically at least still within striking distance of retaining the title he won last year in Porto Cervo.
Zandona and Larson finished in quick succession in seventh and eighth place respectively in the final race, so the American skipper takes a fifteen-point advantage over his Italian rival into the last day of the Championship. Terry Hutchinson's solid 5,3, scores today move him up to fourth overall, with a seven point gap back to 2006 Melges 24 World Champion Nico Celon in fifth.
The overall order in the Corinthian Division looks a little more established at the end of day five, with Monsoon helm Bruce Ayres's pair of Corinthian bullets giving him a four point delta over Othmar Mueller von Blumencron on Gannet. A four and a three for David Dabney on Conejo Racing - Ocean Sailing Academy leaves him tied on points with Germany's Christof Wieland on Unsponsored. Dabney is in third place by virtue of the count back with Wieland in fourth overall, four points ahead of Henry Filter on Wild Child.
The fervent collective hope amongst everyone here in Annapolis is that tomorrow's much-heralded forecast of winds in the mid-teens comes to fruition for the final day of racing. With the Race Committee keen to try to complete their series by getting three races in before the 14.30 cut-off, the prospect of the World Title being decided in the last race of the regatta is a tantalisingly real one.
Full results are available from the Event Website. The championship runs until Saturday 31 October with a total of 12 races scheduled. You can follow the racing live on the IMCA Official Blog. For further information or to request photographs or video footage please firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provisional Overall Top Ten After Six Races
- Chris Larson - West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes - 32 points
- Gabrio Zandona - Joe Fly - 47 points
- Lorenzo Bressani - Uka Uka Racing - 52 points
- Terry Hutchinson - Quantum Racing/Gill Race Team - 58 points
- Nicola Celon - Fantastica - 65 points
- Eivind Melleby - Full Medal Jacket - 66 points
- Flavio Favini - Blu Moon - 75 points
- Alan Field - WTF - 80 points
- Brian Porter - Full Throttle - 92 points
- Carlo Fracassoli - Gullisara - 94 points
Provisional Corinthian Top Five After Six Races
- Bruce Ayres - Monsoon - 21 points
- Othmar Mueller von Blumencron - Gannet - 25 points
- David Dabney - Conejo Racing-Ocean Sailing Academy - 35 points
- Christof Wieland - Unsponsored - 35 points
- Henry Filter - Wild Child - 39 points
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 the International 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.