B-Lin Sailing the new Melges 32 World Champion
26-year old Luca Lalli on B-Lin Sailing has clinched the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship title, two points ahead of his strongest adversary John Porter on Full Throttle. Aboard Lalli's Melges 32 was tactician Lorenzo Bressani, Flavio Favini, Federico Michetti, Carlo Zermini, Luca Faravelli, Lorenzo Del Rio and Stefano Nicolussi. Jeff Ecklund on STAR had a phenomenal week pulling up to third overall.
With two additional races on PRO John Craig's agenda, ultra light conditions greeted the fleet as they made their way out to Berkeley Circle for the final showdown between top seated Lalli, Porter and Andy Lovell on Rougarou. With a mere six knots of breeze, the fleet went racing with Don Jesberg on Viva rounding the top mark in first, followed by Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai, then Alex Jackson's Leenabarca in third. The three raced downwind with Jesberg holding on for first with Lovell coming in from the right to slide in for second. Back upwind Lovell stretched his lead with Ishida overtaking Jesberg. Lovell took the win, Ishida was second. Porter, although rounding the first mark about mid-fleet, recovered well to challenge Jesberg for the third position at the finish. Jesberg had a little more momentum, just barely making the line to take third. Porter settled for fourth. Ecklund was fifth.
At this stage of the day, Porter had the title in hand with a one-point advantage over Lalli.
As the race committee scrambled to fire off the second race of the day, prior to the 1430 cut-off, teams were just as anxious to get in one more heat. The breeze was still light and fickle, lots of sunshine and flat seas prevailed as they went into almost immediate sequence once the line was set, Z-flag in effect. As the fleet approached the line, the first start resulted in a general recall with a Z-flag penalty applied to Porter and Kip Meadows on roXanne. Jackson, on the other hand shot off the line making a lane for the top spot around the mark, followed by Steve Howe on Warpath and Pieter Taselaar's Bliksem rounding third, Lalli in fourth. Firmly in the lead, Jackson took the win with Howe maintaining a second. Lalli finished third, sealing the deal for the championship win and title a substantial 11 points ahead of second overall Porter.
The 2011 Melges 32 World Championship takes place on September 20-25 in Palma de Mallorca, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma.
Full results below