Ullman, Favini, Lane win on Day 1 Melges US Nats

Volvo Melges 24 North American Championship 2008

After a spectacular day of racing in Annapolis at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship, it is 2007 World Champion Dave Ullman on Pegasus 505 who tops the leader board by three points from another previous world champ, Flavio Favini on SUI 521 Blu Moon.

The final podium position at this stage is taken by local hero Terry Hutchinson on USA 751 Quantum Racing. In the Corinthian division it is Othmar Mueller von Blumencron on USA 679 Gannet who leads from David Dabney on USA 626 Wireless and Alex Shafer on USA 744 Sweaty Betty.

Conditions out on the racecourse this morning were undeniably chilly, but the sun was shining and most importantly the wind was a near perfect eighteen to twenty knots. The race committee went into sequence bang on time and after an initial general recall the fleet got away on the regatta’s opening race.

Volvo Melges 24 North American Championship 2008 - Joe Fly
At the final windward mark, Ullman looked to have the race in the bag, but Favini had scorched up the previous beat and was now continuing his charge down the run. With Ullman now under severe pressure, he had to switch to defend mode in the final yards into the finish. He held his nerve however and took the gun just a couple of boat lengths ahead of Favini. The next five boats came thick and fast, with Vincent Porter on USA 576 storming through to take third ahead of Hutchinson in fourth and Bruce Ayres on USA 747 Monsoon in fifth.

In race two Terry Hutchinson led around mark one, ahead of lady helm Kristen Lane on Brickhouse 623 in second and Ullman in third. The final story was all about whether Lane could hold off the fierce attack from Hutchinson, who was trying everything he knew to get overlapped to leeward. Showing remarkable composure, Lane timed her gybe in front of the rapidly closing Hutchinson to perfection and was able to hold her challenger out to the layline. Following this up with another impressive high speed gybe, she blasted through the finish line to take a well deserved race win. Ullman consolidated on his first race win with a third place.

Volvo Melges 24 North American Championship 2008 - Brick House
With the temperature dropping further, the crews were happy to get race three underway quickly and accordingly played their part with a clean start. Gabrio Zandona won the start at the committee boat end and looked to be a comfortable leader halfway up the first beat. However it was Favini who was able to tack underneath him at the top mark to round first.

For the rest of the race these two teams were in a league of their own. The five legs posted for this final race of the day, enabled Favini to use his superior speed on the final beat to eke out a five length lead at the finish. The ever consistent Ullman clocked up another third to give him the overall championship lead ahead of Favini and Hutchinson respectively.

As the crews came ashore, they were greeted with warming clam chowder and some of Pusser’s Rum Painkiller tonic soon began to thaw themselves out after a tiring day on the water. A delighted Favini told us 'It was a long day and it was cold. We were hoping to only have two races, but we had three, which made for a long day. The second race was tough, however the third race was a great battle with Joe Fly and we very much enjoyed it. We are pleased to be leading but there is a long way to go'.

Volvo Melges 24 North American Championship 2008
Corinthian leader Othmar von Blumencron was amazed to dicover he was leading. 'Wow! We're in the lead? You mean Bruce Ayres is not? That's great. Today's conditions made for some really great racing, it was cold, but it was good tight racing. No one boat dominated so we feel like we have a great chance to do well here.'

Racing at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship continues tomorrow with three more races scheduled, more on Friday and Saturday to complete the twelve race series, hopefully warmer conditions are in the cards.

