September 20, 2011
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - Far beneath the air traffic of Palma's very busy airport, the opening day of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), was remarkable. Brilliant sunny skies, 10-12 knots of breeze and lumpy seas set the stage on Palma Bay. After two races, John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti with tactician Vasco Vascotto holds the lead by one point, ahead of Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino and tactician Francesco Bruni in second overall. Seated in third is fellow American Alexis Michas on Zetiana with Brian Ledbetter onboard calling tactics.
The first race of the day kicked off with a clean start. Kilroy, Jason Carroll and tactician Cameron Appleton on Argo launched off the pin end of the starting line, Steve Howe's Warpath right alongside. Onorato looked to port tack right behind the fleet in search of clean air almost immediately after the start, enabling him to get up to speed fast. Great Britain's Peter Rogers on Highlife with Andy Horton on tactics took an early lead rounding the top mark in first. Reigning Audi Sailing Series Champion Lanfranco Cirillo with tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica followed in second, Onorato was third followed by Japan's Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai with Hamish Pepper on tactics in fourth. Ishida made great strides to advance as did Onorato. Both surpassed Rogers downwind, passing through the gate in first and second. Ishida managed to hold off Onorato's challenge for the lead with a photo finish at the line for the win. Onorato settled for second, Carroll was third, Howe fourth and Kilroy worked hard to take fifth.
Kilroy showed the fleet who was boss in race two with a great start to take a lead he would simply refuse to relinquish, in fact, extended on every leg adding up to an impressive two minute lead on the fleet to win. A key, nice, up-the-right-side beat, put him in command early. Michas had an impressive run for a second place finish. William Douglass' Goombay Smash with tactician Chris Larson was third, Onorato took fourth followed by Geoff Pierini and tactician Steve Hunt on Sicktrix rounding out the top five.
Even lighter air is in the forecast for Wednesday, however racing is expected to begin on schedule.
Top Ten Results
1.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti; 5-1 = 6
2.) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino; 2-5 = 7
3.) Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter, Zetiana; 8-2 = 10
4.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-12 = 15
5.) Geoff Pierini/Steve Hunt, Sicktrix; 12-4 = 16
6.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One; 9-7 = 16
7.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 4-14 = 18
8.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 10-9 = 19
9.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 7-15 = 22
10.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH; 13-11 = 24
Official Event Website
September 21, 2011
John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti Maintains The Lead In Palma
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - Day two of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), was filled with more warm sunshine, but less breeze making for an interesting day of performance sportboat racing. A complete shuffle in the results was in order, in particular the top five, with the exception of two — overnight leader John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti and Jason Carroll's Argo is holding steadfast in fourth. All other positions shifted to include, Lanfranco Cirillo and tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica now in second, and Wolfgang Stolz with tactician Jesper Radich on Opus One moved up three notches to finish third. Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino slipped back to fifth.
Race one of the day, commenced under 8-10 knots of breeze, slightly less than Day 1. A tough start for several of the teams being called over including 2009 Melges 32 World Champion Pieter Taselaar on Bliskem with Tom Slingsby on tactics and 2010 Miami Champion Jean-Francois Cruette on Teasing Machine with tactician Stephane Christidis. Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai with Hamish Pepper on tactics took the lead at the first mark, while Filippo Pacinotti and tactician Daniele Cassinari on Brontolo HH was hot on his heels. Pacinotti's drive to overtake the lead from Ishida was relentless. His perseverance paid off at the finish line. As the two gybed for the finish, Ishida faltered on filling the kite quickly, allowing Pacinotti room to advance and take a well-deserved win. Ishida settled for second, while Cirillo seized the opportunity to take third over Stolz.
"We had a nice fight with Yasha Samurai. They made some mistakes on the last gybe. It was super fun. Unfortunately, it lasted for only a short time," said Pacinotti post racing. "The second race was super difficult. Very tough sailing today."
Race two was a carbon copy of opening day as Kilroy poured on the speed while tactician Vasco Vascotto placed him in all the right places, capitalizing on the light and shifty conditions. With some nice, breezy conditions for the start, Kilroy got off the line with no problem then extended for the win. His massive lead at the bottom gate was an easy one minute ahead of the rest of the fleet. Back upwind he further separated from the pack, easily taking the win ahead of Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica and tactician Michele Paoletti.
"The key to our success is to remain relaxed when we race, and realize that when something is not working, know how to fix it. We are lucky that we had a good comeback in race one today." said Vascotto. "The second race was obviously different. It was easier. We had a beautiful start, nice speed, caught the right shift. We have the right attitude on the boat right now. We work hard when we get behind. When we are in front, we work to be nice and smart. We don't feel as though we are really all that better than any of the other teams racing, we respect the other 28 boats around us and their potential."
More light air is in the forecast for Thursday. How light? That question remains to be answered. At this time, racing is expected to begin on schedule.
