More Tight Racing Concludes Day Two At 2011 Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup

10 December 2011

December 9, 2011 (Miami, FL) - Friday proved to be a spectacular day for yacht racing in Miami, FL at the 2011 Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Beautiful conditions prevailed all day long with early clouds giving way to a gorgeous afternoon filled with sunshine and breeze. Day two added three more races to the results, allowing for a discard to go into effect. On top of the forty-strong fleet, Italy's Luca Lalli on B-Lin Sailing officially leads by one point. Russell Lucas' Shimmer is in second place and Travis Weisleder on Layline.com/Gill Race Team is third, both tied with equal points.

The day opened with an update to Thursday's results following a full night of protests. Lalli lost a protest in the race three sending his B-Lin Sailing machine tumbling from first overall to fourteenth to start the day. So, going into the second day of racing, if only for a few hours, Weisleder enjoyed a satisfying, overall lead.

Race one got underway and on time under cloudy skies with a light and fickle 6-8 knots of breeze. Just like Thursday, the shifting breeze played havoc with the course. The fleet put in three starts before getting on their way to the weathermark. Alessandro Rombelli's STIG took control early rounding ahead of Michael Kiss' Bacio in second and Lucas' Shimmer in third. Downwind Rombelli held on to the lead with Kiss trailing. Lalli slid in surprisingly from the right to scoop up the second position ahead of Kiss at the gate. Back upwind, Rombelli continued on with the lead to take the win. Lalli landed second while Weisleder and Kiss engaged in a heated fight for third and fourth. It was a photo finish with Weisleder grabbing third. Kiss was fourth and Lucas settled for fifth.

PRO Bruce Golison put in for a quick turn around firing off the second race almost immediately. Defending champion Francesco Farnetti on Reggini Sailing Team acquired the lead at the top and took it to the finish. Farnetti, leg-by-leg, extended his lead with his next best competition being fellow countryman Lalli. On the last downwind run, Lucas pulled a rabbit out of the hat, taking the right side for pressure sliding in for a magical third place.

By the time race three came around, the wind began to do its Biscayne Bay thing, clocking right for a new bearing of 115 in comparison to the earlier 100. Paul Reilly's Red Sky poured on the speed to take an early lead, just ahead of Kiss in second and Lucas in third. The three held their positions up until the last mark of the race when Lucas clearly played every speed card in the deck. First, he moved up to round the final mark in second, then downwind, pulled out all the stops to fire across the finish line in first ahead of Reilly and Kiss.

Three additional races are anticipated on Saturday, Day 3 of 4 at the 2011 Gold Cup.

TOP TEN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After six races, one discard)
1.) Luca Lalli, B-Lin Sailing.com; 2-1-[41/DSQ]-2-4-6 = 15
2.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; [12]-2-5-5-3-1= 16
3.) Travis Weisleder, Layline|Gill Race Team; 3-5-1-3-[23]-4 = 16
4.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 4-[9]-6-1-7-7 = 25
5.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky; [22]-7-4-7-9-3 = 30
6.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 17-[18]-3-4-13-2 = 39
7.) Mark Plaxton, INTAC; [21]-3-8-11-12-13 = 47
8.) Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team; 1-23-17-6-1-[25] = 48 
9.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 15-6-14-9-[21]-5 = 49
10.) Rob Butler, Touch 2 Play; 13-20-9-[22]-2-9 = 53
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.