With A Cherry On Top

6 December 2015

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - The sun finally arrived on Day Three of the 2015 Melges 32 National Championship hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and Bahia Mar Marina, and along with it breeze out of the Northeast at 18-23 kts and 6-8 ft seas to cap a wet, yet stellar weekend of racing. A sentinel race committee boat was deployed to confirm that conditions weren't too gnarly, and once the thumbs up was given, the Melges 32 fleet put on their chin straps and made way to the racing area, taking notes from lessons learned from a humbling Day Two and applying it to the final day of racing.

In typical efficient fashion, PRO Clyde Wright set a square 1.3 nm course and started Race Seven on time. Minimizing tacks was a priority for most teams as one bad wave during a maneuver could be very costly, thus the fleet had a defined split in those going left and right.

Unlike the second day of racing where the top left consistently paid, there were plenty of shifts and after getting flushed on the start, Jason Carroll’s Argo Team was able to jag a nice righty and lead at the first top mark followed closely by Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-Spot and Richard Goransson’s Inga from Sweden. Like a school of flying fish, the top five boats stayed tight after the first lap and di Lapigio jumped into the passing lane at the next top mark and surfed to the victory in the first race of the day. Charging hard right behind was Ryan DeVos’ Volpe who passed three boats on the final run and Carroll in third.

With the regatta victory secured, Carroll and team decided preserving their equipment was the prudent decision and took a victory sail into the Bahia Mar. The fleet again started quickly with similar conditions and with five teams separated by single digit points, the podium was anything but decided.

Goransson showed stellar speed in the final race of the Championship taking the bullet followed by a resilient Dick DeVos on Delta and di Lapigio. After dropping a few boats throughout the race, Ryan DeVos finished a tough fifth place finishing third overall. Di Lapigio happily claimed second in the event.

The kids on Team Hydra entered the day with a two-point advantage over Grant Hoods’ Quest team, but with blazing upwind speed that was some of the best in the fleet and clean boat handling, they were able to battle with the front of the fleet and claim the first ever Corinthian National title. As a combined project between Jason Carroll, and Dick and Doug DeVos, the kids on Team Hydra were handed the keys to a top flight program and from all indications they came together as a team and embraced their steep learning curve.

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 team race reports:
DAY 1 & 2: Onboard With “The Kids”
DAY 3: Sparkling Grape Juice
DAY 4: Going Down a Black Diamond with Our Eyes Closed

TOP FIVE RESULTS - OVERALL (FINAL, After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-1-1-2-1-3-3-[12/DNS] = 14
2.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-Spot; 2-[8]-4-4.7/RDG-4.7/RDG-4.7/RDG-1-3 = 24.1
3.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 4-4-8-1-[12/DNF]-1-2-5 = 25
4.) Dick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-7-5-[12/DSQ]-3-4-4-2 = 26
5.) Richard Goransson/Vasco Vascotto, Inga From Sweden; 7-[9]-3-3-6-2-6-1 = 28
View Full Results

1.) Morgan Kiss/Alex Post, Project-Sail / Team Hydra; [8]-5-6-7-4-5-5-6 = 38
2.) Grant Hood/Rossi Milev, Quest; 9-2-[11]-4-7-7-11-9 = 49
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