Cruette Is 2010 Miami Grand Prix Melges 32 Champion

7 March 2010

Miami, Fla. - Another glorious day of Melges 32 racing at the Miami Grand Prix has concluded leaving Jean-Francois Cruette (La Rochelle, France) on Teasing Machine as Champion of the Melges 32 division in sunny Miami, Fla. Among Cruette's team were tactician Christian Ponthieu, Pascal Rambeau, Thomas Allin, Vincent Jaricot, Eric de Turckheim, Romuald Chasseray and William Thomas. Of the ten races completed, Cruette won four and never scored worse than an eleventh."We love these conditions. Great conditions. We had great boat speed and very good tactics," commented Cruette. In second and third, tied for points was John Porter (Lake Geneva, Wisc.) on Full Throttle and Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on STAR

For Porter, this was a return to the fleet after a two-year hiatus. "It's a great fleet. The sailors that are here are all really good. There are 23 of the world's best tacticians here. Out of 23 teams, there are about 15-18 that you can really count on to be in contention to win races," says Porter. "There are great main trimmers and a lot of really great sailors all over this fleet. I mean they are really, really good. It's unbelievable. Some of these pros out here would not be doing that well if it weren't for all the other great sailors on the boats with them. That's why this fleet is so much fun. This is the place to be right now."

He was also quick to give credit where credit is due, "I really have to give it to our tactician Jonathan McKee, especially Andy Burdick and Federico Michetti as well as my whole crew as they were really the ones I think put us into great position for the mark roundings. Downwind, we were fast the entire regatta, so we felt pretty comfortable."

Jeff Madrigali called tactics for Ecklund's STAR. "These were tough conditions. If you got in the pack, it was really tough to find a fast lane," commented Madrigali following Friday's racing. "There's only but so much space. So, a lot of times you know where to go, but then there's someone in your way, so then you have to deal with the bad air or find another way."

Going into today's races, Cruette held the fleet leader position, extending his advantage by four points. Taselaar was seated in second place with Woods in third.

The first race of the day was a Course 4 with Bob Hesse (Elma, N.Y.) on Lake Effect getting in on the top dog action. A strong start ended with an incredible win for Hesse. However, his efforts did not go unchallenged. The likes Ecklund, Porter (Lake Geneva, Wisc.) and John Taylor (Jupiter Island, Fla.) on Ninkasi all were looking aiming for the lead. Hesse ultimately took first, Ecklund was second and in third was Taylor.

Race two of the day and final in the series was a healthy five-legger rounding out an incredible event. Tough breaks were immediately felt as John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif.) on Samba Pa Ti, Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red, Yukihiro Ishida (Tokyo, Japan) on Yasha Samurai and Dalton DeVos (Holland, Mich.) on Delta were all OCS. Porter led the pack around the track, followed by Don Jesberg (Mill Valley, Calif.) on Viva and Ecklund third. The fleet battled through the gate, back to the top with Porter taking the lead to the finish line. Ecklund challenged Jesberg for second place on a number of occasions, however Jesberg and tactician Zarko Draganic remained steadfast, Ecklund settled for third.

A very special thanks to all the competitors that traveled to Miami to make the Melges 32, not only the hottest supersonic sportboat on the planet, but also the largest fleet in attendance with the toughest, tightest competition to be found. As always, an extra special thanks to Peter Craig and his team with Premiere racing. Kudos to you for another great event!

Top Ten Results
1.) Teasing Machine, Jean-Francois Cruette; 5-1-1-10-9-1-1-10-[11]-6 = 44 
2.) Full Throttle, John Porter; [12]-5-5-1-12-5-12-5-4-1 = 50
3.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 4-4-[19]-3-1-17-5-11-2-3 = 50
4.) Bliksem, Pieter Taselaar; 1-2-[14]-6-2-2-7-12-14-5 = 51
5.) Red, Joe Woods; 2-[10]-4-4-10-6-4-9-7-7 = 53
6.) Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini; 6-8-9-[13]-8-4-8-2-13-4 = 62
7.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; 3-6-12-5-5-14-10-[17]-9-10 = 74 
8.) Ninkasi, John Taylor; 7-11-8-7-3-16-16-8-3-[20] = 79
9.) Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo; 10-7-6-14-7-8-[22]-1-22-12 = 87
10.) Volpe, Ryan DeVos; 19-[23]-15-2-15-3-14-6-8-8 = 90

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 the Official Melges 32 Blog today? If not, you should! Everyday the blog brings you the latest Melges 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 on Face book, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 You Tube Channel.