Norway's Eivind Melleby On Full Medal Jacket Wins Pre-Worlds Regatta At 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
15 May 2011 - Corpus Christi, TX, USA - The concluding day of the Pre-Worlds Regatta at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw an unexpected return to the breezier conditions with which the venue is more synonymous, with the final two races being completed in 15 - 18 knots. A 6,2 scoreline today for overnight leader Eivind Melleby on NOR 804 Full Medal Jacket, was enough to seal an overall win in the Pre Worlds Regatta. Melleby finished the two day series tied on points with second placed Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, who chalked up a win in the first race today before finishing fourth in the second race. A seventh and a sixth score today saw Nathan Wilmot at the helm of IRL 607 Embarr take the final Pre-Worlds podium position. The winning Corinthian, all amateur team was USA 15 Abordage owned and helmed by Erwan Le Gall from San Francisco.
With racing in the main World Championship series scheduled to start in the morning, most teams spent the afternoon after racing today on boat preparation, final sail selection and planning for the week of racing ahead. Soling Olympian and America's Cup sailor Espen Stokkeland, tactician aboard Full Medal Jacket, said that the Norwegian team were looking forward to the coming week. "There are so many great teams here this week. The racing is going to be intense, with all of the top guys battling it out against each other. We expect the racing to be really close. It's going to be great."
470 Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Wilmot (NZL) seemed content with his team's preparation in the lead up to the championship. "This is my first Melges 24 regatta. It's been interesting so far. I think I need to learn to stay behind the line a bit more as we have managed two recalls in three races. The boats are great though - great fun to sail and close racing, a pretty similar style to the 470, other than you also have a backstay to deal with. All in all the Melges 24 experience has been really nice and we are looking forward to the week".
AUDI helmsman Ricardo Simoneschi (ITA) appeared confident and relaxed on the eve of the main championship. "As a team we are happy with the job we have done up to now. In terms of the venue, I think it is a very interesting place. We were told that the winds were generally very strong and quite steady here, but in the last few days we have already seen a variety of conditions and some quite big windshifts. So I think there will be plenty of tactical options and the racing will actually be quite open." Simoneschi also noted that the steep chop which prevails in Corpus Christi presented it's own challenges. "For sure the wave patterns here make life very challenging for the helmsman upwind in particular. It is very easy to let the boat slow down and you have to do lots of work with the mainsheet and the tuning of the boat to counter this."
With so many strong teams competing, there is little doubt that this year's championship will be one of the most closely fought ever, and picking a clear favourite at this point is virtually impossible. The general consensus amongst the competitors at this evening's Opening Ceremony held at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club, was that consistency, starting ability and downwind speed were likely to be the key factors in determining the overall winner. There was also a general anticipation of some spectacular sailing ahead when the inevitable classic big breeze Corpus Christi conditions make an appearance.
Racing in the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship main series begins on Monday May 16 and runs through until Saturday May 21, with two races per day scheduled.
Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship begins on Monday 16 May and runs through until Saturday 21 May, with two races per day scheduled. You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship via the International Melges 24 Blog, www.melges24.com and the event website.
IMCA Event Press Officer
Nathan Wilmot Sailing IRL607 Embarr Leads After Open Day of 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
15 May 2011 - Corpus Christi, TX, USA - Day one of the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw two closely fought races completed in sparkling conditions. The first race was sailed in an oscillating 7 - 10 knot breeze and saw Alan Field at the helm of USA 811 WTF, take the win after overtaking the initial leader, Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr just before the second windward mark. By the time Race two got underway the wind had clocked significantly to the right and built in strength up to around 14 - 16 knots. Kristen Lane steering USA 812 Brick House 812, led around the first mark, and despite letting her grip on the race loosen for a while on the second beat, she came back strong to retake the lead at the final top mark. From then on she was totally in control, and after sailing a tactically astute second run, she eased home to take a well deserved race win. A solid fifth for Wilmot in that race was enough to give the Irish crew aboard Embarr the overall lead, just one point ahead of reigning World Champion Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing. Tied on points with Bressani is Norwegian Eivind Melleby on Full Medal Jacket, whose 5,3 score puts him in third place at the end of Day 1.
