Melges 32 World Championship - Spectacular opening day of action

2012 Melges 32 World Championship
© 2012 JOY
The first day at the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was nothing short of spectacular with NYYC member Benjamin Schwartz on Pisces securing the lead after two races. Schwartz, with tactician Chris Rast currently leads the championship by one point. Chasing hard in second place is defending champ William Douglass on Goombay Smash with Chris Larson on tactics, and in third is Andrea Pozzi with Gabriele Benussi as tactician aboard Bombarda.

Andrea Pozzi, Bombarda (foreground) and Vincenzo Onorato, Mascalzone Latino (background) - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 1

With big seas and a steady 18-20 knots blowing throughout the day, Pozzi creamed the competition in the first race of the day leading from start to finish. 'Leading the first race of the World Championship from start to finish is thrilling as I only started sailing just one year ago. The conditions were quite challenging - the hard choppy sea and strong wind, but my crew was more than perfect.' commented Pozzi. 'We were very fast and with a sixth place finish in the second heat of the day, we have started this event in the very best way possible. I hope that the weather forecast will give us more days like this! Racing the Melges 32 is an absolute adrenaline rush.'

Steve Howe, with tactician Morgan Larson on Warpath came second and Douglass was third.

2 - Aquabike World Championship 2014

Race two proved to be equally exciting with Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino and Nathan Wilmot as tactician punched the second start hard. Onorato took the lead at the top mark with Schwartz in second and Douglass in third. The breeze built ever so slightly and the wave action increased for the final downwind run. Onorato poured on the speed, while Schwartz chased him down to take the win right at the finish line.

Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 1

'The European teams are super aggressive and these boats are so fast downwind,' said a simply elated Schwartz post racing. 'We caught a couple of really great waves, the surfing was so incredible and once the boat lifted up and out of the water it was so much fun. This is such a great ride. Today proved that the passing lanes are really, really wide. It was just great.'

Etienne Picque - Grand Prix International de la Côte D'Opale 2014
© Manuel Couette

'The first time I sailed with Ben was in Ft. Lauderdale at the Gold Cup last December, and immediately I felt very comfortable and confident on the boat.' commented Rast. 'Ben is a great helm, George 'Bear' Peet does an awesome job trimming and Marty (Kullman) pulls all the remaining pieces together. Everyone really knows what needs to be done in order to win and that there is no time to ever feel we are not in control. Which for me, as a tactician, it really sets me up in a nice spot. I can ask for things and it's usually delivered. So, like on the last run today, we needed to go lower and slightly faster than the guys in front of us, which set us up perfectly to gybe on top of them and win. This team is delivering right now.'

Two more races are scheduled for Wednesday, September 26 with a start of 11.00.

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   Bow Sail NumberYacht NameYacht DesignOwner/SkipperRace1Race2Total
World Championship Racing
 One Design Division
  Melges 32
  1.230USA 230PiscesMelges 32Benjamin Schwartz415.0  
  2.88USA 2Goombay SmashMelges 32William Douglass336.0  
  3.42ITA 229BombardaMelges 32Andrea Pozzi167.0  
  4.487ITA 487TorpyoneMelges 32Edoardo Lupi8412.0  
  5.1BER 1HedgehogMelges 32Alec Cutler5712.0  
  6.21ITA 2121Mascalzone LatinoMelges 32Vincenzo Onorato12214.0  
  7.603USA 32917WarpathMelges 32Stephen Howe21517.0  
  8.23USA 136RougarouMelges 32Andy Lovell Burt Benrud14519.0  
  9.18USA 180VolpeMelges 32Ryan DeVos13922.0  
  10.69USA 169BliksemMelges 32Pieter Taselaar71623.0  
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Full results here

Alec Cutler, Hedgehog - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 1

Melges 32 World Championship - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 1

Michael Dominguez, Bronco - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 1

New York Yacht Club website