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Howe's Warpath Hangs On To 2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Lead

4 December 2011

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - Day two at 2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta was equally as spectacular as opening day, with still, Steve Howe on Warpath seated in first place overall. Even with an OCS (as his discard) in the first race of the day, Howe still managed to win the second race and place second in the third giving him a significant lead in the championship. Next closest in points, eleven points behind in second, is Ryan DeVos on Volpe. Joe Woods on Red is now third overall.

As teams ventured out of the channel, and onto the racecourse area, they got a first full dose of monster 6-8 foot seas and a steady breeze of 22-24 knots — a true sample of what was forecasted for the day. It is due to these conditions that the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation Take A Junior Sailing Day was cancelled for safety reasons. 

The first race of the day commenced on time with several OCS’s that included overnight leader Howe and Bob Hughes on Heartbreaker. The two rounded the top mark respectively first and second. Next in line was John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti, followed by Mark Plaxton’s INTAC. The first downwind run offered up some fleet separation, not to mention a number of fantastic wipeouts, but most importantly, extended Kilroy the opportunity to increase his lead. Also getting into the mix of things was Benjamin Schwartz’s Pisces and DeVos fighting for position. As teams blasted downwind, the set-up for the finish was incredible. Howe failed to round the ends at the start so his stride across the line didn’t count. Kilroy on the other hand proudly took the win, just ahead of DeVos in second. Schwartz pulled up to finish third.

After the finish, a dramatic turn of events unfolded for Kilroy as his team prepared to douse the spinnaker. As if it wasn't bad enough that the spinnaker ended up in the water, one of the battens projected from the mainsail, looking as though in the process it ripped the pocket off too. The team examined the damage and determined that it was not possible to sail, leaving them but no choice to retire from racing for the day.

The fleet carried on for race two with Howe paying closer attention to the start and nailing it, for yet again another strong race and key win. Jason Carroll and his Argo team got into the groove to claim a beautiful second place finish. Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca felt the same satisfaction placing third.

All day the breeze moved ever so slowly right, prompting the Race Committee to make a slight course adjustment prior to the start of race three. A new bearing of 070 with 1.1nm beats was prescribed as the breeze remained steady at around 23 knots. Big seas were a tough go upwind, but made for incredible downwind rides. Working his way up the left side of the course was Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica taking the lead at the top mark ahead of DeVos and Woods. Cirillo stayed the path, as did DeVos downwind with Howe creeping forward with his sights set on the top spot. Back upwind and down again to the finish, it was a heated battle between Howe and Cirillo. Across the line in first was Cirillo, a far cry and vast improvement of his 16th on the first race of the day. Howe came second and Woods claimed third.

The final two races of the championship are scheduled for Sunday.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After 6 Races)
1.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 1-1-1-[21/OCS]-1-2 = 6
2.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; 3-2-[6]-2-4-4 = 15
3.) Joe Woods/Geoff Carveth, Red; 4-5-5-4-[9]-3 = 21
4.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica; 6-8-8-[16]-5-1 = 28
5.) Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces; 2-11-[13]-3-6-6 = 28
6.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 12-[17]-4-7-2-8 = 33
7.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 9-4-3-9-8-[11] = 33
8.) John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti; 7-3-2-1-[21/DNF]-[21/DNC] = 34
9.) Joel Ronning/Bill Hardesty, Catapult; 5-6-7-6-[12]-10 = 34
10.) Alex Jackson/Charlie McKee, Leenabarca; [13]-7-10-13-3-5 = 38
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2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Official Event Website