Carroll noses in front

Lighter conditions for day two of the Melges 32 Worlds in Trapani

Thursday August 27th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

In stark contrast to the full-on, breezy, physical conditions of the first day of Melges 32 World Championship racing, day two greeted competitors with light and dicey racing testing the mental toughness of the 22 boat fleet. With many teams licking their chops to improve on their day one performance, the lighter conditions provided the perfect arena almost guaranteed to shake-up the standings.

Also similar to day one, the course was heavily right-side favored despite PRO Anderson Reggio moving the course to the west to allow for a more square race track. "Our intention is to move the course as West as possible while still maintaining reasonable water depth to set a proper race course," commented Reggio prior to the start to the start of racing.

Despite Reggio's efforts, the right side still played a major factor and those able to get there first found themselves sliding through the mainsail windows of the boats to windward. Leading around the first weather mark, tactician Cameron Appleton aboard defending World Champion Jason Carroll's Argo summed up their thinking of winning the boat and getting immediately onto port. "The course location was further west from yesterday so it seemed maybe the advantage of the right was lessened, but it wasn't very clear with big light spots all over the course," said Appleton. "We chose to go right as we did not think the left would hold long term. Taking into consideration how light it was, starting, getting onto port and up to full speed seemed to be the better option."

Carroll nailed the plan for the first beat, leading out to the right side. Following a good 30 seconds behind, Alessandro Rombelli's STIG and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G-SPOT rounded out the top three.

In typical Trapani fashion, if some is good more is better, and while Carroll protected the right side of the course on the second upwind leg, they went 90% of the way, leaving the door open for a few teams to cross their transom and take advantage of better pressure on the starboard layline. Escaping the grasp of the peloton, di Lapigio with Branko Brcin on tactics found a solid vein of pressure, nailed a perfect layline to sneak around Carroll's hip and lead around the second top mark.

With a clean gybe-set, di Lapigio showed good light air downwind speed to fend off Carroll and cross the line for the bullet. Carroll collected a second place finish, while Rombelli finished third.

Trapani found itself between a northeast gradient (North side of the city), while on the south side, a southwest gradient did its best to push through. Several pulses from the northeast got the fleeted revved up, but it was all in vain and after several hours of battling the hot sun, Reggio made the call to abandon racing and head back to the harbor with only one race complete.

Almost half of the racing is complete and overall, Carroll and Rombelli have separated themselves from the pack and have locked horns in an epic battle for the World Championship title. Never too far in the rear view mirror however, are many thirsty teams looking to capitalize on the leaders and get themselves back in the hunt.

The forecast for Day Three is for slightly better pressure which will potentially allow for two more races under always steady Trapani sunshine and crystal blue skies.

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