Early lead for Lovell

Three races held at the Melges 32 Gold Cup in Fort Lauderdale

Friday December 4th 2009, Author: Joy Dunigan, Location: United Kingdom
The first day of the 2009 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta, supported by Henri Lloyd and hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club, has revealed reigning U.S. Melges 32 National Champion Andy Lovell on Rougarou as the overall event leader after three races, a slim four points ahead of second place finisher John Taylor on Ninkasi.

"I think we did a good job today, made a lot of adjustments constantly all day and I think it paid off. Our tactician did a great job today too." said Lovell after racing. "This is a lot more challenging than anything we've ever raced before."

In third is Rod Jabin on Ramrod.

Race one of the day began almost two hours after the original start time due to the lack of breeze. Under mostly cloudy skies, increasing lumpy seas and light breezes the 23 teams lined up for the first start around 1 o’clock with an initial general recall. The light air conditions toyed with the fleet as they sailed tightly into the windward mark with Jabin assuming the early lead. Once out front, he managed to hold off the likes of Bob Hesse on Lake Effect, the youthful Ryan Devos on Volpe and Jason Carroll on Argo. As the race progressed, Lovell looked to get in on the action challenging Hesse, Devos and Carroll but Jabin came out on top to take the win in first, Hesse was second and Lovell settled for third.

For the start of race two, Jabin punched off the pin end of the starting line with Kip Meadows on roXanne and Alex Jackson on Leenabarca alongside. Again, Jabin took full advantage of the right shifts to take the lead at the top mark, followed by Lovell and Stuart Simpson on Team Barbarians in third. It was a three way battle into the gate with Simpson just barely reaching the right-hand gate first. He struggled with the douse leaving Jabin and Lovell to round the left gate neck-and-neck, Lovell eventually got the upper hand assuming the lead. Lovell went on to cross the finish line first, Jabin took second and Taylor moved up to third.

The last and final race of the day featured John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti with an aggressive lead right from the beginning, a charge he continuously extended throughout the race. The sun decided to make an appearance with the breeze building to a nice 8-10 knots. Making the move of the day was Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantasticaa, just sliding into the second position at the top mark gaining big on Kilroy downwind to almost overtake the lead at the gate. Kilroy showed his strength never giving Cirillo the chance to advance. Cirillo finished in second to Joe Woods on Red in third.

The regatta is young and two more days of high-powered racing are scheduled. Surely this event is far from over. Saturday beholds the Gold Cup’s famed Take A Junior Sailing Day.

Results:

Pos
Boat Skipper Sail no
R1
R2
R3
Tot
1
Rougarou Andy Lovell USA 136
3
1
9
13
2
Ninkasi John Taylor USA 1315
6
3
8
17
3
Ramrod Rod Jabin USA 206
1
2
16
19
4
Roxanne Kip Meadows USA 77
10
6
4
20
5
Fantasticaaa Lanfranco Cirillo ITA 212
16
4
2
22
6
Lake Effect Bob Hesse USA 153
2
15
5
22
7
Argo Jason Carroll USA 128
4
8
12
24
8
Team Barbarians Stuart Simpson USA 84845
17
5
6
28
9
Star Jeff Ecklund USA 32
8
7
15
30
10
Red Joe Woods GBR 700
9
19
3
31
11
Bronco Michael Dominguez USA 184
7
14
11
32
12
VIVA Don Jesberg USA 162
5
11
20
36
13
Shakedown Geoffrey Pierini USA 178
12
12
13
37
14
New Wave Mike Carroll USA 131
15
9
14
38
15
Volpe Ryan Devos USA 180
11
20
10
41
16
Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy Jr. USA 13131
23
18
1
42
17
Heartbreaker Robert Hughes USA 201
20
16
7
43
18
Delta Dalton Devos USA 1215
18
10
19
47
19
Taboo Stephen Pugh USA 158
14
22
17
53
20
Arethusa Philip Lotz USA 211
13
23
18
54
21
Leenabarca Alex Jackson ITA 174
21
13
22
56
22
Celeritas Malcolm Gefter USA 208
19
17
21
57
23
Dark N' Stormy Edward Tillinghast USA 151
22
21
23
66

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