Photo: Sharon Green

Andy Lovell into the lead

After the opening day of racing at the Melges 32 Worlds in San Francisco

Wednesday September 22nd 2010, Author: Joy Dunnigan, Location: United States

The first day of racing at the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club is complete, revealing Andy Lovell on Rougarou, alongside of his brother, tactician Johnny Lovell in the overall lead. In second place, from New Zealand is Stefan Goldwater with tactician Andrew Wills on Tirade and in third, is Alex Jackson and tactician Rob Greenhalgh on Leenabarca.

Although the top three are certainly more than worthy of winning, they were the least likely of candidates everyone thought would occupy the top three positions after a full day of racing. For Lovell, this is a homecoming of sorts as last year, about this same time, he won the 2009 Melges 32 US National Championship that was held in conjunction with the Rolex Big Boat Series. He's only competed once since. This is Goldwater's third regatta after taking delivery of his brand new Melges 32 in Harbor Springs, Mich. last July. Alex Jackson just came of age this past May becoming the East Coast Champion in Rye, N.Y. All three are the very best of opponents and now share a 10 point spread as the top three, in a field of 32.

Three races were held under plentiful sunshine and building, perfect breeze-on conditions. First around the mark was Doug Douglas' Goombay Smash with the efforts of tactician Russell Coutts, with Goldwater on his heels. "It was a lot of fun." said a cool, calm and collected Goldwater. "I think we got lucky." Regardless, luck wielded its way and played in Goldwater's favor for an incredible first race win. Goldwater finished miles ahead of second place finisher Lovell. Comeback of the day goes to John Porter on Full Throttle. At the start of the race, Porter was OCS but worked it out beat-by-beat, played the fleet and the breezy conditions to take an incredible third place position. Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai was fourth and in fifth was North American Champion Don Jesberg on Viva.

Race two introduced more breeze, the waves grew larger and the intensity of racing increased as well. Coutts called the shots putting Goombay Smash in all the right places to win. Rod Jabin, with tactician Chris Larson on Ramrod, took to the right side of the course then played the center to keep up with Douglas' speed, only to settle for second. It was his best effort of the day. Goldwater had another great race taking third.

The last and final race of the day was all about endurance. After two races at a distance of 2.0 nm, PRO John Craig ordered a five-legger as the breeze built to a pleasant 22-23 knots. Larger seas and square chop led the fleet into an initial first start resulting in a general recall. Craig clearly knows how to handle this fleet, immediately putting the Z-Flag penalty into effect. Italy's Luca Lalli on B-lin Sailing battled the entire race to hold off both Lovell and Jackson for a win. "The red boat is really fast (referring to Rougarou). This was very difficult. Very good racing, but very difficult. The waves made the sailing very challenging. The strong breeze made for really fun downwind sailing." said the young Lalli. "The competition here is really tough." Reigning World Champion Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem finally found a groove to take second and Lovell was third.

At the end of the day, tactician Lovell commented: "We kind of felt things were pretty straight forward. We looked to the committee boat end almost ever time, tacked, then went right. We had good boat speed and really good boat handling downwind. We just tried to make as few mistakes as possible."

Racing continues on Thursday with at least two more races.



Pos Boat Skipper Sail no R1 R2 R3 Tot
1 Rougarou Andy Lovell USA 136 2 4 3 9
2 Tirade Stefan Goldwater NZL 221 1 3 8 12
3 Leenabarca Alex Jackson USA 174 10 5 4 19
4 B-lin sailing Luca Lalli ITA 23 15 6 1 22
5 Heartbreaker Robert Hughes USA 201 11 8 7 26
6 Goombay Smash William Douglass USA 142 13 1 14 28
7 Red Joe Woods GBR 700 7 20 5 32
8 STAR Jeff Ecklund USA 32 6 19 9 34
9 FULL Throttle John Porter USA 49 3 23 10 36
10 Yasha Samurai Yukihiro Ishida JPN 203 4 21 11 36
11 Bliksem Pieter Taselaar USA 169 23 12 2 37
12 roXanne Kip Meadows USA 77 17 7 13 37
13 Team Barbarians Stuart Simpson GBR 84845 8 11 18 37
14 Ramrod Rodrick Jabin USA 206 16 2 25 43
15 Teasing Machine Jean François Cruette FRA 202 22 17 6 45
16 Viva Don Jesberg USA 162 5 18 23 46
17 Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy, Jr. USA 13131 9 13 26 48
18 Pegasus-MotionX Philippe Kahn USA 678 24 16 15 55
19 Q Jim Swartz USA 007 21 24 12 57
20 Warpath Steve Howe USA 32917 33/DSQ 9 17 59
21 ARGO Jason Carroll USA 128 12 26 21 59
22 Black Mamba Martin Knetig CZE 204 30 15 16 61
23 Shakedown Geoffrey Pierini USA 178 19 27 19 65
24 Dark N'Stormy Edward Tillinghast USA 151 20 25 24 69
25 Taboo Stephen Pugh USA 158 14 29 27 70
26 Arethusa Phil Lotz USA 211 28 10 33/DNF 71
27 Bros. Naofumi Kamei JPN 199 29 14 29 72
28 SLED Takashi Okura JPN 5095 18 28 30 76
29 Celeritas Malcolm Gefter USA 208 26 31 20 77
30 Ninkasi John Taylor USA 1315 25 30 22 77
31 Bronco Michael Dominguez USA 184 27 22 28 77
32 Banshee Derek Campbell USA 138 33/DNF 33/DNS 33/DNS 99


Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top