Photo: Sharon Green /

Inga on top

Swedes claim the Melges 32 Pre-Worlds in Miami

Wednesday December 3rd 2014, Author: Joy Dunigan, Location: United States

World Championship festivities kicked off in blistering fashion on Monday with three Pre-World Championship races on the waters just off South Beach, Miami. Fresh tradewinds gave the 17-boat fleet a look at the sporty conditions they will face for almost the entire week.

"We were seeing 25 knots of breeze out there at times; conditions we really enjoy aboard Inga From Sweden," said skipper Richard Goransson, who showed the fleet his transom for most of the day. Goransson's team took the first two race wins, the Swedish boat showing an extra gear in the heavy chop and strong winds that allowed him to edge out 2012 World Champion John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti, 2011 World Champion Dougie Douglass' Goombay Smash and Alec Cutler's Hedgehog in the morning races.

With a thinned-out fleet in the final race, Ryan DeVos let dad Dick take over the helm, and his Michigan-based Volpe team battled Kilroy around the entire track. DeVos took the advantage on the final leg, taking the victory in the final face-off before the main event begins on Wednesday.

The Pre-Worlds leaderboard shows four teams tied on points for the overall victory; an omen of the week to come. While DeVos took the win on countback, the level of competition and parity in the fleet is plain for all to see. "I have no doubt that almost any boat here can win races," said Santa Barbara skipper Deneen Demourkas on Groovederci, herself a three-time World Champion in the Farr 30 Class. "Everything has to come together exactly right to win a regatta as important as this one, and then you have to have some luck on top of it."

International Race Officer Anderson Reggio says the tradewinds show no sign of letting up, and that means a five day slugfest that will tax skippers, crews, sailmakers, and shore teams - exactly what they all want. "We're looking at a forecast that's as ideal for a Worlds as you could possibly hope for," said Reggio. "We're expecting bigger days at the beginning and end of the regatta with plenty of breeze in the middle, and we'll go for 10 high-quality races over the five day event." Reggio says the big breeze should give the fleet plenty of 'full noise' racing, with grueling 2-mile beats into the Atlantic, and thrilling runs back toward the beach.

The Brisbane, Australia-based Envy Scooters team is primed for some serious racing, but owner Barry Cuneo has more important goals than just winning. "The point of the program is to bring Queensland's best young sailors aboard, mentoring them and providing them the kind of environment where they can really grow as top level racers," he said. Half of Cuneo's team is made up from the youth ranks, and he says the level of competition is key. "It doesn't matter if you're young or old - you can only test yourself by getting out there against the very best, in exciting, technical boats. That's why we're here," said Cuneo.

The first day of racing is Wednesday with a first initial warning signal at 1100 local time.



Yacht Sail no Owners From
ARGO USA 128 Jason Carroll New York, NY, USA
Delta USA 1215 Dalton DeVos Macatawa, MI, USA
ENVY Scooters AUS 138 Barry Cuneo Manly, Queensland, AUS
Fra Martina ITA 191 Edoardo Pavesio Torino, ITA
Goombay Smash USA 2 William Douglass Stamford, CT, USA
Groovederci USA 201 Deneen Demourkas Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Hedgehog BER 1 Alec Cutler Pembroke, BER
Inga From Sweden III SWE 322 Richard Goransson Lidingo, Stockholm, SWE
Mamma Aiuto JPN 199 Naofumi Kamei Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, JPN
MOMO GER 164 Dieter Schoen St. Moritz, GER
Robertissima 1 MON 1 Pierre Casiraghi Montecarlo, MON
Samba Pa Ti USA 13131 John Kilroy San Francisco, CA, USA
STIG ITA 65 Alessandro Rombelli Milano, ITA
Stormvogel USA 155 Chris Wientjes Metairie, LA, USA
Swing JPN 233 Keisuke Suzuki Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Tokyo, JPN
Torpyone ITA 487 Edoardo Lupi Varazze, Savona, ITA
Volpe USA 180 Ryan DeVos Macatawa, MI, USA

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