Steve Howe’s 'Warpath' Maintains A Solid Lead In Key West

19 January 2011

Day three of racing in Key West produced light air conditions and only one race leaving Steve Howe’s Warpath (Morgan Larson, tactician) with a comfortable seven point lead in the Melges 32 fleet. Doug Douglas’ Goombay Smash (Chris Larson, tactician) and Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca (Rob Greenhalgh) traded places once more on the leader board finishing second and third.

The first race of the day on Wednesday looked and felt very similar to Tuesday’s pleasant conditions. A Course 4, with a bearing of 215 degrees at a distance of 1.3nm set the stage. Knowing good and well that the wind would further diminish as the day progressed, the Race Committee rushed to get things started on time. The start resulted in an onslaught of OCSs, Jackson being effected the most. His recovery was slow but sure, settling for a ninth place finish. Overnight leader Howe won the pin end, Douglas following closely, aggressively challenging tack-for-tack. The first weather mark rounding was tight as Howe spun his Melges 32 around the top about a boat length ahead of Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai (Hamish Pepper, tactician), Douglas rounded third. The fleet began to separate slightly downwind, Howe hanging onto the lead with Douglas moving in ever closer. Back upwind the racing was incredibly close as Howe turned another corner in first. Downwind and less than a hundred yards from the line, Douglas pulled up, gybed and gained the lead seconds before crossing the finish. Ishida finished fourth after losing out to John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti (Nathan Wilmot, tactician) overtaking for third, and Geoff Pierini on Shakedown (Gavin Brady, tactician) raced in to finish fifth.

"Steve nailed the start." said Warpath tactician, Morgan Larson. "It was great racing today and the breeze was shifting pretty fast. Goombay did an excellent job at the last mark rounding. They clearly got into position to control us. They gybed, then the breeze went right on us a good 15-20 degrees and they laid the line."

Looking to Thursday in Key West, Howe has secured a somewhat solid lead. With Douglas’ second bullet of the event, he moves back into the second place overall. Jackson slipped back to third. Kilroy moves from fifth to fourth overall. Ishida had a remarkable day jumping from eighth to fifth.

Friends, family and fans of the Melges 32 are able to tune-in and enjoy the racing action and developments from a distance, special thanks to Sail 22’s all new Sailing Updates. They anticipate bringing as-it-happens coverage from the water. A very special thanks to Steve Rhyne's Mojo Team.

Daily race reports, press release and photos will be available at the official website of theInternational Melges 32 Class Association. If you are unable to attend Key West Race Week 2011, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed or visiting the Official Melges 32 Blog. The Melges 32 can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After five races)
1.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-6-5-1-2 = 16
2.) William Douglas/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 4-1-2-15-1 = 23
3.) Alex Jackson/Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca; 3-2-3-7-9 = 24
4.) John Kilroy, Jr./Nathan Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 5-10-6-11 = 35
5.) Yukihiro Ishida/Tony Rey, Yasha Samurai; 13-7-14-4-4 = 42
4.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 8-9-4-10-14 = 45
7.) Phil Lotz/Ed Baird, Arethusa; 11-3-17-2-13 = 46
8.) Bob Hughes/Chris Rast, Heartbreaker; 7-21-1-8-12 = 49
9.) Peter Rogers/Ruairdah Scott, Highlife; 1-20-11-9-11 = 52
10.) Terry McSweeney/Seadon Wijsen, Flat Stanley; 14-11-10-5-15 = 55
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2011 Key West Race Week Official Event Website

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A very special thanks to Alex Jackson's Leenabarca.