The expectation was always for light to medium conditions to prevail on the first day of the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship, and race one was started in an unstable 8 - 10 knots of breeze, with direction swings of up to twenty degrees. A significant right hand shift minutes after the start, saw almost the entire fleet tack onto port soon after the gun. The boats who got out to the right soonest appeared to pick up a little extra pressure in the first half of the beat, but as the leg progressed it was Nathan Wilmot helming IRL 607 Embarr who came in from the middle right to lead at the top mark. Two to three boat lengths behind was Alan Field on USA 811 WTF. A further five boatlengths behind, Eivind Melleby on NOR 804 Full Medal Jacket, headed a a gaggle of seven or eight boats, including Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon, Ricardo Simoneschi on ITA 819 AUDI, and Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing. As the two leading boats extended down the first run, the breeze faded a little and became somewhat patchy, presenting plenty of passing opportunities amongst the still closely compacted chasing pack. The dying wind had also continued to clock around to the right, requiring the race committee to shorten the second beat and lay a change mark considerably further to the right. Given the change in wind direction, the bulk of the leading group chose the right hand gate mark (looking upwind), but second placed Field chose to break off and round the left hand buoy. This ultimately proved to be a race winning move, as by the latter part of the second beat, Field had hooked into a left hand shift and some extra pressure which took him past Wilmot on the approach to the second windward mark. From there on Field was in complete control, and with the breeze now shifting even further right and slowly beginning to build again, he was easily able to maintain his leverage on the fleet to take a comfortable race win. Wilmot proved to be equally safe in second, with Melleby demonstrating some excellent downwind speed to take third.
After a brief delay to allow the breeze to complete its swing to the right, the race committee went in to sequence for the second race. Perhaps anticipating a further shift to the right, the fleet all seemed keen to start at the committee boat end of the line, and the resulting bunching caused a General Recall on the first start attempt. More evenly spread along the line for the second start, the fleet then got away cleanly, with Bora Gulari on USA 820 New England Ropes/West Marine nailing the start at the right hand end and getting an initial jump on the fleet. However even before the mid point of the first beat it was Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 Esprit, who was making the early running on the right of the course, ahead of Favini and Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812. By the top mark Lane had squeezed into the lead ahead of Favini and Hamazaki in second and third. These three boats were engaged in a full on battle for the lead throughout the entire first downwind leg, with Lane ultimately rounding the left hand gate mark just seconds before Hamazaki turned at the right buoy. Favini was hot on their heels, rounding the left mark just a couple of feet ahead of Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle. The scrap for the lead continued up the second beat, with Lane briefly relinquishing the lead to Favini at the midpoint, before coming back strongly in the closing stages of the leg, to squeeze in on the port layline and tack cleanly just feet ahead of Favini. This tack left Favini struggling to lay the mark and his subsequent clearing tack on to port in front of the incoming Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing resulted in Bressani doing penalty turns. Lane had meanwhile escaped and was then able to extend her lead down the final run and went on to take the win ahead of Bressani in second and Eivind Melleby on Full Medal Jacket in third.
In the overall scorings, Nathan Wilmot's second and fifth were good enough to see him top the leaderboard at the end of the first day, with a one point advantage over Lorenzo Bressani and Eivind Melleby who were tied on points in second and third respectively. Kristen Lane's 8,1, scoreline puts her in fourth overall, tied her on points with Flavio Favini in fifth.
Melges 24 World Championships include a Corinthian Division for those teams without any ISAF classified professional sailors. The Corinthians race with the main fleet but are also scored separately for the Melges 24 Corinthian World Championship. Two Corinthian first places for Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 Esprit gives him the overall lead at the end of Day 1, with Kevin Clark on USA 24 Smokin, in second place with a third and a fifth. With a eighth and a second, August Hernandez on USA 533 High Voltage, rounds out the Corinthian top three.
With a more familiar local weather system now appearing to establish itself, there is a good chance that tomorrow will see the full arrival of the Corpus Christi thermal breezes. To give the wind its best chance to develop, the start time for racing on Day 2 has been pushed back to 13.00.Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship begins on Monday 16 May and runs through until Saturday 21 May, with two races per day scheduled. You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship via the International Melges 24 Blog, www.melges24.com and the event website.
