In the bag for Luna Rossa
In the event the Race Committee did a good job of being patient and decided to postpone the race for a couple of hours. Around noon, the breeze started to fill in from 20° with winds averaging 6-8 knots. It looked as though the breeze was going to be fairly stable after it filled in and the Race Committee decided to start the fleet.
The start was fairly clean with only a couple of boats over the line at the pin end of the line. Early on the left looked a little favoured but about a third of the way up the beat, the boats on the right started to get a lift. The lift kept getting bigger, and in the end the wind shifted about 30° to the right, turning the 99 boat fleet inside out.
Gabriele Benussi who started on the starboard end of the line saw the shift early on and tacked out to the right to catch the shift. Benussi led the entire pack out of the right and rounded the mark first. Regatta leader James Spithill and Dave Ullman who was in second going into the final day were working up the middle of the beat with Spithill keeping a loose cover on Ullman.
With the right shift paying, Spithill and Ullman rounded each in the low 40s around the first mark. Down the first run Spithill and Ullman worked hard to close the gap with Benussi in order to minimise the damage in case the race committee decided to start second race. At the finish however the Race Committee signed that there was not going to be a second race and that assured Spithill and his team the 2005 Corum Melges World Championship trophy as they were able to throw out the 27th place he scored in this final race.
Benussi 's impressive first place finish in the final race made a difference as he moved ahead of Ullman in the overall standings to secure second place. Dave Ullman who sailed a great regatta wound up third overall with Morgan Reeser taking fourth. Gabrio Zandona on Joe Fly sailed strong the last four races of the series and wound up passing Brian Porter today to finish fifth place.
“With one race today, all we had to do was stay close to Dave Ullman,” said the triumphant Spithill. Ullman, the sailmaker from Newport Beach, California, sailing Pegasus 505, had started the day in second place but dropped to third at the finish. “We had a 20-boat cushion,” Spithill continued, “but the conditions were extremely tough. We got off the start line in good shape but in these light conditions everyone does the same speed, so we stayed in close contact with Dave.”
Spithill, the 26-year-old Australian skipper of Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge for the America’s Cup, was sailing with three other members of his America’s Cup crew, with additional help from 11-year-old Mac Agnese from Ft. Lauderdale. There was only one Italian passport holder on the sleek white 24-foot sportboat and that belonged to Manuel Modena, a 49er sailor from Lake Garda. The other two crew members were American brothers Jonathan and Charlie McKee, both double Olympic sailing medalists
“My relationship with the McKees goes back to Seattle’s One World Challenge for the America’s Cup in New Zealand in 2000,” Spithill said. “They are a great couple of guys. You just have to look at their CVs. They’ve done it all.”
Agnese, Spithill’s smallest crew member was invited aboard the boat before Key West Race Week to bring the crew up to the maximum permitted weight of 793 pounds. An Optimist sailor from the Lauderdale Yacht Club, Agnese got a week and a half off school in sixth grade at the Sunrise Middle School near Fort Lauderdale, substituting the class room for on-the-water sailing lessons with some of the world’s best.
Italian Gabriele Benussi's Marrachech Express team put in a devastating performance to finish second overall. The team that took delivery of their brand new production boat just one month before the event and only sailed together in any Melges 24 for the first practice race just two days before the start of competition. Only two of Benussi’s crew had had prior experience in the class.
“We made a bad start with a 35th place but after that we had a very positive result,” Benussi said. “Before we started, I’d have said that getting in the top ten results would be a fantastic result for us. To be second in this company has made us very, very happy.”
Dave Ullman, a 59-year-old veteran with numerous world and national championships to his credit, dropped to third on points. “This was by far the best Melges Worlds ever sailed,” Ullman said. “We got entries like James Spithill who hadn’t been in the class before and who sail at the top, top level. They did a really nice job. The Luna Rossa guys were pretty much in control. They are good!” more . . .
