Melges still leads

But pressure coming from 14 year old in second place at Melges 24 Worlds

Wednesday October 15th 2003, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United States
After two more tough races at the Audi Melges 24 World Championships in San Francisco Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund, is still hanging onto his overall lead although fourteen year old Shark Kahn is giving him plenty to worry about and is now only 3 points behind him. "It was a good day but we missed a few opportunities and I don't think we were quite as fast. I think some of the others found some speed today so it was tough." commented Harry Melges after racing.

Racing was delayed until midday to allow the breeze to build and the fleet started on the last of the flood tide with some individual recalls in 8-10 knots from 210 degrees. The right hand end of the line was definitely favourite and the wind clocked about 15 degrees up the first beat. Shark Kahn lead round the first mark from Bruce Ayres, Egidio Babbi and Kenneth Kaan. Behind them a number of boats misjudged the strength of tide and understood the mark. Benoit Charon just managed to shoot the mark for fifth but Kerry Poe, along with a number of others, was forced to bail out and was left battling for a way back in through the starboard tack wall.

By the first leeward mark Shark had opened up a 30 second lead from the pack whilst Kaan had pulled up to second from Babbi. Paul Brotherton sailed a very smart run to come from the teens up to fourth whilst Ayres dropped to fifth in front of Harry Melges who'd also pulled up from the teens.

Shark pulled out his lead to a minute and ten seconds on the second beat whilst Babbi moved up to second with Melges third, Kaan fourth, Brotherton fifth and Ayres sixth. Shark covered to the finish whilst behind him Melges got past Babbi as Kahn and Ayres held fourth and fifth respectively with Brotherton sixth.

By race four the wind was up to 14-16 knots and the tide had turned bringing up the chop. The fleet got underway at the second attempt and again they like the right hand end of the line. Shark Kahn yet again got the measure of the first beat and this time it was Luca Santella, helming Giovani Maspero's Joe Fly Team, who was hot on his heels at the weather mark with Ayres third, Melges fourth, Hubert Guy fifth, Doug Weitz sixth and Sheldon Ecklunk seventh. Brian Porter rounded eighth but having forced his way in was forced to do a turn on the spreader leg and dropped back to thirteenth.

Santella and Shark Kahn had a humdinger of a battle down the first run with Santella just in the lead by the bottom mark. Both of them opted for the right gate with Melges following in at the head of the pack. First to opt for the left was Dave Ullman who'd come from tenth to fourth down the run. Weitz had pulled up to fifth with Porter sixth, Rob Greenhalgh seventh and Brotherton ninth.

Up the second beat Santella opened up 30 seconds on Shark while Porter moved up to third. Melges had a lousy beat and dropped back to tenth leaving Weitz in fourth, Greenhalgh fifth, Ullman sixth and Ayres seventh.

The final lap saw no change in the top three but Melges showed that he might be down but he sure wasn't out and managed to pull back up to fourth with Ullman fifth and Weitz sixth. Greenhalgh had to be content with seventh from Ayres.

Overall Harry Melges, Shark Kahn and Luca Santella remain in the top three slots, while Brian Porter has moved up to fourth. After racing Porter's crew member Vince Brun, who already holds two Melges 24 World titles as helmsman, commented on his new role as trimmer "I’m really enjoying the sailing but it’s very hard work to be trimming instead of helming. I think I’m getting to old!"

A disapointing 17, 13 score line was still enough to leave Philippe Kahn, father of the fourteen year old Shark, in fourth place with Ullman sixth, Greenhalgh seventh, Babbi eighth and Ayres ninth. Local boy Seadon Wijsen rounds out the top ten.

With his 1, 2 score line Shark Kahn, the teenage surprise from Hawaii, was definitely today's most consistent performer. After racing Shark acknowledged that his crew of Richard Clark (Illbruck Volvo Race, three times Canadian Olympic Finn representative), Mark Christensen (multiple Volvo race veteran), Brian Hutchenson (Melges 24 sailing guru) and Brian Lee (Shark's 20 year old cousin) are playing a vital role in his success at this event along with a huge amount of practise. "In the past 8 months we’ve done about 60 days sailing. We’ve done a lot of smaller regattas, we did San Diego Regatta, a lot of regattas up here, two on the Berkeley Circle and four on the City front and we’ve done a lot of training in Hawaii with Dave Ullman and my Dad." said Shark, who also paid tribute to his Dad's support of his campaign. "I’m just really lucky to be able to do this because of my Dad who offered me the opportunity and I just want to keep doing it."
With good weather forcast again tomorrow the sixty eight strong fleet from ten nations is looking forward to two more good races. Ten races total are scheduled with the Championship closing on Friday.