Lorenzo Bressani And Uka Uka Raking Take Lead On Day Two Of 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
17 May 2011 - Corpus Christi, TX, USA - More breeze sees Italy's Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing turn on the style to take the overall lead on day two.
Day two of the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas delivered two spectacular races sailed in near perfect conditions, under crystal clear skies and in a solid breeze which built from 15 up to around 19 knots throughout the day. Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, and Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle, traded blows at the front of the fleet in both races, with Bressani winning ahead of Porter in Race 3 and then Porter holding off Bressani to take the win in Race 4. Bressani's near perfect performance today means that he tops the leaderboard tonight with an 11 point lead over Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812, whose 10, 3, scoreline sees her in second overall, tied on points with Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon in third, and Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 Altea. Yesterday's overnight leader Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr could only manage a fifth and an eleventh today, dropping him down to fifth overall.
Reveling in the windier conditions on Day 2, Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle and Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, spent both of today's races engaged in their own private battle at the front of the fleet. Bressani led the first race of the day from start to finish, with Porter chasing hard throughout in second. In the second race of the day, it was Porter who led at the windward mark ahead of Bressani who arrived at the buoy on port tack, just a couple of boat lengths behind. With no gap to tack into, Bressani was forced to duck behind two boats before then rounding in fourth. By the leeward gate, a charging Bressani was up to second and clearly focused on closing Porter down even further. As the leading pair blasted down the final run, Bressani had reduced Porter's lead to just a few lengths, and the Italian appeared to be gaining with every gust. In the last few feet to the finish, Porter, coming in at pace from the right, just managed to pull off a gybe in front Bressani, who was hurtling in from the left. With Bressani arriving at full speed on the layline to the finish, Porter was just able to complete his gybe in time enough to surf home, only a few feet ahead.
Despite finishing tenth in the first of today's races, Kristen Lane at the helm of USA 812 Brick House 812, proved that her race win on the opening day was no flash in the pan, when in the second race of the day she clawed her way back from a poor windward mark rounding to ultimately take third. Rounding the final windward mark in seventh place, Lane showed blistering pace down the last leg to move within striking distance of the pack of boats all scrapping for third. Nailing the port layline into the finish with absolute precision, Lane came in very hot from the left to snatch third place, after just managing to thread herself between the pin end line boat and the fast approaching bowsprits of Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 Altea, Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon and Bora Gulari on USA 820 New England Ropes/West Marine. Lane's gutsy maneuver has earned her second place in the overall standings at the end of Day 2.
It is a testimony to the extremely close nature of the racing at this championship that second placed Lane is in a three way tie on points with both Favini and Racchelli, who are in third and fourth places respectively. Indeed just six points separate second from seventh overall. A fifth and an eleventh today for yesterday's regatta leader Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr sees him drop to fifth place overall, with a four point advantage over Alec Cutler on BER 655 hedgehog in sixth. After a poor opening day by his own standards, Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle has moved up to seventh by way of his 2,1 performance today.
Now holding an eleven point advantage at the top of the standings, the reigning world champions on Uka Uka Racing, were looking understandably calm and relaxed after racing today. "Yes it was a good day for us." commented their tactician Jonathan McKee. "We are obviously very happy with the way things went today. We managed to get off the line quickly and we felt we had good boatspeed in those conditions." Asked if he had been following a particular strategy today, he had this to say "It was all surprisingly subtle out there. The wind was pretty steady and there wasn't a consistent side of the racecourse which seemed to pay. It was more about finding the best pressure downwind and avoiding the bad sets of waves upwind." Trimmer Federico Michetti, paid this tongue in cheek tribute to his helmsman. "Rufo (Lorenzo Bressani) likes the breezy conditions, so this makes it very easy for the rest of us. He is like a racehorse, we just take the blinkers off his eyes at the start, and off he goes!"
In the all amateur Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 continued to dominate with another pair of bullets to give him an 11 point overall lead over August Hernandez on USA 533 High Voltage in second and Christof Wieland on GER 635 Unsponsored in third.
With the normal weather system in Corpus Christi now appearing to have re-established itself, local opinion suggests that tomorrow may bring windier conditions still. Racing on Day 3 is scheduled to start at 11 AM local time with two more races scheduled.
Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi Texas continues tomorrow Wednesday 18 May and runs through until Saturday 21 May.
