Strauss extends lead at Melges 24 US Nationals

Melges 24 US Nationals 2008 - Simon Strauss on GBR-592 Simplicity

Simon Strauss on GBR-592 Simplicity, sailed to perfection on day two, maintaining his Friday night overall lead at the 2008 OSA Sailing.com Melges 24 US National Championship hosted by the Charleston Yacht Club.

In second overall is Chris Larson on USA-655 Lightwave and in third is Brian Porter on USA-749 Full Throttle.

The second day of racing for the 44-strong Melges 24 fleet began under overcast skies, relatively calm breeze and seas. All forecasts lead the fleet to believe that the breeze would fill-in nicely and the racing results would be drastically different from Friday's monster wind conditions. The breeze picked up slightly, 5-7 knots for the first start, which by comparison to Friday's 20-25+ was quite civilized.

In the first race Brian Porter on USA-749 Full Throttle and Argyle Campbell on USA-630 Rock n' Roll, match racing to the gate gradually separating themselves from the fleet. Alan Field on USA-587 caught up to take third, Stuart Simpson on GBR-569 Team Barbarians was fourth. The wind died down considerably as the fleet headed back upwind. Porter went on to take the win, with Campbell in second and Simpson in third.

In race 2, the second start was clean with the right side heavily favored. It was a dual between Hulsey and Larson struggled for position at the top, followed by Porter and Lane. The last gate of the race spelled tragedy for Porter as he got caught up in the mayhem pushing him deep in the fleet. Simpson came out on top at the weathermark in first.

Everything was shakin' downwind with a new leader. Simpson on the left with Strauss challenging for the lead, and Nixon following on the right. At the finish, Lea took the win in stride a couple of boat lengths in advance of Strauss who kept the upper hand for second leaving Nixon to settle for third.

The third and final race of the day started a little after three o'clock with a building breeze. Local knowledge seemed to play an important factor, with the breeze rising and a raging current in full effect, native Charlestonians John Lucas and Marcus Durlach on USA-450 Spray rounded first followed by Porter and Lane neck-and-neck at the mark, Lane won the offset jetting off downwind ahead of Porter, who experienced a short snag on the set.

The current beat up on the fleet at the mark with Larson taking charge. Larson went on to win the race with a three-way dual for second place. Strauss came out of right field for third just ahead of Porter in fourth, Terhune found the right groove downwind to make fifth.

With six races completed, including a discard, Simon Strauss is eight healthy points ahead of second place overall Chris Larson. Brian Porter trails by one point, then Stuart Simpson another point out in fourth. Allan Terhune is holding his own in fifth.

Melges 24 - Leading positions after 6 races

01. GBR-592 Simon Strauss, Simplicity; 4-6-2-[14]-2-2 = 16
02. USA-655 Chris Larson, Lightwave; 1-8-5-9-[10]-1 = 24
03. USA-749 Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 2-1-17-1-[14]-7 = 26
04. GBR-569 Stuart Simpson, Team Barbarians; 7-4-11-3-1-[14] = 26
05. USA-738 Allan Terhune; 5-10-14 = 29
06. Scott Nixon, Quantum Racing; [17]-3-1-8-3-15 = 30
07. USA-587 Alan Field, WTF; 9-2-3-6-21-11 = 31
08. USA-623 Kristen Lane, Brickhouse 623; 3-9-[13]-10-4-6 = 32
09. USA-630 Argyle Campbell, Rock n' Roll; 10-5-8-2-16-[29] = 41
10. USA-613 Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 12-[23]-7-5-7-18 = 49

Melges 24 US Nationals 2008