Wind Fills at Melges 32 Nationals
Published on August 19th, 2016
Newport, RI (August 19, 2016) – The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours allowing the northerly drainage breeze to give way to the impending northerly sea breeze.
PRO Anderson Reggio was proactive with the postponement, making his announcement the evening prior allowing teams to relax their morning schedules. The team that clearly had the best morning routine was Andrea LaCorte’s Vitamina team as they put the fleet on notice with a double bullet performance.
With a light 5-7 knots of east-southeast breeze, the fleet got off cleanly on the first attempt and winning the pin and nailing the starboard tack layline with a slight shoot around the windward mark was Jason Carroll and his Argo team. On the ensuing downwind Carroll chose to gybe early, which ultimately cost them a few places at the bottom gate.
Like searching for a light switch in the dark, teams worked hard to figure out which side of the course would pay on the final upwind leg. LaCorte stayed in the pressure, leading around the last upwind mark. Hanging on downwind, they took the bullet narrowly over Richard Goransson’s Inga From Sweden in second and Carroll in third.
Race Two began with slightly more pressure which had teams contemplating their jib selections, however the it had only a little muscle hovering in the 6-8 range. Despite a slight boat favor, Rick DeVos’ Delta, Ryan DeVos’ Volpe and LaCorte all started closer to the pin and extended to the left corner towards more pressure. The trio ultimately rounded the mark as the lead group with Rick DeVos holding a slight advantage.
As the first to gybe, the Delta team lost their edge at the gates rounding third behind his younger brother Ryan, who split the gate with LaCorte. Again, all three boats drag raced to the left corner and after bouncing a few tacks off of each other, Rick DeVos nailed the second windward mark layline and recaptured the lead.
For the final downwind run, LaCorte smartly extended the farthest to the corner, taking advantage of more pressure and angle for his second bullet on the day followed by Delta and Volpe, second and third respectively.
The “kids” on Hydra have been enjoying plenty of success as the top Corinthian team, however for this event Chris Wientjes and his Stormvogel team are all Corinthian and they came to put the Hydra winning streak to an end. Showing solid speed around the track and hanging tough in both races, Wientjes finished the day with a 4, 6 giving him a 6 point edge on the Morgan Kiss at the helm of Hydra who was forced to digest two eighth place finishes.
With a steadier forecast for Saturday, the fleet is expected to start on-tie at 11:00 with the hope of getting in three races. One constant from Day 1 is that LaCorte and their overall performance will be put to the test again to see if they can continue their “picket fence” on the results sheet.
Source: Melges 32 Class Association