You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the championship via the International Melges 24 Blog, www.melges24.com and the event website.
IMCA Event Press Officer
1. ITA817 - Uka Uka Racing - Lorenzo Bressani - 6,2,1,2 - 11
2. USA812 - Brick House 812 - Kristen Lane - 8,1,10,3 - 22
3. SUI596 - Blu Moon - Flavio Favini - 3,6,8,5 - 22
4. ITA735 - Altea - Andrea Rachelli - 4,7,7,4 - 22
5. IRL607 - Embarr - Conor Clarke - 2,5,5,11 - 23
Two More Bullets See Lorenzo Bressani On Uka Uka Racing Extend His Lead On Day Three Of The 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
18 May 2011 - Corpus Christi, TX, USA - The 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas reached its midpoint today, with races five and six being completed in overcast but breezy conditions. Despite the fresh conditions, the racing was characteristically tight throughout the fleet with each start and every mark rounding fiercely fought. Overnight leader Lorenzo Bressani at the helm of ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, won both of today's races to establish a 15 point lead and an effective stranglehold on the championship. A fourth and a seventh for Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812, sees her retain her second place overall, tied on points now with Flavio Favini helming SUI 596 Blu Moon in third. Also tied just one point adrift of Favini, in fourth and fifth respectively are Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle and Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr.
Race 5 started bang on time on in a solid 15 knots of breeze. The fleet got away to a clean start at the first time of asking, with the boats quickly splitting into two distinct groups on either side of the first beat. Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing soon established an advantage in the group on the left, whilst Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812 led the pack on the right. When the fleet converged on the approach to the first windward mark it was Bressani who led around the buoy, with Lane close behind in second and Eivind Melleby on NOR 804 Full Medal Jacket and Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle overlapped in third and fourth. Alec Cutler on USA 655 hedgehog was hot on their heels in fifth.
Down the first run Bressani showed some remarkable off-wind pace to extend his lead considerably by the leeward gate. With the breeze ratcheting up to around 17 knots, behind Bressani there was a real scrap on for second place. Alan Field, who had rounded the previous mark in seventh place, sailed a remarkable leg to move up to second at the gate, just ahead of a large gaggle of boats who arrived at the buoys en masse. Alec Cutler led the group into the left hand buoy but broached in the process of dropping his chute, causing Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607, who was right on his transom, to do the same. The ensuing chaos allowed Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 Altea, Porter and Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon, to sneak through inside them at the buoy. Meanwhile, almost simultaneously at the other gate mark, Melleby, Lane and Bora Gulari on USA 820 New England Ropes/West Marine were rounding three abreast.
With Bressani leading comfortably at the second top mark, and Field also looking relaxed in second, attention turned to the street fight for third place between Lane and Melleby. These two converged right at the mark with Melleby coming in on port and tacking in closely in front of Lane on starboard, forcing her to throw her bow up to avoid a collision and subsequently fly a protest flag. Despite Lane pushing Melleby hard down the final run there were no changes to the top four positions at the finish, with Bressani taking the gun, Field second, Melleby third and Lane fourth. Cutler came home fifth with Favini in sixth. Later in the day Lane's protest against Melleby for the incident at the top mark was upheld by the protest committee, resulting in the Norwegian receiving his second disqualification of the championship.
The second race of the series also got away cleanly with the fleet once again splitting left and right in the early stages of the beat. Bressani made another good start and initially led the group on the left before choosing to work his way to the middle soon after the half way point. A significant left shift in the second half of the beat rewarded Wilmot and Favini, who had been working that side of the beat and they rounded in first and second at the first windward mark. Bressani rounded a couple of lengths behind in third, with Porter, Guy Mossman on USA 786 Battle Rhythm, and Melleby rounding in quick succession behind. With the breeze now up at 18 knots plus, the first run was a high speed affair which saw Wilmot holding off Favini right up until the final approach to the leeward gate. As the two boats gybed together, Favini's slicker execution enabled him to roll over the top of Wilmot and lead around the left buoy. Wilmot peeled off to the right buoy and rounded just ahead off Bressani.
