Shifty Conditions Make For An Exciting First Day At Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup

10 December 2011

December 8, 2011 (Miami, FL) - Day one at the 2011 Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, put every team to the ultimate test. PRO Bruce Golison and team fired off three great races that has left Italy’s Luca Lalli on B-Lin Sailing in first overall, however tied in points with second place holder Travis Weisleder’s Layline.com/Gill Race Team. In third, is Russell Lucas’ Shimmer 10 points further back.

The day commenced under gorgeous conditions with a very pleasant 10-13 knots of breeze and defending Gold Cup Champion Francesco Farnetti on Reggini Sailing Team winning the first race by a hair. Right off the starting line, Weisleder and Marc Hollerbach’s Fu battled into the first mark for the lead, followed closely by Lalli. Weisleder commanded the lead leaving Lalli and Farnetti to fight for position throughout the race. At the finish line, they sailed what appeared to be the shorter side of the course advancing for the win. Farnetti sailed in from the left, Lalli finished right alongside less than half a boat length behind for second. A major shift prevented Weisleder from hanging on to the lead, loosing momentum at the finish to take third.

With clouds moving in, race two commenced under increasing cloudy skies and the breeze began to wane. Overall, Lalli remained strong, but it was INTAC’s Mark Plaxton, just ahead of Weisleder taking the initial lead. Plaxton held onto the lead, followed by Lalli, then Lucas. At the final windward mark of the race, Lalli had overtaken the lead for the win, Lucas came second, and Plaxton was third.

The last race of the day forced Golison and Committee to work even harder to keep up with the rapidly changing conditions. Lucas stormed race three with an early lead, but as the breeze diminished, teams fully exercised their ability to excel in the light air conditions. Alessandro Rombelli on STIG took great strides overtaking the lead at the gate, Lucas on his transom, followed by Renato Vallivero on Turnover in third. With the rapidly diminishing breeze Weisleder found his way back to the front of the fleet, followed by Hollerbach in second and Michael Kiss on Bacio in third.

Racing continues on Friday, where more light air conditions are expected.

1.) Luca Lalli, B-Lin Sailing.com; 2-1-6/PROTEST = 9
2.) Travis Weisleder, Layline|Gill Race Team; 3-5-1 = 9
3.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 12-2-5 = 19
4.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 4-9-7 = 20
5.) Marc Hollerbach, FU; 5-17-2 = 24
6.) Mark Plaxton, INTAC; 21-3-9 = 33
7.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky; 22-7-4 = 33
8.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 15-6-15 = 36
9.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 17-18-3 = 38 
10.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 9-10-20 = 39 
View Full Results

Official Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship Event Website
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Video Interviews & Highlights

Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing. Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web SiteMelges.com and Melgeseurope.com for all the latest details. You can also friend the Audi Melges 20 on Facebook, follow on Twitter and/or subscribe to the Official Audi Melges 20 You Tube Channel.