|1||Luna Rossa||USA 515||Spithill,James||5||12||25||7||1||1||8||1||2||6||26*||68|
|2||MARRACHECH EXPRESS||ITA 636||Mrvcic,Vladimiro||35*||1||3||2||4||9||7||10||15||24||1||76|
|5||JOE FLY||ITA 633||Maspero,Giovanni||11||35*||22||5||3||5||32 ZFP||2||13||4||11||108|
|6||PARTNER & PARTNERS||FRA 571||Ligot,Philippe||22||14||18||3||11||11||39*||19||4||5||4||111|
|7||FULL THROTTLE||USA 600||Porter,Brian||26||2||11||4||7||18||47 ZFP||3||8||12||54*||138|
|8||BLU MOON||SUI 596||Rossini,Franco||24||37||2||21||10||28||82*ZFP||8||5||3||3||141|
|9||Fusion M||USA 542||Devos,Doug||9||15||46*||22||22||4||36 ZFP||5||3||2||27||145|
|10||ALE ALI||ITA 139||Amadori,Ezio||1||22||16||15||29||10||9||66*ZFP||21||32||6||161|
|11||Pegasus 492||USA 492||Kahn,SamuelShark||19||3||4||48||30||6||5||9||26||11||49*||161|
|13||TEAM GILL||GBR 592||Strauss,Simon||12||59*||14||8||9||33||23||20||17||28||19||183|
|15||TEAM BARBARIANS||GBR 569||Simpson,Stuart||40||43||26||44*||13||14||2||31||7||15||32||223|
|16||LIZARD||ITA 594||Paolacci,Massimo||7||55 DPI||20||61||6||16||1||70*ZFP||11||13||38||228|
|17||NAUTICA/FRATELLI GIACOMEL AUDI||ITA 572||Simoneschi,Riccardo||39||48*||15||10||23||21||17||38||9||9||47||228|
|21||STAR||USA 595||Ecklund,Jeff||62*||17||13||46||27||27||46 ZFP||28||16||10||12||242|
|23||NEW WAVE||USA 544||Kullman,Martin||18||11||32||9||36||35||23 ZFP||22||45*||35||37||258|
|25||Monsoon||USA 540||Ayres,Bruce||13||55 DPI||34||25||12||39||37||15||24||8||71*||262|
|27||Running With Scissors||USA 617||Baron,Peter||21||61*||40||27||14||46||13||21||23||20||59||284|
|28||Pegasus 575||USA 575||Kahn,Philippe||10||6||21||13||31||58||45||49||14||40||68*||287|
|29||Ego||USA555||Jesberg,Don||3||38||36||53||45 ZFP||13||44 ZFP||7||29||26||99*DNF||294|
|31||Pareto Optimal||USA 525||Wijsen,Seadon||34||46||10||20||19||43||22||29||54||17||78*||294|
|32||FRUEN MAREN||NOR 249||Hauff,Nils||29||27||8||55*||26||25||41||44||39||22||45||306|
|34||Rock N Roll||USA 630||Campbell,Argyle||20||19||65||37||73*ZFP||20||15||67||32||41||10||326|
|36||MJ2 BORGO SCOPETO||ITA 621||Angelini,Igino||30||24||43||68*||49||17||32||30||43||31||46||345|
|38||PANIC ATTACK||USA 522||DaMore,Justin||32||4||42||16||16||31||21||75*ZFP||55||70 ZFP||66||353|
|39||Barracuda||USA 549||Dockery,Bob||53||58||31||14||47||12||49 ZFP||24||41||27||99*DSQ||356|
|40||FLYER 02||USA 520||Holzman,Chuck||16||42||77||56||38||99*OCS||4||48||28||16||35||360|
|41||TEAM SBAB||SWE 532||Sundstedt,Ingemar||28||99*OCS||41||18||32||99 DSQ||44||14||49||23||13||361|
|42||BLING BLING||USA 513||Jahn,Evan||42||20||24||19||54||51||39 ZFP||77*ZFP||57||38||44||388|
|43||ZIG ZAG 17||FRA 625||Samuel,Henri||48||16||55||38||44||42||35||47||31||36||80*||392|
|46||ENGO GARD||NOR560||David-Andersen,Arne||52||56||56||54.7 RDGb||50||49||99*ZFP||45||18||25||36||441.7|
|47||BRILLIANT||USA 568||Blank,Bill||55||74 DPI||38||35||99*DNS||41||49||53||34||49||18||446|
|48||Team VC Performance Rigging||USA 623||Wehrheim,Phil||77||31||59||42||40||71||99*DNF||23||36||46||28||453|