On the second beat, despite Bressani and Wilmot appearing to be engaged in a private match race on the right, they arrived at the top mark ahead of Favini who had been sailing his own race on the left. In the final few boat lengths, Wilmot led Bressani in on the port layline, with the Italian close enough behind to prevent the Irish boat from tacking. Rounding the top mark locked together, they continued their match race down the run, with Bressani eventually prevailing to take another race win and Wilmot closing out the rapidly advancing Favini just before the finish line to take second.
So at the halfway point in the championship, Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing now holds a 15 point lead over second placed Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812, with Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon moving up to third, tied on points with Lane. Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle moves up to fourth, tied on points with fifth placed Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr.
In the amateur only Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 Esprit continues to dominate with two more wins today to maintain his perfect score so far. By way of two third places today, Christof Wieland on GER 635 Unsponsored moves up to second overall ahead of Scot Holmgren on USA 674 Rosebud, whose pair of second places today sees him ease into the Corinthian top three.
Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas continues tomorrow Thursday 19 May and runs through until Saturday 21 May, with six more races scheduled.
You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the championship via the International Melges 24 Blog, www.melges24.com and the event website.
IMCA Event Press Officer
Top Five Overall
1. ITA817 - Uka Uka Racing - Lorenzo Bressani - (6),2,1,2,1,1 - 7
2. USA812 - Brick House 812 - Kristen Lane - 8,1,(10),3,3,7 - 22
3. SUI596 - Blu Moon - Flavio Favini - 3,6,(8),5,5,3 - 22
4. USA749 - Full Throttle - Brian Porter - (16),9,2,1,7,4 - 23
5. IRL607 - Embarr - Conor Clarke - 2,5,5,(11),9,2 - 23
Top Five Corinthian
1. JPN783 - Esprit - Eiichiro Hamazaki - (1),1,1,1,1,1 - 5
2. GER635 - Unsponsored - Christof Wieland - (12/RAF),3,3,2,3,3 - 14
3. USA674 - Rosebud - Scott Holmgren - 4,(6),5,5,2,2 - 18
4. USA533 - High Voltage - August Hernandez - (8),2,2,3,6,6 - 19
5. USA615 - Funtech Racing - Charlie Hess - 5,(7),4,4,4,4 - 21
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Battle For Second Intensifies As
Lorenzo Bressani And Uka Uka Racing Reinforce Their Lead
After Day Four Of The 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
19 May 2011 - Corpus Christi, TX, USA - More windy and overcast conditions prevailed on day four of the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, with winds peaking at 18 knots during the two race day. For the second day in succession, regatta leader Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing turned in a perfect scoreline, winning both races in some style and stepping inexorably closer to retaining the world title that he won last year in Tallinn, Estonia. With five wins from the eight races sailed so far, Bressani is looking increasingly unstoppable and now leads the regatta by 22 points. Grinding his way back from a poor opening day, Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle turned in a 6,4, scoreline today, which was good enough to move him into second place overall. Alec Cutler on BER 655 hedgehog also had a good day today, finishing fourth in the first race and second in the next race after pushing Bressani hard all the way round the course. Cutler slides up into third tonight, tied on points with Porter and a single point ahead of Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812 in fourth. Tied on points with Lane is Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr who remains in fifth place after an 8,3 performance today.
At the start of Race 7 of the series, three boats, Guy Mossman on USA 553 Battle Rhythm, Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon and Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr, were all engaged in a battle to win the pin end of the start. Mossman pulled the trigger fractionally too early, crossed the line before the gun and had to restart, allowing Favini and Wilmot a clear lane off the line on starboard. Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing also got away cleanly a little further up the line and with the wind starting to flick to the left, it was these three boats on the left hand side of the course who made the early running on the first beat. At the first windward mark it was Bressani who led the fleet. A windshift back to the right in the final third of the beat had brought Ricardo Simoneschi on ITA 819 AUDI, Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812 and Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle, into play and they followed Bressani around the top mark in quick succession.
With Bressani beginning to pull away by the end of the first run, when the chasing pack converged, Alec Cutler on BER 655 hedgehog had moved up to within striking distance of Simoneschi, Lane, and Porter and this group were neck and neck as they approached the gate. Cutler squeaked through to round the right buoy just ahead of Simoneschi, whilst shortly after Lane and Porter rounded the left buoy. By the second windward mark Bressani was still leading comfortably, with Cutler in second maintaining his advantage over Simoneschi in third. Peter Lane on USA Brick House 623 had sailed an excellent beat to round in fourth, just ahead of his wife, Kristen in fifth.
