Big Wind Welcomes Melges 32 Worlds
Published on September 29th, 2016
Newport, RI (September 29, 2016) – The first day of the 2016 Melges 32 World Championship was greeted with the front edge of a strong nor’easter that brought 20-27 kt winds.
Typically lasting 4-5 days, nor’easters bring strong winds in a northeast to southwest direction and can be accompanied by heavy rain. Fortunately, the rain held off and once the fleet became acclimated to the blustery conditions, it didn’t take long for the leaders to find their speed and assert their positions.
Starting near the leeward end, two-time World Champion (2013, 2014) Jason Carroll’s Argo used solid speed to maintain a lane to the left corner and hooked into a nice left shift to lead at the top mark. Starting just below Carroll, was Ryan DeVos’ Volpe who hung close, followed closely by his brother Rick DeVos on Delta.
With spinnakers set and pulling hard, the fleet blasted to the leeward gates and after another lap-and-a-half, Carroll hung on for the win. It was a close battle with Ryan DeVos finishing second and Richard Goransson’s Inga from Sweden charging in to take third.
Wasting no time in getting Race Two started, PRO Anderson Reggio squared his starting line and began the sequence. With a building chop, it looked as if the fleet would be late to the line. As the clocked ticked down, the fleet approached quickly with 2009 World Champion Pieter Taselaar sailing Bliksem and Ryan DeVos finding themselves OCS. The remainder of the fleet blasted to the windward mark in a slowly building breeze.
Picking a few shifts and getting left at the top of the course was Christian Schwoerer’s La Pericolosa. Leading wire-to-wire, Schwoerer nailed every tack and gybe to get the win, followed in close pursuit by defending World Champ Alessandro Rombelli on STIG, then Giangiacomo Serena Di Lapigio’s G-Spot.
A third race was scheduled for the day, however once teams began to assemble for the warning signal the breeze continued to build touching into the low 30s. Reggio wisely abandoned racing for the day with a slightly tamer forecast for Day Two.
Tied in points with Schwoerer for the overnight lead, Rombelli enjoyed the challenges of Day One. “We are very pleased with the results we have. The first two days of a world championship are the most important. Day one is not the day to win races, it’s the day to minimize risks and damages,” said Rombelli.
Three races are scheduled for Day Two which will bring the third day that the nor’easter has been present over Newport. Tomorrow’s conditions will be very similar to today, and the teams that can avoid big mistakes, handle the huge puffs and sail smart will potentially find themselves on the podium.
For the three teams competing for the Corinthian title, 2016 Corinthian U.S. National Champion Chris Wientjes on Stormvogel enjoyed a nice day on the water in Newport to lead after two races. As somewhat expected, Morgan Kiss at the helm of Hydra for Project Sail hung in to finish the day in second, followed by Jeremy Alexis on Lucy.
Thirteen teams from five countries will compete in up to 10 races on September 29 to October 2 in Newport, RI. When six or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score.
Day One Results (2 races)
1. La Pericolosa, Christian Schwoerer , GER – 5 -1 ; 6
2. STIG, Alessandro Rombelli , ITA – 4 -2 ; 6
3. Argo, Jason Carroll , USA – 1 -6 ; 7
4. Volpe, Ryan DeVos , USA – 2 -7 ; 9
5. Vitamina, Andrea Lacorte , ITA – 6 -4 ; 10
6. Delta, Rick DeVos , USA – 9 -5 ; 14
7. G-Spot, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio , MON – 14 -3 ; 17
8. INGA, Richard Goransson , SWE – 3 -14 ; 17
9. Stormvogel, Chris Wientjes , USA – 7 -10 ; 17
10. Dark N’Stormy, Edward Tillinghast , USA – 8 -9 ; 17
11. Hydra, Project Sail , USA – 10 -8 ; 18
12. Bliksem, Pieter Taselaar , USA – 11 -14 ; 25
13. Lucy , Jeremy Alexis , USA – 14 -14 ; 28
Source: Sam Rogers, Melges 32 Class