Bressani v Porter
Day two of the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas delivered two races sailed in near perfect conditions, under crystal clear skies and in a solid breeze which built from 15 up to around 19 knots throughout the day.
Lorenzo Bressani's near perfect performance today on Uka Uka Racing means that he tops the leaderboard tonight with an 11 point lead over Kristen Lane on Brick House 812, whose 10, 3, scoreline sees her in second overall, tied on points with Flavio Favini on the Swiss entry Blu Moon in third, and Andrea Racchelli on Altea.
Revelling in the windier conditions on Day 2, American Brian Porter on Full Throttle and Bressani spent both of today's races engaged in their own private battle at the front of the fleet. Bressani led the first race of the day from start to finish, with Porter chasing hard throughout in second. In the second race of the day, it was Porter who led at the windward mark ahead of Bressani who arrived at the buoy on port tack, just a couple of boat lengths behind. With no gap to tack into, Bressani was forced to duck behind two boats before then rounding in fourth.
By the leeward gate, a charging Bressani was up to second and clearly focused on closing Porter down even further. As the leading pair blasted down the final run, Bressani had reduced Porter's lead to just a few lengths, and the Italian appeared to be gaining with every gust.
In the last few feet to the finish, Porter, coming in at pace from the right, just managed to pull off a gybe in front Bressani, who was hurtling in from the left. With Bressani arriving at full speed on the layline to the finish, Porter was just able to complete his gybe in time enough to surf home, only a few feet ahead.
Despite finishing tenth in the first of today's races, Kristen Lane on Brick House 812, proved that her race win on the opening day was no flash in the pan, when in the second race of the day she clawed her way back from a poor windward mark rounding to ultimately take third. Rounding the final windward mark in seventh place, Lane showed blistering pace down the last leg to move within striking distance of the pack of boats all scrapping for third.
Nailing the port layline into the finish with absolute precision, Lane came in very hot from the left to snatch third place, after just managing to thread herself between the pin end line boat and the fast approaching bowsprits of Andrea Racchelli on Altea, Blu Moon and Moth World Champion Bora Gulari on New England Ropes/West Marine. Lane's gutsy manoeure earned her second place overall at the end of Day 2.
It is a testimony to the extremely close nature of the racing at this championship that second placed Lane is in a three way tie on points with both Favini and Racchelli, who are in third and fourth places respectively. Indeed just six points separate second from seventh overall. A fifth and an 11th today for yesterday's regatta leader Nathan Wilmot on Embarr sees the Irish team drop to fifth place overall, with a four point advantage over Alec Cutler on Hedgehog in sixth. After a poor opening day by his own standards, Brian Porter has moved up to 7th by way of his 2,1 performance today.
Now holding an 11 point advantage at the top of the standings, the reigning world champions on Uka Uka Racing, were looking understandably calm and relaxed after racing today.
"Yes it was a good day for us." commented tactician Jonathan McKee. "We are obviously very happy with the way things went today. We managed to get off the line quickly and we felt we had good boatspeed in those conditions."
Asked if he had been following a particular strategy today, he had this to say "It was all surprisingly subtle out there. The wind was pretty steady and there wasn't a consistent side of the racecourse which seemed to pay. It was more about finding the best pressure downwind and avoiding the bad sets of waves upwind."
Trimmer Federico Michetti, paid this tongue in cheek tribute to his helmsman. "Rufo (Lorenzo Bressani) likes the breezy conditions, so this makes it very easy for the rest of us. He is like a racehorse, we just take the blinkers off his eyes at the start, and off he goes!"
In the all amateur Corinthian Division, Japana's Eiichiro Hamazaki continued to dominate with another pair of bullets to give him an 11 point overall lead over American August Hernandez on High Voltage in second and Germany's Christof Wieland on Unsponsored in third.
With the normal weather system in Corpus Christi now appearing to have re-established itself, local opinion suggests that tomorrow may bring windier conditions still. Racing on Day 3 is scheduled to start at 11 AM local time with two more races scheduled. Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi Texas continues until Saturday 21 May.
|1||21 / ITA 817||UkaUka Racing||Lorenzo Bressani||6||2||1||2||11|
|2||02 / USA 812||Brick House 812||Kristen Lane||8||1||10||3||22T|
|3||20 / SUI 596||Blu Moon||Flavio Favini||3||6||8||5||22T|
|4||15 / ITA 735||ALTEA||Andrea Racchelli||4||7||7||4||22T|
|5||04 / IRL 607||Embarr||Conor Clarke||2||5||5||11||23|
|6||17 / BER655||hedgehog||Alec Cutler||9||8||3||7||27|
|7||29 / USA-749||FULL THROTTLE||Brian Porter||16||9||2||1||28|
|8||01 / USA 811||WTF||Alan Field||1||11||11||8||31|
|9||16 / ITA 819||AUDI||Riccardo Simoneschi||7||12||4||9||32|
|10||32 / JPN 783||Esprit||Eiichiro Hamazaki||11||4||9||15||39|
|11||25 / USA 820||New England Ropes/West Marine||Bora Gulari||15||10||12||6||43|
|12||06 / USA 623||Brick House 623||Peter Lane||18||18||6||10||52|
|13||27 / NOR 804||Full Medal Jacket||Eivind Melleby||5||3||33/DSQ||12||53T|
|14||08 / AUS 553||Bandit||Warwick Rooklyn||14||13||13||13||53T|
|15||22 / FRA 644||ZIG ZAG 18||Henri Samuel||12||16||15||17||60|
|16||24 / USA 786||BATTLE RHYTHM||Guy Mossman||22||15||17||14||68|
|17||26 / USA 604||Tom Slick||Jeff Wittenberg||10||23||16||22||71|
|18||07 / AUS 686||Coco||Heath Walters||13||17||19||26||75T|
|19||10 / USA 533||High Voltage||August Hernandez||28||14||14||19||75T|
|20||31 / USA 379||Team Velocitek||Daniel Kaseler||20||21||20||18||79|
|21||05 / USA 700||ARDOR/C.R.E.A.M.||David O'Reilly||19||20||23||20||82|
|22||28 / GER 635||Unsponsored||Christof Wieland||33/RAF||19||18||16||86|
|23||13 / USA 615||Funtech Racing||Charlie Hess||24||27||21||21||93|
|24||03 / USA 674||Rosebud||Scott Holmgren||23||26||22||23||94|
|25||14 / USA 24||Smokin||Kevin Clark||21||24||28||24||97|
|26||09 / USA 344||Cold Shot||Steve Eller||17||28||25||29||99T|
|27||12 / USA675||12happythoughts||David Brede||25||25||24||25||99T|
|28||11 / CAN 121||Black Dog||Dave Black||27||22||27||28||104|
|29||33 / USA 480||Monsoon II||Mark Hulings||26||30||26||31||113|
|30||18 / USA 494||Wee Jaggie||Andrew Walford||30||31||29||27||117|
|31||23 / USA 15||Abordage||Erwan le Gall||29||29||30||30||118|
|32||30 / USA 201||Mako||Stephen McMillan||31||32||31||32||126|