Bressani continued to ease away from the fleet on the final downwind leg, whilst behind him there was a real dog fight for second place between Cutler, Simoneschi and the two Lanes. Simoneschi had been the first to gybe out to the right of the course and he picked up some extra pressure which took him past Cutler and into second. Peter Lane went even further right and this enabled him to leapfrog Cutler and challenge Simoneschi hard in the last few boatlengths into the finish. At the line they were fully overlapped with Simoneschi just doing enough to take second. Cutler came home fourth, with Kristen Lane close behind in fifth.
In the final seconds to the start of Race 8 Wilmot and Porter were duking it out for supremacy at the pin end. At the gun they both got away cleanly with Porter soon opting to cash in the pin end bias advantage by tacking and crossing the fleet. Wilmot hung in on port for a few minutes longer before also tacking and heading for the right of the course. Bressani, who had started a little up from the pin, worked the left longer still and as a result he emerged on top once again at the windward mark. Behind him came a tightly packed group comprising Cutler, Wilmot, Daniel Kaseler on USA 379 Team Velocitek, Kristen Lane, Bora Gulari on USA New England Ropes/West Marine and Alan Field on USA 811 WTF. With many of this pack choosing to head for the right hand side of the course on the first run, Cutler opted instead to hit the left hand side as hard as he could. Coming in hot on the port layline to the gate, he rounded the left buoy just half a length behind Bressani and a few seconds ahead of Wilmot who rounded the right gate mark. On the second beat Cutler was giving Bressani some real problems, with the Italian having to maintain a close cover in order to keep him at bay. By the second windward mark these two had pulled out a big lead on the rest of the fleet, with Bressani still leading by just a couple of lengths. Wilmot rounded in third, marginally ahead of a rapidly advancing Porter, who had sneaked past Gulari into fourth, with Peter Lane rounding in sixth.
On the final run Bressani's raw boatspeed was just too much for Cutler and the regatta leader clocked up his fifth race win of the championship. Cutler came home in second with Wilmot holding off a late charge from Porter right on the line, and Peter Lane surging in to pass Gulari in the final few lengths.
With eight races now completed, Bressani has amassed a 22 point margin over Porter at the top of the leaderboard. Cutler's great day on the water moves him up to third, tied on points with Porter and just one point ahead of Kristen Lane and Wilmot, who are also tied on points in fourth and fifth respectively. Bressani is now looking increasingly invincible, however with just 1 point separating second from fourth, the battle for the final two podium spots seems likely to rage on for the final two days of this championship.
In the all amateur Corinthian Division there was no changes in the overall standings, with leader Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 Esprit, second placed Christof Wieland on GER 635 and third placed Scott Holmgren on USA 674 Rosebud, all respectively chalking up pairs of first seconds and thirds today.
Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, continues tomorrow Tuesday 20 with two more races scheduled and runs through until Saturday 21 May.You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the championship via the International Melges 24 Blog, www.melges24.com and the event website.
IMCA Event Press Officer
Top Five Overall
1. ITA817 - Uka Uka Racing - Lorenzo Bressani - (6),2,1,2,1,1,1,1 - 9
2. USA749 - Full Throttle - Brian Porter - (16),9,2,1,7,4,6,4 - 33
3. BER655 - hedgehog - Alec Cutler (9),8,3,7,4,5,4,2 - 33
4. USA812 - Brick House 812 - Kristen Lane - 8,1,(10),3,3,7,5,7 - 34
5. IRL607 - Embarr - Nathan Wilmot - 2,5,5,(11),9,2,8,3 - 34
Top Five Corinthian
1. JPN783 - Esprit - Eiichiro Hamazaki - (1),1,1,1,1,1,1,1 - 7
2. GER635 - Unsponsored - Christof Wieland - (12/RAF),3,3,2,3,3,2,2 - 18
3. USA674 - Rosebud - Scott Holmgren - 4,(6),5,5,2,2,3,3 - 24
4. USA533 - High Voltage - August Hernandez - (8),2,2,3,6,6,4,4 - 27
5. USA615 - Funtech Racing - Charlie Hess - 5,(7),4,4,4,4,7,6 - 34