Taselaar Takes Over In Miami

5 March 2010

Miami, Fla. - To no big surprise, reigning World Champion Pieter Taselaar (New York, N.Y.) on Bliksemcommands the Melges 32 fleet at Premiere Racing’s Miami Grand Prix by one swift point over yesterday's leader Jean-Francois Cruette (La Rochelle, France) on Teasing Machine, now in second. Seated in third is Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red.

Two more incredible races took place under plentiful sunshine, crystal-clear-as-a-bell blue skies, cool temps and light breezes ranging 10-12 knots. Outfront quick was John Porter (Lake Geneva, Wisc.) on Full Throttle. Porter packed on the speed and played the shifts earning a minute and a half advantage over the fleet for the win. The real duel was for second place, where Ryan Devos (Holland, Mich.) on Volpe and Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on STAR played the last shifty downwind run chasing for second place. It was a photo finish as DeVos jibed with just enough momentum to put his Melges 32 across the line a nose in front of Ecklund. Woods kept the pace to finish fourth and in fifth was John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif.) on Samba Pa Ti.

The second and last race of the day brought on lighter breezes than the first, a Course 5 @ 345 with the usual 1.8nm distance and flat water. Ecklund got a great start placing him first around the mark, with Taselaar hot on his heels immediately jibing out for clean air and more pressure. Stuart Simpson (London, UK) on Team Barbarians and John Taylor (Jupiter Island, Fla.) on Ninkasi rounded fourth and fifth respectively. Taselaar progressively, but not easily overtook the lead from Ecklund passing through the bottom gate, then back around the final weathermark of the race. It was Ecklund's turn to fight back banging the right side of the course successfully regaining the lead from Taselaar. Ecklund took it to the finishline, with Taselaar finishing second. Taylor had a great day scoring third, Yukihiro Ishida (Tokyo, Japan) on Yasha Samarai was fourth. Kilroy was fifth.

Looking at the overall results, Taselaar leads by one very slim point heading into Saturday's racing. Three races are scheduled and to make things even more interesting, discards go into effect after six. The move of the day goes to Jeff Ecklund's STAR as a productive performance on the water moved them up from tenth overall to fourth. Porter made a nice stride as well moving from ninth to sixth.

Top Ten Results
1.) Bliksem, Pieter Taselaar; 1-2-14-6-2 = 25
2.) Teasing Machine, Jean-Francois Cruette; 5-1-1-10-9 = 26
3.) Red, Joe Woods; 2-10-4-4-10 = 30
4.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 4-4-19-3-1 = 31
5.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; 3-6-12-5-5 = 31
6.) Full Throttle, John Porter; 12-5-5-1-12 = 35
7.) Ninkasi, John Taylor; 7-11-8-7-3 = 36
8.) Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo; 10-7-6-14-7 = 44
9.) Calvi Network, Carlo Aberini; 6-8-9-13-8= 44
10.) Yasha Samurai, Yukihiro Ishida; 17-15-13-8-4 = 57

Full Results
Full Crew List 

There is plenty of Melges 32 eye-candy to go around from the IM32CA Photo Gallery to photographerJohn PayneTim Wilkes Photography and Sharon Green. Enjoy!

Did you tune into theOfficial Melges 32 Blog today? If not, you should! Everyday the blog brings you the latest Melgs 32 racing developments. Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing at the official website of the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA). If you are unable to attend 2010 Miami Grand Prix, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed, or visiting the Official Melges 32 Blog. Friend the fleet onFacebook, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 YouTube Channel.