Cutler's 'Hedgehog' Takes Over Melges 32 Worlds Lead

26 September 2012

Newport, RI - USA - Day two of the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was a long day featuring one race and a new overnight leader - Bermuda's Alec Cutler and tactician Richard Clarke aboard Hedgehog. "We just wanted to get through the two windiest days in good position." said Cutler. "Today was great, but it's still a little too early to get excited about where we are at in the standings. We still a long way to go."

Moving from fourth place overnight into the second position is Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone with Branko Brcin on tactics and in third overall, Andrea Pozzi with Gabriele Benussi as tactician on Bombarda.

The day started with teams anticipating racing on the outside (offshore) again, but the Race Committee, due to very harsh conditions, relocated racing to the inside course (bay). When teams arrived they found 18-20+ knots of breeze and a steep chop. As the Race Committee worked hard to set the course, the breeze gradually built to a healthy 20+ for the first start of the day, which resulted in a general recall. The breeze only increased further, prompting PRO Hank Stuart to send the fleet ashore while he and his NYYC Race Committee Team remained on station. At 12.30, Stuart reported a solid 27 knots with gusts to 33, clearly exceeding the IM32CA Rule racing maximum.

At 14.00, the AP ashore was lowered and the fleet went racing again, in the same place as before but with more overcast skies and chop. The one and only race of the day, a course five with a bearing of 230 at 2.0 nm, kicked off a little after three o'clock, with Cutler, Steve Howe on Warpath, Lupi and John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti battling the entire race. Cutler took the early lead with Kilroy and Howe chasing for the lead but in the end, Kilroy took command at the final windward mark of the race and held on for the win. Cutler settled for second and Lupi finished a solid third.

"Our first place finish today proved that we are a strong team and that we can compete at a very high level." commented Kilroy. "Yesterday was not a good day as we broke a spinnaker and we did a penalty turn which caused us to end with a 20th place finish. Our win today put us in the top ten, but we hope to not stop there. Sailing the Melges 32 in Newport, hosted by NYYC has been just fantastic."

Cutler now possesses one of the few single digit score lines at the event thus far, moving into the lead by one point.

Two more races, with the option for a third, are scheduled for Thursday, September 27 with a start of 11.00.

The 2012 Melges 32 World Championship Press Team will be bringing live reports and updates of the racing via the Melges 32 Blog. Every start, play and finish will be published, and as connection allows, video from the race course may be provided too. In addition, the latest racing developments will post to the Official Melges 32 Facebook Page. A host of photos from the event can be found online at melges32.com.

TOP TEN RESULTS (As of Tuesday, September 25, after two races)
1.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 5-7-2 = 14
2.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 8-4-3 = 15
3.) Andre Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda; 1-6-9 = 16
4.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 3-3-12 = 18
5.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-15-4 = 21
6.) Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces; 4-1-19 = 24
7.) Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, Mascalzone Latino; 12-2-13 = 27
8.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; 20-8-1 = 29
9.) Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem; 7-16-6 = 29
10.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 6-21-5 = 32

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View 2012 Melges 32 World Championship Photo Gallery - Max Ranchi

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The New York Yacht Club was formed in 1844 onboard the yacht Gimcrack anchored off the Battery in New York Harbor. The Club's first Cruise was held later that summer bound for Newport, Rhode Island. A year later, the Annual Regatta was begun and the 158th edition was held in 2012. In 1901, the Club's burgee was hoisted over the spectacular beaux-arts style building, designed by Whitney Warren and known for its Model Room and Library, which serves as the Club's home in the heart of Manhattan. Harbour Court, the Club's first permanent waterfront facility commissioned in 1988, overlooks Brenton Cove and Newport Harbor and has become the focal point of many premier regional, national and world sailing championships. The original clubhouse, a small gingerbread trimmed house constructed in 1845 in Hoboken, NJ, now sits on the sloping lawn at Harbour Court. The history and tradition of New York Yacht Club is rich and storied, from winning and defending the America's Cup from 1851 to 1983, to running transatlantic races, cruising, racing, teaching, leading... all distinguished by an enduring passion for yachting. Visit the New York Yacht Club on the web at www.nyyc.org.

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