Two points separation at end of penultimate day
The 32-strong fleet completed two more races and have one last critical day to go at the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club. Luca Lalli on B-Lin Sailing remains in the lead but John Porter's Full Throttle clearly has his sights on the trophy too.
There was great concern that the breeze would be really light for the third day of the championship. Predictions came true, as the start was pushed back an hour from the original scheduled time. For the start, a light 6-7 knots brought the best out of Jeff Ecklund's STAR. This team comprising tactician Harry Melges III, 2008 470 Gold Medallist Nathan Wilmot (2009 Melges 32 World Champion), 2000 Soling Bronze Medallist Espen Stokkeland, Scott Norris, Peter Crawford, Lindsay Bartel and Emma Creighton, a singlehanded racer about to embark on a Mini Transat campaign, delivered top performance in the speed department for a great win ahead of Stuart Simpson's Team Barbarians, while Rod Jabin on Ramrod did well to pull out a third place finish.
Jabin, with 2009 Melges 24 World Championship Chris Larson on tactics, outperformed the competition launching out in front of the fleet to round the weather mark in first. Lalli was right on his transom, pulling out all the stops to get ahead. A clean and fast set placed Porter in position to overtake Lalli for the lead downwind, while birthday boy Jason Carroll on Argo got in on the action as well. Jabin triumphed at the finish with Porter in second, Carroll third and Lalli in fourth. Japanese owner Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai rounded out the top five.
What the final day of racing in San Francisco will bring is yet to be seen. The top four are separated by 12 points which basically means, anything can happen on the last day of competition. Every team has worked so hard over the last three days to advance, establish a strangle-hold that has thus far proven to be ever elusive. In the forefront, desperate to hold of is Lalli. Porter sits two points out of first. Andy Lovell on Rougarou is in third overall.
Full results below
Video of Red collision courtesy of VinceSail