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Norway versus Italy

Melleby and Bressani tied at the end of the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds

Sunday May 15th 2011, Author: Justin Chisholm, Location: United States

The concluding day of the Pre-Worlds Regatta at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw an unexpected return to the breezier conditions with which the venue is more synonymous, with the final two races being completed in 15 - 18 knots. A 6,2 scoreline today for overnight leader Eivind Melleby on Full Medal Jacket, was enough to seal an overall win in the Pre Worlds

Regatta. Melleby finished the two day series tied on points with second placed Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing, who chalked up a win in the first race today before finishing fourth in the second race. A seventh and a sixth score today saw Nathan Wilmot at the helm of Embarr take the final Pre-Worlds podium position. The winning Corinthian, all amateur team was Abordage owned and helmed by Erwan Le Gall from San Francisco.

With racing in the main World Championship series scheduled to start in the morning, most teams spent the afternoon after racing today on boat preparation, final sail selection and planning for the week of racing ahead. Soling Olympian and America's Cup sailor Espen Stokkeland, tactician aboard Full Medal Jacket, said that the Norwegian team were looking forward to the coming week. "There are so many great teams here this week. The racing is going to be intense, with all of the top guys battling it out against each other. We expect the racing to be really close. It's going to be great."

470 Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Wilmot seemed content with his team's preparation in the lead up to the championship: "This is my first Melges 24 regatta. It's been interesting so far. I think I need to learn to stay behind the line a bit more as we have managed two recalls in three races. The boats are great though - great fun to sail and close racing, a pretty similar style to the 470, other than you also have a backstay to deal with. All in all the Melges 24 experience has been really nice and we are looking forward to the week."

Audi helmsman Ricardo Simoneschi appeared confident and relaxed on the eve of the main championship. "As a team we are happy with the job we have done up to now. In terms of the venue, I think it is a very interesting place. We were told that the winds were generally very strong and quite steady here, but in the last few days we have already seen a variety of conditions and some quite big windshifts. So I think there will be plenty of tactical options and the racing will actually be quite open." Simoneschi also noted that the steep chop which prevails in Corpus Christi presented it's own challenges. "For sure the wave patterns here make life very challenging for the helmsman upwind in particular. It is very easy to let the boat slow down and you have to do lots of work with the mainsheet and the tuning of the boat to counter this."

With so many strong teams competing, there is little doubt that this year's championship will be one of the most closely fought ever, and picking a clear favourite at this point is virtually impossible. The general consensus amongst the competitors at this evening's opening ceremony held at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club, was that consistency, starting ability and downwind speed were likely to be the key factors in determining the overall winner. There was also a general anticipation of some spectacular sailing ahead when the inevitable classic big breeze Corpus Christi conditions make an appearance.

Racing in the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship main series begins on Monday May 16 and runs through until Saturday May 21, with two races per day scheduled.

Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship begins on Monday 16 May and runs through until Saturday 21 May, with two races per day scheduled.

Results:

Pos Bow/Sail   Boat   Skipper R1 R3 R4 Tot
1   27 / NOR 804   Full Medal Jacket   Eivind Melleby   1   6   2   9T  
2   21 / ITA 817   UkaUka Racing   Lorenzo Bressani   4   1   4   9T  
3   04 / IRL 607   Embarr   Conor Clarke   5   7   6   18  
4   25 / USA 820   New England Ropes/West Marine   Bora Gulari   13   13   3   29  
5   07 / AUS 686   Coco   Heath Walters   8   19   10   37T  
6   22 / FRA 644   ZIG ZAG 18   Henri Samuel   12   16   9   37T  
7   20 / SUI 596   Blu Moon   Flavio Flavini   33/DNF   2   5   40T  
8   02 / USA 812   Brick House 812   Kristen Lane   2   5   33/DNS   40T  
9   17 / BER655   hedgehog   Alec Cutler   7   3   33/DNF   43  
10   15 / ITA 735   ALTEA   Andrea Racchelli   33/DNS   10   1   44  
11   16 / ITA 819   AUDI   Riccardo Simoneschi   3   9   33/DNS   45T  
12   23 / USA 15   Abordage   Erwan le Gall 9   23   13   45T  
      [Corinthian]          
13   11 / CAN 121   Black Dog   Dave Black 15   21   12   48  
      [Corinthian]          
14   24 / USA 786   BATTLE RHYTHM   Guy Mossman   14   4   33/DNS   51T  
15   08 / AUS 553   Bandit   Warwick Rooklyn   11   33/OCS   7   51T  
16   18 / USA 494   Wee Jaggie   Andrew Walford 16   22   14   52  
      [Corinthian]          
17   31 / USA 379   Team Velocitek   Daniel Kaseler   33/DNS   12   8   53  
18   30 / USA 201   Mako   Stephen McMillan   17   25   18   60  
19   12 / USA675   12happythoughts   David Brede   33/DNS   18   11   62  
20   13 / USA 615   Funtech Racing   Charlie Hess 33/DNS   20   16   69  
      [Corinthian]          
21   06 / USA 623   Brick House 623   Peter Lane   6   33/OCS   33/DNS   72T  
22   33 / USA 480   Monsoon II   Mark Hulings 33/DNS   24   15   72T  
      [Corinthian]          
23   05 / USA 700   ARDOR/C.R.E.A.M.   David O'Reilly   33/OCS   8   33/DNS   74  
24   10 / USA 533   High Voltage   August Hernandez 10   33/OCS   33/OCS   76  
      [Corinthian]          
25   14 / USA 24   Smokin   Kevin Clark 33/DNS   11   33/DNF   77  
      [Corinthian]          
26   03 / USA 674   Rosebud   Scott Holmgren 33/OCS   14   33/DNS   80  
      [Corinthian]          
27   32 / JPN 783   Esprit   Eiichiro Hamazaki 33/OCS   15   33/OCS   81  
      [Corinthian]          
28   09 / USA 344   Cold Shot   Steve Eller 33/OCS   33/DNS   17   83T  
      [Corinthian]          
29   28 / GER 635   Unsponsored   Christof Wieland 33/DNS   17   33/OCS   83T  
      [Corinthian]          
30   01 / USA 811   WTF   Alan Field   33/OCS   33/DNS   33/DNS   99T  
30   26 / USA 604   Tom Slick   Jeff Wittenberg   33/DNS   33/DNS   33/DNS   99T  
3 29 / USA-749   FULL THROTTLE   Brian Porter   33/DNF   33/DNF   33/DNF   99T  

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