Corinthinian crew comes through

As Don Jesberg's Viva claims the Melges 32 North Americans

Tuesday September 8th 2009, Author: Joy Dunigan, Location: United Kingdom
The 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship, hosted by the Sausalito Yacht Club awarded Don Jesberg on USA-162 Viva the NAC title today along with his entirely Corinthian crew of tactician Zarko Draganic, Andrew Holdsworth, Thomas Iseler, Eric Baumhoff, Stephen Marsh, Jeff Wayne and Kristen Loewenthal. In second overall, was Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo and in third was John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti.

For the third day in a row, racing took place under stunning conditions. Sunshine, cool temps, lots of current and breezy conditions catered to the Melges 32 fleet for completion of the eight race series.

Jim Swartz (Edgartown, Mass.) on USA-007 Q had an incredible day. His 1-2 daily finish started with a strong performance in the first race. At the start, he assumed his usual pin end pole position, blasting off the line with speed. Upwind and out to the left initially, he then covered the right for pressure. Swartz found himself in the lead at the top mark, followed by Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on USA-136 Rougarou in second and Philippe Kahn (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-166 Pegasus 32 in third. At the offset, Kahn gybed out for clean air. Despite his efforts, Swartz was too fast pulling through the gate still in the lead. Kahn caught up for second with Jesberg and Pugh chasing. Swartz held on for the win, Kahn took second and Derek Campbell (Seattle, Wash.) on USA-138 Banshee took third.

For the final race of the day and last in the eight part series, Swartz once more brought out the speed, as did Lovell. Looking really strong up the middle to the top mark, Lovell seemed to finally find his groove taking the early lead, Kahn rounding right on his transom and Swartz in third. Downwind the fleet was evenly split. As they passed through the gate the triple dual between Lovell, Kahn and Swartz intensified. On the finish leg with Swartz on the right and Lovell working the middle, Lovell barely took the gun no more than half a boat length for the win. Kahn dropped back to finish third while Jesberg and Pugh dueled across the finish, Jesberg getting the upper hand for fourth, Pugh settled for fifth.

The International Melges 32 Class Association would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Don Jesberg and team as well as all the Owners that traveled to make this event a success. Most especially, thanks again to the Sausalito Yacht Club, in particular Jeff Zarwell and Regatta Pro. The racing, as well as the off-the-water festivities were well-organised and very professional.

Full results: Melges 32 NA Scores Final.pdf

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