Boat Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 STAR Harry Melges 1 1 2 4 8
2 PEGASUS 24-1 Samuel "Shark" Kahn 5 3 1 2 11
3 JOE FLY Luca Santella 3 6 14 1 24
4 FULL THROTTLE Brian Porter 8 8 12 3 31
5 PEGASUS 24-3 Philippe Kahn 7 5 17 13 42
6 Dave Ullman 19 7 13 5 44
7 UNPROTECTED Robert Greenhalgh 2 9 28 7 46
8 EBREX LOGISTIC Babbi Egidio 10 13 3 22 48
9 MONSOON Bruce Ayres 13 30 5 8 56
10 HOME SLICE Seadon Wijsen 6 16 18 16 56
11 HARD CORE Charon Benoit 15 14 10 17 56
12 BLU MOON Flavio Favini 14 2 23 23 62
13 BACKBREAKER Kenneth Kaan 31 15 4 15 65
14 GROUPE LUNCIEN BARRIERE Olivier Ponthieu 4 33 8 21 66
15 GILL Stuart Rix 12 4 22 28 66
16 P&P SAILING TEAM Phillipe Ligot 22 10 20 14 66
17 CAVALLINO Hank Lemmens, Jr. 30 21 7 12 70
18 BLACK SEAL Jamie Lea 17 18 29 9 73
19 BARBARIANS Rob Smith 16 24 15 19 74
20 WICHARD Le Moign Damien 29 17 9 24 79
21 EGO Don Jesberg 33 19 16 11 79
22 AVERAGE WHITE BOAT Doug Weitz / Matt McQueen 11 27 38 6 82
23 WINDQUEST John Bertrand 9 11 45 18 83
24 SOUTHERN SPARS James Spithill 21 14 26 30 91
25 SABOTAGE Jeff Thorpe 24 28 21 29 102
26 Ian Cleaver 18 69.00D 6 10 103
27 ROCK N ROLL Argyle Campbell 23 23 27 33 106
28 TICKLER Sheldon Ecklund 26 20 41 20 107
29 WICKED FEET Tom Freytag 34 22 35 26 117
30 MINOR THREAT Peter Dalton 25 32 33 32 122
31 Martin Wedge 32 12 42 39 125
32 MASUI M Dietrich Scheder 37 37 25 27 126
33 FLYER 02 Chuck Holtzman 43 25 30 31 129
34 GRINDER Jeff Littfin 28 31 31 42 132
35 Jeffrey Brizes 27 43 19 54 143
36 TEAM MOSELEY Rick Moseley 46 29 24 47 146
37 STRYK Kerry Poe 40 38 32 43 153
38 SOFA KING FAST Dennis Bassano 20 26 69 44 159
39 SMOKIN Kevin Clark 36 35 65 25 161
40 ABRACADABRA III Dennis Surtees 35 42 49 37 163
41 SURFEIT Peter Vessella 49 69 11 35 164
42 RHINO Sean Scarborough 38 39 52 49 178
43 BANDIT Andy Mack 39 34 51 55 179
44 SITTING DUCK Claes Rojining 42 36 53 48 179
45 SILVER Joe Woods 47 69 34 36 186
46 TWISTED MISTER Keith Grzelak 57 44 36 51 188
47 NIKITA Krak Arntson 62 48 40 38 188
48 TAPE THAT Coco & Carlos Vroon 45 40 62 41 188
49 LIGHT BRIGADE Warren Davidson 48 46 61 34 189
50 SMOKESHOW Scott Dale 41 69 43 40 193
51 ENIGMA Hubert Guy 44 51 54 45 194
52 JOLLY TAR Bill Wright 69 41 39 46 195
53 PERSONAL PUFF Dan Hauserman 55 55 37 50 197
54 DANGEROUS WHEN WET Chris Winnard 52 47 58 58 215
55 GO DOGS GO Pepe Parsons 54 54 55 53 216
56 CARPE CERVISIAM Dean Daniels 69 53 50 56 228
57 BLINGBLING Evan Jahn 53 69 46 61 229
58 USA 183 Doug Du Bois 56 69.00D 47 60 232
59 PUTTANESCA Marv Toland 64 57 60 52 233
60 TIKANGA Charles Guildner 59 58 48 69 234
61 DONT BE NO DREAD Rob Arrand 65 69 44 57 235
62 VA VA VOOM Nigel Donnelly 60 45 69.00D 62 236
63 TROPHY WIFE Glenn Klute 61 49 63 63 236
64 ROCKET WIDGET Darrel Lager 58 50 59 69 236
65 ATOMIC DOG Team Atomic Dog 51 59 66 69 245
66 BONES Robert Harff 69 52 56 69.00D 246
67 GOOSE N'DUCK Paul Bennett 63 56 64 64 247
68 SEA YA Patricio Sly 69 69.00D 57 59 254

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Tags

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top