Kessler leads Melges US nationals

Britain's Black Seal still in contention

Friday March 14th 2003, Author: Fi Brown, Location: United States
Thursday the first four races of the Championship regatta for the 24-foot one-design sailboats were sailed on Pensacola Bay. The conditions during the day were generally light 6-10 knot breezes. 27 boats were on the starting line for the 11am starting gun.

The first race was a windward/leeward course twice around, with a gate at the leeward rounding. The winds were from the south-southwest. The race committee moved the windward mark for the second beat due to a left wind shift. The second race was also a windward/leeward course with winds shifting from 195 degrees to 210 degrees. The third race was a windward/leeward course with a 20 degree right wind shift just after the starting signal. The last race of the day was also a windward/leeward course but with a steady freshening breeze from the same southerly direction.

The predicted rainy weather never materialized until well after all the boats had returned to the Pensacola Yacht Club so all races were sailed under warm and sunny skies. Race one winner was the P&P Sailing Team, sailing Liberty. The skipper was Doug Kessler. Race two winner was Full Throttle. Brian Porter was the skipper, and is a past National Champion.

Race three winner was British boat Black Seal with Roger Peacock skipper. Peacock repeated this performance in the fourth race, this time after a beautiful start at the committee boat end and then immediately tacked onto port and accelerated away from the surrounding boats.

Race five is scheduled to start at 11 am Friday morning. The forecast for the day is unsettled wind and weather conditions. The last day of the regatta is Saturday.

The overall leader after the first day is Liberty. Second place is Blumoon skippered by Franco Rossini from Switzerland. He was also a crew onboard the winning America’s Cup yacht Alinghi. In third is Full Throttle.


1 Doug Kessler Liberty Racing - 10
2 Franco Rossini Blu Moon - 14
3 Brian Porter Full Throttle - 16
4 Roger Peacock Black Seal - 17
5 Argyle Campbell Rock N' Roll - 22
6 Nergaard Baghdad - 23
7 Paula Zubrzycki First Crush - 32
8 Nigel Pitts Tommy Bahama - 33
9 Tom Freytag Wicked Feet - 34
10 Brian Harrison My Dixie Wrecked - 43
11 Hal Pickering Chacal - 44
12 Bret Gripenstraw Sofa King Fast - 45
13 Dean Bell/Woodie Cope Sled Slayer - 58
14 Dow Flying Toaster - 59
15 Matt Mayo Trick Monkey - 69
16 Sheldon Ecklund Aura - 69
17 Scott Gregory Satisfaction - 69
18 Miles Martschink Moving Target - 70
19 John Mathis Fore Runner - 71
20 Jim Longen Terp - 76
21 Jones/Andrews SickPuppy - 81
22 Doc Bellows Latex Solar Beef - 82
23 Hubert Guy - 84
24 Scott Baker Nobody's Girl - 89
25 Tim Delaney Killer Tomato - 95
26 Jeff Meyers Rogue Wave - 102
27 Justin Neal Chick Magnet - 105

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