Photos by Joy

Early lead to Pisces

Melges 32 Worlds set sail in Newport

Tuesday September 25th 2012, Author: Joy Dunigan, Location: United States

Opening day at the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club saw NYYC member Benjamin Schwartz on Pisces securing the lead after two races. Schwartz, with tactician Chris Rast currently leads the championship by one point. Chasing hard in second place is defending champion William Douglass on Goombay Smash with Chris Larson on tactics, and in third is Andrea Pozzi with Gabriele Benussi as tactician aboard Bombarda.

With big seas and a steady 18-20 knots blowing throughout the day, Pozzi creamed the competition in the first race of the day leading from start to finish.

"Leading the first race of the World Championship from start to finish is thrilling as I only started sailing just one year ago," said Pozzi. "The conditions were quite challenging - the hard choppy sea and strong wind, but my crew was more than perfect. We were very fast and with a sixth place finish in the second heat of the day, we have started this event in the very best way possible. I hope that the weather forecast will give us more days like this! Racing the Melges 32 is an absolute adrenaline rush."

Steve Howe, with tactician Morgan Larson on Warpath came second and Douglass was third.

Race two proved to be equally exciting with Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino and Nathan Wilmot as tactician punched the second start hard. Onorato took the lead at the top mark with Schwartz in second and Douglass in third. The breeze built ever so slightly and the wave action increased for the final downwind run. Onorato poured on the speed, while Schwartz chased him down to take the win right at the finish line. "The European teams are super aggressive and these boats are so fast downwind," said an elated Schwartz post racing. "We caught a couple of really great waves, the surfing was so incredible and once the boat lifted up and out of the water it was so much fun. This is such a great ride. Today proved that the passing lanes are really, really wide. It was just great."

"The first time I sailed with Ben was in Ft Lauderdale at the Gold Cup last December, and immediately I felt very comfortable and confident on the boat." commented Rast. "Ben is a great helm, George 'Bear' Peet does an awesome job trimming and Marty (Kullman) pulls all the remaining pieces together. Everyone really knows what needs to be done in order to win and that there is no time to ever feel we are not in control. Which for me, as a tactician, it really sets me up in a nice spot. I can ask for things and it's usually delivered. So, like on the last run today, we needed to go lower and slightly faster than the guys in front of us, which set us up perfectly to gybe on top of them and win. This team is delivering right now."

Two more races are scheduled for Wednesday with a start at 11.00 local.



Pos Sail no Name Owner/Skipper R1 R2 Tot
1 USA 230 Pisces Benjamin Schwartz 4 1 5
2 USA 2 Goombay Smash William Douglass 3 3 6
3 ITA 229 Bombarda Andrea Pozzi 1 6 7
4 ITA 487 Torpyone Edoardo Lupi 8 4 12
5 BER 1 Hedgehog Alec Cutler 5 7 12
6 ITA 2121 Mascalzone Latino Vincenzo Onorato 12 2 14
7 USA 32917 Warpath Stephen Howe 2 15 17
8 USA 136 Rougarou Andy Lovell Burt Benrud 14 5 19
9 USA 180 Volpe Ryan DeVos 13 9 22
10 USA 169 Bliksem Pieter Taselaar 7 16 23
11 ITA 212 Fantastica Lanfranco Cirillo 11 14 25
12 JPN 199 Mamma Aiuto Naofumi Kamei 16 10 26
13 SUI 1 Robertissima 1 Roberto Tomasini Grinover 6 21 27
14 USA 134 Catapult Joel Ronning 10 17 27
15 USA 13131 Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy 20 8 28
16 JPN 233 Swing Keisuke Suzuki 15 13 28
17 USA 157 Mojo Steve Rhyne 19 12 31
18 IVB 007 INTAC Mark Plaxton 23 11 34
19 USA 128 Argo Jason Carroll 9 27 36
20 USA 184 Bronco Michael Dominguez 18 23 41
21 USA 1215 Delta Dalton DeVos 26 18 44
22 USA 201 Groovederci Deneen Demourkas 17 29 46
23 JPN 203 Yasha Samurai Yukihiro Ishida 24 22 46
24 USA 208 Celeritas Malcolm Gefter 22 26 48
25 JPN 218 Esmeralda Makoto Uematsu 21 28 49
26 USA 211 Arethusa Philip Lotz 25 25 50
27 SWE 321 Inga From Sweden Richard Goransson 32 19 51
28 USA 1315 Ninkasi John Taylor 31 20 51
29 USA 174 Leenabarca Alex Jackson 28 24 52
30 USA 162 Zetiana Alexis Michas 27 31 58
31 JPN 210 Quetefeek Daisuke Kimura 29 30 59
32 USA 126 Flat Stanley T. Sheehan / T. McSweeney 30 34/DNF 64
33 JPN 5095 SLED Takashi Okura 34/DNF 34/DNC 68


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