by Joy Dunnigan
Samba Pa Ti - Key West 2012
Quantum Key West 2012 - On day 1 of Melges 32 competition John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti with tactician Lorenzo Bressani, produced a spectacular performance of speed and great tactics to deliver an impressive 1-1 score line.
Kilroy sits atop the results with a four point margin, but this event is far from over. Seated in second place overall is brand new boat owner Alec Cutler on Hedgehog, tied in points with Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino in third, and Benjamin Schwartz's Pisces in fourth. Joel Ronning's Catapult rounds out the top five, nine points out of first.
Opening day at Quantum Key West 2012, commenced on time and under simply stunning conditions. A very pleasant, picture perfect 12-15 knots ushered in the 11:30 start with lots of warm sunshine.
Kilroy had a fantastic first race as he set his sights early on winning big in Key West. With the left side of the course favored, acquiring the lead did not come easy as Mark Plaxton's INTAC, Cutler and Onorato jostled for position throughout the entire race, challenging Kilroy at every turn. Cutler was the only one who came close to challenging Kilroy for the lead. Consistently, at almost every mark, Cutler would jibe out for pressure and he usually got it, taking him from a sixth or seventh position, to third or fourth at the gate. On the last upwind leg, Kilroy extended for a comfortable lead to take the win. Onorato found a nice groove to move into second overall. The battle for third between Cutler and Benjamin Schwartz's Pisces with Ed Baird on tactics intensified right up to the finish line. Schwartz took third, while Cutler settled for fourth.
The start of the second race got away clean with Kilroy, once more taking a commanding lead of the fleet by rounding the top mark of the Course 5 track first. Kilroy would go on to further crush the competition taking the win by a sizable margin. The real heat though was between the remaining top five. Cutler and Schwartz were back at it, trading positions repeatedly, trailed by Onorato, Joel Ronning's Catapult and Plaxton. In the end, Cutler sealed the deal to finish second just a couple of boat lengths ahead of Schwartz in third. Onorato pulled up to take fourth while Steve Howe's Warpath moved up for fifth.
Many of the Melges 32s participating on the international racing circuit provide a dynamic showcase of graphics and sportboat fanfare. But today, fleet newcomer Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissma took it to a whole new level. High above the race course, the Robertissma team battle flag waved and hovered over the course as the single engine airplane flew back and forth spreading the name, the look and goodwill of Robertissma - Wishes Good Winds.
Tune in each day in Key West to the Official Class Blog of the International Melges 32 Class. Reports and updates are brought to you as it happens. Periodic updates are made at the class' Facebook Page. Be the first to know what's going on in Key West!
Tuesday will mark day two in Key West and it's pretty certain, that more intense competition is in store for the Melges 32 fleet. Prior to racing on Monday, the race committee briefed competitors that there is a possibility for three races on Tuesday due to concerns about Wednesday's breeze conditions.
Top Ten results (After 2 Races)
1.) John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti; 1-1 = 2
2.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 4-2 = 6
3.) Vincenzo Onorato/Gabriele Benussi, Mascalzone Latino; 2-4 = 6
4.) Benjamin Schwartz/Ed Baird, Pisces; 3-3 = 6
5.) Joel Ronning/Chris Larson, Catapult; 5-6 = 11
6.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 12-5 = 17
7.) Geoff Pierini/Morgan Reeser, Sicktrix32; 9-8 = 17
8.) Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell, Mojo; 6-12 = 18
9.) Malcolm Gefter/John Mollicone, Celeritas; 8-10 = 18
10.) Keisuke Suzuki/Jesper Radich, Swing; 11-9 = 20
Results click here
Melges 32 website