Top Ten Results (After 4 Races)
1.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti; 5-1-10-1 = 17
2.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 10-9-3-2 = 24
3.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One; 9-7-4-11 = 31
4.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-12-13-4 = 32
5.) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino; 2-5-20-12 = 39
6.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 1-24-2-13 = 40
7.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH; 13-11-1-17 = 42
8.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 7-15-5-15 = 42
9.) Geoff Pierini/Steve Hunt, Sicktrix; 12-4-8-20 = 44
10.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 18-18-6-3 = 45
September 22, 2011
Day Three In Palma Keeps Kilroy On Top
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - The third day of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship delivered two more races under pristine conditions. Lots of sunshine, hot temps and just enough breeze enabled John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti to stay at the top of the chart. Seven points back, Italy's Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica is seated in second overall and Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai is third.
Light airs prevailed for the first race of the day with William Douglass' Goombay Smash and tactician Chris Larson taking an early lead, followed by Steve Howe and tactician Morgan Larson on Warpathin second. Luca Lalli's B-Lin Sailing with Tiziano Navi on tactics rounded third with Oscar Strugstad and tactician Andy Horton on Dawn Raid, Cirillo and Alexis Michas and tactician Brian Ledbetter onZetiana completing the top level field of competitors. Upwind and down the group battled, constantly changing positions. Douglass seemed to be the only one with real staying power as he held off the competition to take the win. Cirillo came second, Strugstad had a great race finishing third.
The last race of the day, and number six in the championship series, brought on a comfortable, classic and predictable 10-12 knots of Palma breeze for the start. A bearing of 215 at 1.7 nm, Course 4 put Ishida around the windward mark first with Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone in second, following closely. Tactician Vasco Vascotto quoted on Tuesday that when Samba Pa Ti is behind, they fight for position, and that they did. They picked up several places to pass through the gate in second, heading right for pressure, just ahead of Lupi taking the left gate. Back upwind, Lupi regained his second place position, rounding the top mark almost in line with Ishida. Downwind to the finish, Lupi put on this best suit of speed to win, while Kilroy surpassed Ishida to finish fourth. Jason Carroll on Argo pulled up to take a pleasant third.
Friday's racing will officially put the Championship over the "hump" and on the homestretch to a grande finale with Kilroy enjoying a nice lead. But, the event is far from over and any sensible Melges 32 racer will agree, the winner is still too early to call, even despite Kilroy appearing to be the strongest and most consistent. The title is not out of reach for Cirillo, or Ishida.
Top Ten Results (After 6 Races, 1 Discard)
1.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti; 5-1-10-1--2 = 19
2.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 10-9-3-2-2- = 26
3.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 1--2-13-7-4 = 27
4.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; -3-12-6-1-7 = 29
5.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-12-13-4--3 = 35
6.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One; 9-7-4-11-11- =42
7.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; -18-6-3-18-1 = 46
8.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 7--5-15-15-8 = 50
9.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH; 13-11-1--17-9 = 51
10.) Steve Hunt/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 4-14--9-4-21 = 52
September 24, 2011
William Douglass' Goombay Smash Crowned World Champion
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - Congratulations to newly crowned Melges 32 World Champion William Douglass on Goombay Smash. Douglass was accompanied by tactician Chris Larson and crew members Marco Constant, Andy Escourt, Stu Pollard, Mark Towill, Chris Welch and Alan Nakanishi. After a long, nerve-racking, rainy on land postponement, around two o'clock a short trip out to the race course left the 29-strong fleet waiting for the wind. Unfortunately, it never arrived and no racing was able to take place leaving Douglass and his incredible team World Champions.
A fine congratulations also goes to second overall finisher John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti as he fought hard to win the Championship, but lost by a single point. Lanfranco Cirillo aboard Fantastica, with Michele Paoletti and team are happy with their third place finish, however like Kilroy, would have loved the opportunity to have another go at the title.
In retrospect, Saturday, the final day of racing was the polar opposite of days past. Teams awoke to cloudy skies with heavy dark clouds and light fickle breezes on the last day of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP). Every few minutes or so, the Race Committee and staff of RCNP worked very hard to first, keep teams well-informed of the course conditions and, importantly were on key for fast changing racing possibilities. In the meantime, sailors spent the morning gathered in the bar and enclosed patio areas glued to rugby on television.
In the end, racing on Saturday was not meant to be. The results after day four, stand as final.
Top Ten Results (FINAL)
1.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; -3-12-6-1-7-10-2 = 41
2.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti; 5-1-10-1-13-2--10 = 42
3.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 10-9-3-2-2--3-13 = 42
4.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 1--2-13-7-4-7-18 = 52
5.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; -18-6-3-18-1-6-4 = 56
6.) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino; 2-5-20-12--1-1 = 59
7.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 3-12-13-4--3-21-6 = 62
8.) Joe Woods/ Paul Goodison, Red; -10-15-8-12-14-5-5 = 69
9.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH; 13-11-1--17-9-4-16 = 71
10.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 7--5-15-15-8-13-8 = 71