Hutchinson is Melges 24 US Champion

2008 Melges 24 North American Ckhampionship Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis took first

At the end of four days of racing and with a total of eleven races sailed in the widest possible range of conditions, Terry Hutchinson and his crew aboard USA 751 Quantum Racing, are the new at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Champions.

After crossing the finish line in fourth place in the second of two extremely nervy races in Annapolis today, a delighted Hutchinson immediately praised the performance of his crew which comprised tactician Scott Nixon, Brian Janney, George Peet and Amy Ironmonger. 'Seriously, you cannot underestimate the significance of the team effort that has gone on here this regatta. I have been the weak link on the boat and these guys have pulled us through.'

The other two podium places were a European affair with Gabrio Zandona ITA 777 Joe Fly, owned by Giovanni Maspero, holding on to second and fellow Italian Flavio Favini, helming SUI 521 Blu Moon for Franco Rossini, moving up into third place overall.

After a difficult middle section to the regatta, 2007 World Champion Dave Ullman USA 505 Pegasus 505, rallied today and by winning the final race secured fourth overall ahead of Annapolis resident Chris Larson USA 655 West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes.

The Corinthian division for the all amateur crews competing at the championship was dominated by Othmar von Blumencron USA 679 Gannet. A delighted von Blumencron who finished in tenth overall and adds the Corinthian North American Championship to his 2007 Corinthian World Championship victory, commented that racing in familiar waters had helped his team’s performance.

'The conditions this week have been typical of what we are used to in Annapolis and I have had some local sailors on board which helped a lot at times.' Second Corinthian here in Annapolis was David Dabney on USA-626 Wireless who finished in twelfth place overall ahead of Alex Shafer who came home in twentieth place overall.

Race one saw Morgan Reeser at the helm for Neil Sullivan on USA-750 M-fatic make the best of a left favoured first beat to round the first mark ahead of the pack and go on to win convincingly. Flavio Favini rounded in second and despite prolonged pressure from both Alan Field USA 587 WTF and Gabrio Zandona he managed to hang on to the finish. Field came home third and Zandona fourth.

At this stage in the championship Hutchinson still held a fifteen point lead, but had to survive one final race to confirm his victory.

At the start of race eleven Hutchinson started down at the pin but mistimed his approach and was over early. Quickly gybing around the end of the line, he came away on port tack and hit the right hand side of the beat hard. Meanwhile his main competitor Zandona was leading the fleet up the first beat and looked to be leading the race.

Happily for Hutchinson, a major right shift at the top of the leg, slammed the door on the left hand side boats and enabled a relieved Hutchinson to round in third place with a despondent Zandona limping around in twelfth place. At the front of the fleet Ullman sailed a confident race to take the win ahead of Field in second and John Kolius USA 776 KO Sailing, in third.

With Zandona back in tenth, Hutchinson’s fourth place was good enough to confirm his 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship title, by a margin of twenty one points. The other two overall podium places were filled by Gabrio Zandona at the helm of Giovanni Maspero’s Joe Fly in second and Flavio Favini steering Franco Rossini’s Blu Moon in third.

