King of the Melges 32 World—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Goombay Smash, winners of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championships
Ainhoa Sanchez
A wrap of the news on Sail-World of the last three days from the U.S. scene and beyond.

After an exciting four days of racing, William Douglass and his Gombay Smash team have won the prestigious Melges 32 Worlds, which just wrapped up at the Real Club Nautico de Palma, in Palma de Mallorca. Douglass shares this big win with tactician Chris Larson, and the rest of the crew, consisting of Marco Constant, Andy Escourt, Stu Pollard, Mark Towill, Chris Welch and Alan Nakanishi; together they edged out 28 other comers for top honors. John Kilroy and his Samba Pa Ti crew finished in second place, trailing Gombay Smash by one skinny point; Lanfranco Cirillo and his Fantastica team rounded out the top three. Interestingly, the spread from Douglass’ Gombay Smash to John Porter’s Full Throttle, which finished in tenth place, was a svelte 30 points, with the top five boats finishing within fifteen points of Gombay Smash’s tally, illustrating yet again just how serious the playing field is in this hyper-competitive class. Get the full scoop, inside.

Cup fans, take note: This last weeks Sail-World news is rife with Cup-related content, including the last three editions of The America’s Cup Uncovered, the weekly magazine video series put on by the America’s Cup Management. Expect the full debriefing from Plymouth, England, where the second stop of the America’s Cup World Series recently wrapped up racing.

In offshore circles, yesterday marked the start of the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50. Seventy-nine skippers set out singlehanded in 21-foot offshore speedsters, some of which are production class, while others are fully tricked out prototypes. Leg one will take the sailors from La Rochelle, France to Madeira, Portugal (1,100 miles); leg two is the big push, punching from Madeira to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil (3,100 miles). More from this race, as it develops.

Global Ocean Race 2011-12 start

Also offshore-related, lensman Max Ranchi snapped images of the start of the Global Ocean Race, which kicked off yesterday from Palma de Mallorca. Six double-handed teams set out in Class 40 monohulls, bound for Cape Town, South Africa, and then around the rest of the stone, via a series of stopovers. While initial expectations had called for a bigger fleet, there’s no doubt that these teams will have a great adventure, and will add an interesting juxtaposition for spectators to the fully crewed Volvo Ocean Race, which kicks off next month. Get the official report, as well as field dispatches from the teams, inside.

1929 M class sloop Pursuit sailing under the golden gate bridge in San Francisco on a Sunday race in mid September. Ron has owned the boat since 1961 and this is only the second time the spinnaker has been up since the 1969 Transpac. Photo credit to read WWW.OUTSIDEIMAGES.COM or a 50 Euro fee is charged

And finally, fire your week up right by spending a minute or two with Tim Zinn’s image gallery from a recent trip that he made under the Golden Gate Bridge aboard Pursuit, 1929 M class sloop. Interestingly, Pursuit has been cared for by the same loving owner since 1961, and this sail marked only the second time that her graceful kite has been hoisted since the 1969 Transpac race. Enjoy.