Three Races Open Melges 32 Nationals, Carroll Takes The Lead

5 December 2015

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - The 3,000 hours of annual sunshine seen in Ft. Lauderdale will not be counted on Day One of the 2015 Melges 32 U.S. Nationals hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and Bahia Mar Marina. Sailors awoke to torrential downpours that lasted most of the morning, prompting PRO Clyde Wright to wisely postpone the start.

Around 10:30 a.m., the skies parted briefly allowing for a slight 7-9 SSE gradient breeze to fill the course. What would be a consistent theme throughout the day, sailors we left guessing as to what the passing rain clouds would bring to the racecourse.

Normally wearing the team colors of Volpe, Dick DeVos has grabbed the helm of Delta this weekend and launched himself into first place in the first race of the day. Starting mid-line and extending to the left corner, DeVos along with tactician Jonathan McKee and a well-oiled Delta team were able to pick a few small shifts up the first beat and getting an early extension for the lead, ultimately getting the win. Continuing from an impressive European season in 2015, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio on G-Spot took second, followed by Jason Carroll’s Argo Team in third.

With more rain clouds above, the breeze began to show initial signs of what would be a slow right trend throughout the remainder of the day. Learning lessons from Race One, Carroll picked a few nice places to move up the first beat and round with a healthy lead over Melges 32 newcomers Grant Hood on Quest and Veit Hemmeter/Christian Schwoerer on La Pericolosa. It was impressive to see brand new teams to the Melges 32 fleet rounding in the top, and they proved it was no fluke by maintaining their positions and finishing second and third respectively behind Carroll.

After a brief relocation of the starting line to allow for the trending breeze, the third and final race of Day One began with a heavily-condensed, boat-end favored starting line. Despite the rush-hour traffic at the committee boat, Carroll tacked onto port at the gun and dug into the right corner, flopped onto port and never looked back. A few teams were able to be patient on the left side of the course and make it work, but in the end it was Carroll, Hemmeter/Schwoerer and Richard Goransson’s Inga from Sweden that pieced together the trickiest conditions of the day.

Overall, going into Day Two, Carroll carries a six point lead ahead of Hemmeter/Schwoerer in second with eleven points.

Showing they are ready to rub shoulders with any team, Corinthian entrants on Hood’s Quest and the youth team helmed by Morgan Kiss of Project-Sail Team Hydra showed they are prepared to battle while also providing an intriguing sub-plot to the National Championship overall title. Swapping blows in each race, the two Corinthian teams are separated by only three points with the “kids” holding a narrow, three-point lead heading into Day Two. Once verified that indeed they were all over the age of 21, they were awarded their bottle of champagne for the daily top-Corinthian honor.

After racing, teams did their best to dry off and made their way to Grant Hood’s Lauderdale home and treated to an epic dinner party. The fleet cannot thank Grant and Anne Hood enough for their hospitality and for welcoming the Melges 32 sailors into their home.

With more rain in the forecast, the breeze is expected to be stronger out of the NE on Day 2, but if today’s random wind was any indication, the forecast will be about as useful as a tube of sunscreen was today.

Project Sail/Team Hydra crew member Lexi Petter is writing a daily blog about the adventures and experiences of this new, bright and aspiring Melges 32 team. The Melges 32 Class is thrilled to have them as part of the event, so do be sure to check out her very first blog/summary entry posted online at melges32.com.

As with all other Melges 32 events, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 32 Facebook Page. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges32.com.

TOP FIVE RESULTS - OVERALL (Preliminary, After Three Races)
1.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-1-1 = 5
2.) Veit Hemmeter/Christian Schwoerer, La Pericolosa; 6-3-2 = 11
3.) Dick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-7-5 = 13
4.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-Spot; 2-8-4 = 14
5.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 4-4-8 = 16
View Full Results

FULL CORINTHIAN RESULTS - OVERALL (Preliminary, After Three Races)
1.) Morgan Kiss/Alex Post, Project-Sail / Team Hydra; 8-5-6 = 19
2.) Grant Hood/Rossi Milev, Quest; 9-2-11 = 22
View Full Crew List
View Photo Gallery - Penalty Box Productions

For more information about the 2015-16 Melges 32 Blue Water Series, visit these Official Yachtscoring Event Websites:
2015-16 Blue Water Series Event No. 1: U.S. National Championship
2015-16 Blue Water Series Event No. 2: Gold Cup
2015-16 Blue Water Series Event No. 3: Lauderdale Cup