Melges 24 - 2008 North American Championship

1 51/ USA 751 Hutchinson 4 2 4 [9] 2 6 2 4 1 6 4 35pts
2 20/ ITA 777 Maspero 9 6 2 1 [12] 8 1 3 12 4 10 56
3 21/ SUI 521 Favini 2 7 1 2 29 3 [50/DNF] 7 4 2 9 66
4 16/ USA 505 Ullman 1 3 3 12 4 17 [50/OCS] 21 5 5 1 72
5 55/ USA 655 Larson 8 8 7 6 1 7 6 9 [24] 7 16 75
6 50/ USA 750 Reeser 10 4 17 8 15 12 [50/OCS] 2 3 1 8 80
7 27/ USA 747 Ayres 5 9 8 4 10 [15] 5 6 15 8 14 84
8 34/ USA 749 Porter 6 10 6 10 5 24 [26] 1 2 9 18 91
9 15/ USA 587 Field 18 [21] 5 15 9 21 9 10 11 3 2 103
10 57/ USA 679 Blumencron C 13 12 9 7 3 14 10 12 16 [21] 13 109
11 23/ GBR 569 Lea 7 11 14 11 18 4 17 5 9 23 [24] 119
12 37/ USA 626 Dabney C 15 15 16 5 [26] 5 21 13 6 15 15 126
13 40/ USA 620 McNay 11 5 10 14 16 2 14 [32] 18 14 28 132
14 18/ USA 623 Lane 12 1 19 28 [33] 11 8 24 7 13 11 134
15 17/ USA 539 Lane 23 13 11 17 11 16 3 14 10 [38] 32 150
16 24/ USA 630 Campbell 24 16 [26] 13 14 18 4 8 13 18 23 151
17 47/ USA 757 Strauss 14 19 13 3 [32] 1 23 16 8 30 31 158
18 29/ USA 776 Kolius [36] 26 21 16 6 34 13 19 20 20 3 178
19 32/ USA 649 Porter 3 17 12 19 34 26 [37] 17 27 22 5 182
20 31/ USA 744 Shafer C 19 24 18 21 28 19 15 15 [34] 19 17 195
21 33/ USA 773 Kopf 21 30 24 23 [50/DSQ] 13 7 11 19 17 36 201
22 54/ USA 606 Golden C 16 33 27 [34] 7 10 12 34 28 29 6 202
23 59/ ger 624 Vowels 17 18 [50/DNS] 33 8 25 28 26 21 12 30 218
24 35/ USA 619 Wilson 27 14 15 30 13 39 30 23 [40] 16 20 227
25 53/ USA 721 Filter C 25 27 23 29 [41] 33 11 29 14 10 29 230
26 11/ USA 533 Hernandez C 22 22 30 [43] 23 40 25 20 23 11 27 243
27 39/ USA 725 Wilkins 20 20 20 31 20 9 18 37 31 39 [42] 245
28 28/ USA 658 Hamilton C 26 23 25 20 22 31 24 22 35 32 [44] 260
29 48/ USA 736 Wight 35 28 22 26 43 30 [50/OCS] 28 17 31 7 267
30 43/ CAN 446 Reid [38] 25 29 25 25 23 32 31 26 27 34 277
31 45/ USA 566 Amendola 40 31 31 24 19 38 22 35 32 [41] 21 293
32 52/ USA 20 schlegel 41 38 28 22 31 36 19 27 29 [42] 33 304
33 46/ USA 575 Michas [50/RAF] 36 36 32 39 37 36 18 25 24 25 308
34 30/ USA 680 Siegler 29 32 37 35 36 29 29 36 [39] 36 19 318
35 41/ CAN 130 Lixfeld 37 35 [50/DNF] 45 30 20 16 33 33 25 46 320
36 56/ USA 568 Carleton C 32 34 38 18 24 35 [50/DNF] 25 36 37 45 324
37 38/ USA 602 Hamilton 30 [50/DNF] 50/DNS 37 27 27 50/OCS 46 22 40 12 341
38 25/ USA 675 Brede 28 29 33 39 38 28 38 38 30 [43] 40 341
39 19/ USA 687 Haynie 44 [50/RAF] 39 38 21 32 31 30 41 33 39 348
40 14/ USA 615 Hess C 33 41 35 42 35 46 34 [50/40%] 44 26 26 362
41 22/ CHI 412 Gallyas 43 39 40 27 17 22 42 [47] 46 46 43 365
42 36/ USA 245 Mossman 39 37 41 40 [44] 44 27 40 37 34 35 374
43 44/ USA 514 Raby 31 43 32 [48] 45 42 39 41 45 28 37 383
44 12/ USA 371 Creasman C 34 40 34 36 40 [50/RAF] 33 42 38 50/DNS 50/DNC 397
45 42/ CAN 346 Lintunen 45 [50/DNS] 50/DNS 41 42 43 20 44 42 35 38 400
46 10/ USA 274 Gunderson C [50/DNF] 50/DNS 50/DNS 44 46 41 41 43 43 44 22 424
47 13/ USA 570 McCliment C 42 42 42 46 47 45 35 [48] 47 45 41 432
48 58/ USA 48 Pemberton [50/DNS] 50/DNS 50/DNS 47 37 47 40 45 48 47 47 458