Melges 24 US Nationals - REsults after three races

1 16/ USA 505 505 Ullman 1 3 3 7.00pts 1
2 21/ SUI 521 Blumoon Favini 2 7 1 10.00pts 2
3 51/ USA 751 Quantum Racing Hutchinson 4 2 4 10.00pts 3
4 20/ ITA 550 Joe Fly Maspero 9 6 2 17.00pts 4
5 27/ USA 747 Monsoon Ayres 5 9 8 22.00pts 5
6 34/ USA 749 Full Throttle Porter 6 10 6 22.00pts 6
7 55/ USA 655 West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes Larson 8 8 7 23.00pts 7
8 40/ USA 620 McNay 11 5 10 26.00pts 8
9 50/ USA 750 M-Fatic Reeser 10 4 17 31.00pts 9
10 18/ USA 623 Brick House 623 Lane 12 1 19 32.00pts 10
11 32/ USA 576 Porter 3 17 12 32.00pts 11
12 23/ GBR 569 Team Barbarians Lea 7 11 14 32.00pts 12
13 57/ USA 679 Gannet Mueller v Blumencron C 13 12 9 34.00pts 13
14 15/ USA 587 WTF Field 18 21 5 44.00pts 14
15 47/ USA 757 Simplicity Strauss 14 19 13 46.00pts 15
16 37/ USA 626 Wireless Dabney C 15 15 16 46.00pts 16
17 17/ USA 539 Brick House 539 Lane 23 13 11 47.00pts 17
18 35/ USA 619 Convexity Wilson 27 14 15 56.00pts 18
19 39/ USA 725 vamoose Wilkins 20 20 20 60.00pts 19
20 31/ USA 744 Sweaty betty Shafer C 19 24 18 61.00pts 20
21 24/ USA 630 Rock N Roll Campbell 24 16 26 66.00pts 21
22 11/ USA 533 High Voltage Hernandez C 22 22 30 74.00pts 22
23 28/ USA 658 Mustang Hamilton C 26 23 25 74.00pts 23
24 33/ USA 773 Blur-Pacific Energy Ventures Kopf 21 30 24 75.00pts 24
25 53/ USA 721 Wild Child Filter C 25 27 23 75.00pts 25
26 54/ USA 606 Chillout Golden C 16 33 27 76.00pts 26
27 29/ USA 776 KO Sailing Kolius 36 26 21 83.00pts 27
28 59/ ger 624 im with stupid Volles 17 18 50/DNS 85.00pts 28
29 48/ USA 736 Babs Wight 35 28 22 85.00pts 29
30 25/ USA 675 12happythoughts Brede 28 29 33 90.00pts 30
31 43/ CAN 446 Zingara Reid 38 25 29 92.00pts 31
32 30/ USA 680 Cre843 Siegler 29 32 37 98.00pts 32
33 45/ USA 566 Entourage Amendola 40 31 31 102.00pts 33
34 56/ USA 568 Tiburon Carleton C 32 34 38 104.00pts 34
35 44/ USA 514 No Decorum Raby 31 43 32 106.00pts 35
36 52/ USA 20 bufflehead schlegel 41 38 28 107.00pts 36
37 12/ USA 371 Aiemef Creasman C 34 40 34 108.00pts 37
38 14/ USA 615 FUNTECH Racing Hess C 33 41 35 109.00pts 38
39 36/ USA 245 Riot Act Mossman 39 37 41 117.00pts 39
40 41/ CAN 130 Zen Lixfeld 37 35 50/DNF 122.00pts 40
41 46/ USA 575 ZETIANA Michas 50/RAF 36 36 122.00pts 41
42 22/ CHI 412 ( Blurr ) Gallyas 43 39 40 122.00pts 42
43 13/ USA 570 Cujo McCliment C 42 42 42 126.00pts 43
44 38/ USA 602 PBR Street Gang Hamilton 30 50/DNF 50/DNS 130.00pts 44
45 19/ USA 687 Firewter Haynie 44 50/RAF 39 133.00pts 45
46 42/ CAN 346 Vapour Trail Lintunen 45 50/DNS 50/DNS 145.00pts 46

Volvo Melges 24 North American Championship 2008

The 2008 North American Championship is sponsored by Pusser’s Rum, Pusser's Caribbean Grille, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Gill, Melges Performance Sailboats, North Sails, Velocitek, Annapolis Wireless Internet (AWI), Harken, Sail 22, Quantum Sails, Westin Annapolis, Atlantic Yacht Rigging and Stuart Simpson's Team Barbarians. The Melges 24 Class and the Eastport Yacht Club are extremely proud to be partnered with these outstanding companies and thank them for their generous support of the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship.

http://www.usmelges24.com/