Drama All The Way On Day Two Of 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship
26 August 2012
San Francisco, CA, USA - 25 August 2012 - It was non-stop action and drama on San Francisco Bay's Berkeley Circle today as competitors at the 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship completed races four to six of their eight race series. Some new faces hit the front of the fleet today, but thanks to a nice steady 3, 3, 2 scoreline Australia's Warwick Rooklyn, sailing Bandit, continues to lead the regatta by a 5 point margin from fellow Aussie Nathan Wilmot, helming Embarr for Ireland's Connor Clark. In third place is Alan Field sailing WTF who won race five and jumps up into third place on 15 points, just one point behind Wilmot. Argyle Campbell in Rock N Roll won race six, and now counts 17 points while Flavio Favini of Italy, helming the Swiss boat Blu Moon for Franco Rossini, won race four and now lies fifth overall on 18 points.
In the Corinthian Division for the all amateur crews Don Jesberg sailing Viva had a great day despite being disqualified following a mark rounding incident in race four. Fortunately his wins in races five and six stood and as a result he now leads the Corinthian fleet by a 4 point margin from Shawn Bennett in Melges 49. Today's other Corinthian race winner was Scott Holmgren in Rosebud and he now sits in third place just 1 point behind Bennett.
With a good 15-18 knots blowing throughout today the action on the race course was fast, furious and at times more than a little frenetic with dramas and surprises at every mark rounding as groups of boats streamed through neck and neck. In race four Bruce Ayres and the Monsoon team slightly misjudged their leeward mark approach and caught their bowsprit on the boat in front. An almighty bang and the sound of splintering carbon followed as the bowsprit broke clean off. They immediately headed for shore to fit a replacement, but were unable to get back to the race area until the start of race six.
Brian Porter's Full Throttle was forced to pull out of race six when their forestay broke right on the start line. Fortunately some quick thinking by this hugely experienced crew, which includes Harry Melges, prevented the rig coming down and withing a few minutes they had the boat tidied away and on tow home. A new forestay has already been fitted and the boat will be racing again tomorrow.
Race six also featured an dramatic first mark rounding when Ian Sloan's Mikey misjudged their approach, attempted but failed to shoot the mark and ended up in irons in front of the inbound starboard tackers before ignominiously sliding out backwards on the tide. Monsoon was also tight on the rounding but was going to get away with it until Mikey suddenly luffed hard and parked up in front of them. Ultimately both boats ended up re-rounding going from fifth and fourth to eighth and tenth respectively as a result.
Even Nathan Wilmot's normally slick Embarr crew came a cropper when they totally fumbled their spinnaker drop in race four loosing a couple of places in the process. Never ones to be defeated they dug back in and still went on to finish the race in second.
This evening the crews are recovering from all that drama by enjoying the Pusser's Rum Party, a tradition of Melges 24 North American regattas, where Pusser's Painkillers cocktails and a BBQ dinner are being served on the San Francisco Yacht Club lawn to the accompaniment of a steel band.
Two more races remain to be sailed on tomorrow's final day and with only nine points separating the top five boats we can expect a great finale to what has already been an extremely closely fought regatta. The forecast is for more good breeze so PRO Hank Stuart and his team have every intention of completing all eight races.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (After 6 Races, 1 Discard)
1.) Warwick Rooklyn, Bandit; 1-1-2-(3)-3-2 = 9
2.) Nathan Wilmot/Conner Clarke, Embarr; (7)-2-1-2-4-5 = 14
5.) Alan Field, WTF; 4-3-(5)-1-3 = 15
3.) Argyle Campbell, Rock n' Roll; 2-(6)-3-6-5-1 = 17
4.) Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon; 3-4-4-1-(7)-6 = 18
View Full Results
Special thanks must to our event sponsors North Sails, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Swartz Brewery, Trumer Pils, Pusser's Rum, Regatta Ginger Beer, Weather Routing Inc, Tiburon Peninsula Club and GT3 Creative for their most generous sponsorship support.
The 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship will run from 22 to 26 August. Championship racing gets underway at noon tomorrow with up to eight races scheduled over the three days. You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the event via: