Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Cala Galera, Italy (Aug. 24, 2017) – The 2017 MELGES 32 BOERO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP hosted by CIRCOLO NAUTICO E DELLA VELA ARGENTARIOcame to life today, adding three more fierce races to the scoreboard under slightly breezy conditions.

Standing firm at the top once again is Russia’s Pavel Kuznetsov at the helm of TAVATUY (Evgeny Neugodnikov, tactician). His big risks, apparent aggressiveness and very few tactical mistakes paid off big as he further extended his lead by a couple of points.

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Just behind are some of his biggest adversaries, including Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina (Lorenzo Bressani, tactician) sailing TORPYONE. Their 6-2-1 daily score is a vast improvement over yesterday’s 7-8, moving them up to second place.

Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G.SPOT (Branko Brcin, tactician) experienced a mediocre day on the race course. In particular, a scoring set-back in Race Four dropped them into third.

In contrast, Race Four was a banner heat for Melges 32 Class stalwart Edoardo Pavesio’s FRA MARTINA (Manuel Weiller Vidal, tactician) as he earned a valuable bullet, enabling him to remain in fourth.

Matteo Balestrero proved that patience and small steps can mean big movement. Thanks to a subtle 3-9-3 scoreline, he and his GIOGI team have now emerged into the top five.

Notable kudos go out to Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO (Cameron Appleton, tactician) for a nice, well-deserved win in Race Three.

The Corinthian division standings remain very close with little change from Day One. The all Italian teams of Martin Reintjes’ CAIPIRINHA (Enrico Fonda, tactician) and Francesco Graziani’s VITAMINA (Andrea Fornaro, tactician) are still first and second respectively.

Tomorrow will mark the third day of competition and for some, it will be the last opportunity to ‘move up’ as with the completion of Race Six, each team will discard their worst performance.

The first warning on Friday will be 13.00 (Italy).

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

The Melges 32 World Championship presented by Boero Yacht Coatings is proudly supported by Helly Hansen, Toremar, North Sails, Garmin Marine Italia, Lavazza and Barracuda Communication.

MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
As with all Melges 32 events around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the OFFICIAL MELGES 32 FACEBOOK PAGE. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post-racing at MELGES32.COM.

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY – After Five Races)
1.) Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeny Neugodnikov, TAVATUY; 1-1-2-5-10 = 19
2.) Edoardo Lupi-Massimo Pessina/Lorenzo Bressani, TORPYONE; 7-8-6-2-1 = 24
3.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G.SPOT; 2-3-4-14-2 = 25
4.) Edoardo Pavesio/Manuel Weiller Vidal, FRA MARTINA; 3-7-8-1-7 = 26
5.) Matteo Balestrero/Daniele Cassinari, GIOGI; 12-6-3-9-3 = 33
VIEW FULL 2017 MELGES 32 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
OFFICIAL YACHTSCORING EVENT WEBSITE

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

TOP FIVE RESULTS (2017 Melges 32 World League, Four Events Completed)
1.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, G.SPOT = 72 pts.
2.) Edoardo Lupi/Massimo Pessina, TORPYONE = 68 pts.
3.) Andrea Lacorte, VITAMINA AMERIKANA = 65 pts.
4.) Matteo Balestrero, GIOGI = 63 pts.
5.) Pavel Kuznetsov, TAVATUY; 60 pts.

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Melges 32 Worlds (Photo by Max Ranchi)


FULL MELGES 32 WORLD LEAGUE RESULTS

PHOTO GALLERY – BARRACUDA COMMUNICATIONS

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Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

13 APRIL 2014

Naples, Italy – The 2014 Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series, Event No. 1 in Naples, Italy has concluded with the completion of six races leaving Andrea Ferrari’s Spirit of Nerina as champion!

Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

Audi melges 32 napoli 2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

 A complete lack of breeze prevented the final two races in the eight part series to run, obligating PRO Costanzo Villa to declare the regatta finished.

Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

Audi melges 32 napoli 2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

 After Saturday nights protests, some of the results changed.

Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

Audi melges 32 napoli 2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

  However, Ferrari’s Melges 32 – Spirit of Nerina remained in first overall over second place Edoardo Lupi’s Torpyone, and Alessandro Rombelli’s Azimut by STIG in third.

Among other winners are Valentin Zavadnikov’s Synergy GT in fourth, and fleet new comer Arturo di Lorenzo’s Malafammena with a brilliant fifth place finish.

Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

Audi melges 32 napoli 2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

 

With Naples complete, the next act of the 2014 Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series will resume in Porto Ercole, Italy on May 16-18.

 The Naples edition is organised by B.Plan Sport&Events in cooperation with Melges Europe hosted by the Comitato Grande Vela.

In addition to main sponsor Audi, the Audi Tron is supported by official sponsors Kuehne+Nagel, Torqeedo electric motors and technical partners such as the Ente Fiera di Genova, Nespresso and Olicor.

TOP FIVE RESULTS (After Six Races – FINAL)

1.) Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata, Spirit of Nerina; 4-2-1-[7]-1-2 = 10

2.) Alessandro Rombelli/Freddy Loof, Azimut by STIG; 3-[12]-2-5-3-6 = 19

3.) Edoardo Lupi/Lorenzo Bressani, Torpyone; 6-3-5-1-[11]-5 = 21

4.) Valentin Zavadnikov – Leonid Lebedev/Michele Ivaldi, Synergy GT; 1-[9]-8-4-7-4 = 24

5.) Arturo di Lorenzo/Matteo Ivaldi, Malafemmena; 9-10-[11]-3-2-3 = 27

FULL PROVISIONAL RESULTS:

Bow # SAIL # BOAT NAME OWNER TACTICIAN Race 1 Race 2  Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 TOTAL
1 173 ITA173 Spirit of Nerina Andrea Ferrari Roberto Spata 4 4 2 2 1 1 7 7 1 1 2 2 10
2 065 ITA065 Azimut by STIG Alessandro Rombelli Freddy Loof 3 3 12 12 2 2 5 5 3 3 6 6 19
3 487 ITA487 Torpyone Edoardo Lupi Lorenzo Bressani 6 6 4 4 5 5 1 1 11 11 5 5 21
4 077 RUS013 Synergy GT Valetin Zavadnikov / Leonid Lebedev Michele Ivaldi 1 1 9 9 8 8 4 4 7 7 4 4 24
5 179 ITA179 Malafemmena Arturo Di Lorenzo Matteo Ivaldi 9 9 10 10 11 11 3 3 2 2 3 3 27
6 021 ITA021 Mascalzone Latino Vicenzo Onorato Nick Rogers 10 10 1 1 3 3 8 8 8 8 12 12 30
7 187 ITA187 Giacomel Audi E-Tron Mauro Mocchegiani Branko Brcin 2 2 5 5 7 7 11 11 9 9 7 7 30
8 181 MON181 G SPOT Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio Hugo Rocha 8 8 7 7 10 10 6 6 DSQ 14 1 1 32
9 667 ITA667 Brontolo HH Filippo Pacinotti Gabrio Zandona 7 7 6 6 9 9 2 2 10 10 8 8 32
10 223 RUS223 Tavatuy Pavel Kuznetsov Evgeniy Neugodnikov 5 5 3 3 12 12 10 10 6 6 9 9 33
11 172 ITA172 Celadrin VITAMINA Andrea Lacorte Andrea Fornaro 12 12 8 8 4 4 9 9 5 5 10 10 36
12 176 ITA176 Margherita Roberto Mazzucato Daniele Cassinari 11 11 11 11 6 6 12 12 4 4 11 11 43
13 185 ITA185 RIMYG Valerio Bartoleschi Filippo D’Arrigo 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 13 13 64

Audi melges 32 napoli  2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

Audi melges 32 napoli 2014. Naples, Italy (Photo by Max Ranchi )

 

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography

Jim Mitchell's Vinctore Was Named Overall Rolex US IRC National Champion (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Jim Mitchell's Vinctore Was Named Overall Rolex US IRC National Champion (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

“This is a very emotional win for me,” said Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI), owner of the Custom 52 Vincitore, upon winning the 2009 Rolex Big Boat Series. “At the end of racing, when I looked at my Dad, who was out on the chase boat, we both had a tear in our eyes. The speech I gave on the first day was that we have a passion for sailing, a passion for friends and family, and we will let the results speak for themselves.” At the Rolex Trophy Ceremony this evening, winning skippers in six of the 11 classes competing were awarded one of six St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies. In front of the owners, crew, family and friends of the 97 competing boats, those six skippers also were presented with a Rolex Submariner timepiece in recognition of their accomplishments.

As winner of IRC A class, Mitchell was awarded the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy. “I didn’t know it was the original trophy,” said Mitchell, clearly taken aback by the priceless silver piece dedicated in 1964, and deeded to the premier handicap division. “That’s a pleasant surprise. It brings a tear to my eyes. That’s so awesome.”

2009-rolex-big-boat-series-perpetual-trophy-winners

The St. Francis Yacht Club awarded its six Perpetual Trophies this evening at the Rolex Trophy Ceremony where each of the skippers was presented with a Rolex Submariner timepiece in recognition of their accomplishments. Class winners, from left: VELOS, Owner: Kjeld Hestehave Class: IRC B; GOLDEN MOON Owner: Kame Richards Class: Express 37; GOOD TIMIN' Owner: Chris Perkins Class: J 105; TUPELO HONEY Owner: Gerard Sheridan Class: IRC D; SOOZAL Owner: Daniel Woolery Class: IRC C; VINCITORE Owner: Jim Mitchell Sr. / Jim Mitchell Jr., Class: IRC A (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

As the top performing IRC rated boat, Vincitore – with tactician Norman Davant and helmsman Chris Dickson – was named the overall Rolex US-IRC National Champion, and Mitchell was presented with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece to mark the occasion. “We are bringing Vincitore back again next year,” he promised. Tom Akin & Mark Jones’ (San Francisco) chartered TP52 Flash finished in second with John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Samba Pa Ti in third.

The St. Francis Yacht Club race committee planned the day’s final Bay Tour, but with light and inconsistent wind direction, racing was abandoned for the four IRC classes, along with the 1D35 and J/120 classes. The six races completed through yesterday (Saturday) stood as the final results.

The City of San Francisco Trophy, one of the two golden spades used to break ground for the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933, was awarded to Kjeld Hestehave’s (Richmond, Calif.) 73-foot Velos. Since the very first race, the largest boat entered in this regatta dominated his opponents in IRC B class with six straight race wins. Dale Williams’s (San Francisco) Kernan 44 Wasabi finished in second place, with Sy Kleinman’s (Saratoga, Calif.) Schumacher 54 Swiftsure II in third place, tied on 16 points with Wasabi.

“This win is 12 years in the making,” said Hestehave. “We were here in ’97 and ’98, and we got two second places that year. We were here two years ago and got killed by everyone.” Hestehave explained that he prepared Velos, the Greek word for velocity, for the Pacific Cup, fairing the bottom and getting it tuned. Originally, he planned to participate in StFYC’s annual Stag Cruise, which historically follows the Rolex Big Boat Series, but when he realized there wouldn’t be enough berths at the club’s Tinsley Island location, he brought Velos up from San Diego for the occasion. “We were here so we thought we might as well race the boat,” he recalled. “With 22 crew onboard, that’s a lot of drink tickets and a lot of sandwiches, and tonight is going to be very expensive.”

J105 Class Chris Perkins and Good Tiimin ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

J105 Class Chris Perkins and Good Tiimin ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Dan Woolery’s King 40 Soozal (Alamo, Calif.) won the IRC C class and the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy, which was established in 1972 in memory of Richard Rheem whose famous yacht Morning Star was the elapsed time winner in the 1949 and 1955 Transpac races to Honolulu. Gold Phoenix, the J/44 chartered by James Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.), finished in second, while Tim Fuller (Marietta, Calif.) and the J/122 Resolute finished third.

Only two entries had straight wins in all races: Velos, in IRC B, and Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey in IRC D class. “I’m feeling great, we really wanted it this year,” said Sheridan, who lives in San Francisco, but grew up in County Galway, Ireland. “We trained for it and the crew is outstanding. Every single one deserved to be on the crew, I’m delighted for myself and for my crew.” This is Tupelo Honey’s fifth Rolex Big Boat Series. It won its class in 2005 and finished second in the other years. Clearly happy to have won an IRC class at this year’s regatta, the 45th annual, he said, “I think IRC is saving big boat racing around the world. It’s giving a new sense of purpose to racing and serious big boat campaigns. Handicap racing is never perfect, but this is close to perfect.” Sheridan was awarded the Keefe-Kilborn Trophy, which was established in 1976 to honor Harold Keefe and Ray Kilborn.

 On the North course racing started late, but with a short-lived band of wind, the race committee was able to shorten the course and finish the Melges 32, Express 37, J/105, Beneteau 36.7 and Cal 40 classes.

The Melges 32 class was racing for its national championship. Philippe Kahn’s (Belvedere Cove, Calif.) Pegasus had to retire yesterday due to an equipment malfunction, but they were back on form today, winning the seventh and final race, putting them into fourth overall. Andy Lovell & Burt Benrud’s New Orleans-based Rougarou won the six-boat class and the title. Local sailor Don Jesberg and his Viva was second overall, with Stephen Pugh and Taboo in third.

Although Bartz Schneider won today’s final race in the Express 37 class, it wasn’t enough points to topple Kame Richards (Alameda. Calif.) and Golden Moon from the number one spot. Schneider’s Expeditious finished in fourth overall behind Mick Shlens and Blade Runner in second, and Michael Maloney’s Bullet in third. Richards also won the Atlantic Trophy. Established in 1978, the trophy features the ship’s bell of the yacht Atlantic, long-time Transatlantic Ocean record holder (1905). The bell was donated by John C. “Jack” Morris, and the trophy by Jack H. Feller Jr.

The Commodore’s Cup, which was established in 2004 to be awarded to the largest one-design fleet, was awarded to the winner of the J/105 class, Chris Perkins’ Good Timin’. “Honestly, Bruce Stone sailed a great series,” said Perkins of the fleet. “He only had one bad race and won three out of seven sailed. His Arbitrage is clearly one of the quickest boats. Everyone would agree he is quicker than us.” So what would Perkins credit his team’s win to? “The challenge in a 25-boat fleet is consistency,” he continued. “We didn’t have any big mistakes and that is what made the difference for us.”

Masakazu Toyama and Crew (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Masakazu Toyama and Crew (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

 While they may not have taken the overall 1D35 class win, Japanese entry Ebb Tide was clearly a crowd favorite and stepped onto the prizegiving stage to massive cheers and chants. Owner Masakazu Toyama has sailed the Rolex Big Boat Series for the past three years, each time in a different class, and this time the team’s efforts paid off with a trophy for 2nd in 1D 35. Toyama says he’d love to live in San Francisco one day, “It’s fun, and we will be back” he said with a big smile. Gary Boell and Diablita won the 1D35 class, Barry Lewis’ Chance won the J/120 fleet and Bill LeRoy and Gone with the Wind won the Cal 40 class.

Samba Pa Ti IRC A Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Samba Pa Ti IRC A Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

After a large area of thunderstorms moved through this morning, the over 1,000 sailors competing in day three of the Rolex Big Boat Series were given a new challenge: light wind and minimum visibility through the dense fog hanging low on the water. As locals are apt to exclaim – ‘It’s never like this in San Francisco’ – a theory confirmed by spectators lined along the sea wall and second-story viewing bleachers at St. Francis Yacht Club.

An on-time racing start by the StFYC volunteer race committee, lead by PROs Kevin Reeds (Annapolis, Md.) and Hank Stuart (Rochester, N.Y.), gave the 97 competing boats two races for a total of six races. Tomorrow’s final race – known fondly as the Bay Tour – will cap off a solid four days on the water.

Flash, the TP52 skippered by Tom Akin & Mark Jones, won the day’s first race, finished third in the second, and now stands in second overall in IRC A class, one point behind class leader Vincitore, the custom 52 owned by Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI) and driven by Chris Dickson. John Kilroy’s TP52 Samba Pa Ti finished 3-1 and is now in third overall.

The fastest boat around the IRC B racecourse today was Kjeld Hestehave’s (Richmond, Calif.) 73-foot Velos. Since the very first race, the largest boat entered in this regatta continues to dominate the class. It now looks untouchable with six total points. Sy Kleinman’s (Saratoga, Calif.) Schumacher 54 Swiftsure is tied on 16 points with Dale Williams’s (San Francisco) Kernan 44 Wasabi. “We are more than thrilled to be there,” said Williams, who figures he has competed in at least 20 Big Boat Series in his career, winning in 1999 with a previous boat named Wasabi. However, this Wasabi is brand new, designed by the same group who created Williams’ last boat the 70-foot Peligroso. “It’s really easy to sail,” he said. “We’re surprised how fast it goes. There’s a retractable sprit, but no spreaders, no runners, no reaching struts and no after guys. It’s fast at 12,900 lbs. with 6,700 lbs of ballast. It’s everything we thought it was and more.”

Willims set up a StFYC duel for second place tomorrow between his Wasabi and Swiftsure, giving the overall nod toward Velos. “That is a very well-sailed boat,” said Woolery. “They deserve to be out front. It’s been a lot of fun and really nice to sail against them and Swiftsure.”

Bustin Loose Sydney 38 Class Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Bustin Loose Sydney 38 Class Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Soozal, the King 40 owned by Daniel Woolery (Alamo, Calif.), continues to lead the IRC C class, with James Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.) and the J/44 Gold Phoenix moving into second overall ahead of Tim Fuller (Marietta, Calif.) and the J/122 Resolute.

“Today’s first race was a pivotal race for us. We didn’t know what to expect,” said Woolery. After corrected time, the relatively new boat took first place and then a second in the day’s second race. “The second one was a little more difficult,” continued Woolery. “Our jib goes up on a jib lock and it didn’t stay up on the lock. So, as we went to the bottom mark, our plan was to go into Alcatraz and through the Cone. We were behind Gold Phoenix and we thought ‘Let’s go into the cone.’ We were right behind them and immediately the jib fell down, and that forced us to tack over to clear it. We tacked back and as soon as we did, we realized we weren’t going to make the Cone, so we tacked over to the beach first. Phoenix did as well. When all was said and done we were seven seconds corrected in front of them. At that point the race became between us and TNT.

“If TNT had gotten second and not us, then that would have brought Phoenix a little closer in the gap” said Woolery. “We were in great tacking duels, and managed to tack our way up to Phoenix. We were a minute and a half behind when that whole engagement started, and we put almost a minute and a half on them. Overall we’re feeling really good.” Soozal has a four-point lead over Gold Phoenix going into tomorrow’s final race. “We’re going to win tomorrow,” he predicted.

Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey continues to dominate IRC D class with two more bullets. The San Francisco-based boat won both of today’s races on corrected time and, barring any mishaps tomorrow, stands to take the overall win. “Tomorrow we will go out and race like we like to race, which is fairly conservatively,” said Sheridan. “We don’t want to take any major risks.” This is Tupelo Honey’s fifth Rolex Big Boat Series. It won its class in 2005 and finished second in the other years. “At the start of the year I decided I wanted to win Big Boat this year,” he continued. “It’s the premier regatta on the West Coast, and here at the St. Francis, the race management is impeccable.”

In the grand-prix Melges 32 class, vying for its National Championship this weekend, New Orleans-based Rougarou looked unstoppable blazing downwind. With two more wins today – to add to a series scoreline of 1-2-1-5 – the team lead by co-owners Bert Benrud and Andy Lowell needs to finish fourth or better to win the title. Philippe Kahn’s (Belvedere Cove, Calif.) Pegasus encountered trouble in the first race and dropped out to expedite repairs. The team plans to be back in the race tomorrow. Local sailor Don Jesberg and his Viva is in second overall, with Stephen Pugh and Taboo in third.

Expeditious (Photo by Daniel Forster)

Expeditious (Photo by Daniel Forster)

 

Class leaders from yesterday that held onto the lead in other one-design classes include Pat Patterson (Angwin, Calif.) and Summer and Smoke in the Beneteau 36.7; William LeRoy (Tiburon, Calif.) and Gone with the Wind in the Cal 40; Kame Richards (Alameda. Calif.) and Golden Moon in the Express 37; and Chris Perkins (San Francisco) and Good Timin’ in the J/105 class.

The other two one-design classes saw a change in leadership with Barry Lewis’ Chance gaining a slight edge over John Wimer’s Desdemona, now in second place, in the J/120 fleet, and Gary Boell and Diablita taking over from Alex Farrell (Mountain View, Calif.) and Alpha Puppy in the 1D35 class. Alpha Puppy fell to third place, while Ebb Tide, chartered by Masakazu Toyama (Tokyo, JPN), moved into second.

 

J44 Gold Phoenix Won Race 6 In the IRC C Class (Photo by Daniel Forster)

J44 Gold Phoenix Won Race 6 In the IRC C Class (Photo by Daniel Forster)

Double Bullet for Golden Moon On The First Day of The Rolex Big Boat Series ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Double Bullet for Golden Moon On The First Day of The Rolex Big Boat Series ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

In Italian, the word Vincitore means ‘the winner’ so Jim Mitchell and his multi-national crew took the theme to heart by winning both races in IRC A class on the opening day of the Rolex Big Boat Series. Over 1,000 sailors on 97 boats in 11 classes are competing through Sunday, September 13. “I wouldn’t miss this regatta for anything,” said Mitchell, who grew up in Chicago but now calls Zurich (SUI) his home. “It was one of our crew’s birthdays yesterday, Dallas Kilponen, and I think our two bullets are the best present we can give him.” All of the IRC class leaders – Kjeld Hestehave’s Velos (Richmond, Calif.), Daniel Woolery’s King 40 Soozal (Alamo, Calif.) and Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey – joined the two-bullet club today, in the IRC B, IRC C and IRC D classes, respectively. All four divisions of IRC handicap-rated boats also are competing for the Rolex US-IRC National Championship.

The other two groups vying for national championships are the Express 37 and Melges 32 classes. For Burt Benrud, this is not only his first Rolex Big Boat Series but also his first season in the Grand-Prix one-design class. “This is our first big outing and we could have not picked a better location,” he said. Benrud, with co-owner Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and crew on the Melges 32 Rougarou, won the day’s first race, took a second in the second and now sit in first overall in the six-boat class. “We are sailing under the Southern Yacht Club flag, and we are very proud to be able to represent our hometown.” Don Jesberg (Mill Valley, Calif.), the recent winner of the class’s North American championship, is in second place overall on his Viva, followed by Stephen Pugh’s Taboo (Sausalito, Calif.).

Melges 32's Taboo and Pegasus Cross Tacks (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Melges 32's Taboo and Pegasus Cross Tacks (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

“We actually had our first Express 37 National Championship regatta in 1986,” said Bartz Schneider, the class fleet captain and president, and skipper of Expeditious, currently in fourth place overall. “This is our 20th national championship at the St. Francis. In 1990 we had our first National Championship as part of the Big Boat Series, and except for 2001, we have had it as part of the regatta every year.” Leading the nine-boat class is Kame Richards’ (Alameda, Calif.) Golden Moon, with Elan, owned by Bill Reiss (Oakland, Calif.), in third. Schneider summed up the fleet leaders: “Golden Moon will be tough, with Bay tide guru Kame Richards at the helm. Elan will be very competitive. And Blade Runner (Mick Schlens, Los Angeles, Calif.), with their name already on the trophy several times, is always a possible threat.”

The largest one-design fleet is the J/105 class with 25 boats. Returning champion Donkey Jack, owned by Robert Conrads (San Francisco), took 13-6 in two races and is now eighth overall. Bruce Stone’s Arbitrage won the day’s first race, while Adam & Guillemette Spiegel’s Jam Session won the second, putting them into second overall behind class leader, Jeff Litfin & John Case’s Mojo.

Cal 40's Comtete For The First Time As A One Design Class ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster

Cal 40's Comtete For The First Time As A One Design Class ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

While many of the competing boats are from the Bay Area and California, some hail from ports across the US and abroad. Lorenzo Berho and his J/145 Raincloud hail from Mexico City, Mexico and are in sixth overall in IRC B. “Raincloud is a Mexican family and friends boat that has changed our lives, and also has helped us fulfill several dreams,” said Berho, who only started sailing five years ago. “We had a great experience in last year’s Rolex Big Boat Series that we decided to come back in spite of the difficult economic times, and for most of us that means traveling from Mexico City. The organizers are great and the competing boats are really friendly. Last year we got fourth place in our fleet so we would love to get a third place this year. We know that most of the fleet is very competitive and there are many experienced sailors with local knowledge. I am turning 50 years old on September 15, so I chose this regatta as my birthday present. There is nothing better than sailing with my family and best friends in the most outstanding Bay of the world.”

Jim Mitchell is another perfect example of the international aspect present here in San Francisco for racing. Now living in Switzerland, he launched Vincitore a year and half ago in New Zealand and when asked about his international crew – New Zealand’s Chris Dickson and Simon Minoprio among them – considering that many of the other entries in the race are locals, he quickly said, “Not us, we’re like the United Nations!”

When asked what makes him come back each year to San Francisco for the Rolex Big Boat Series, Jim said, “It’s just so much fun, the competition is great, you have the city, the weather- it’s always windy, constant wind. I really wanted to bring my boat to Europe and sail some races over there,” he continued, “but I want to sail with family and the guys from New Zealand like sailing in Chicago, San Francisco and the Caribbean. Bringing the boat here is just so fantastic and I’m glad to be here.”

Mister Magoo Leads The J120 Class After Day One ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

Mister Magoo Leads The J120 Class After Day One ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

This evening competitors celebrated the first day of racing at the Rolex Party where the first daily video was shown. The regatta ends with Sunday’s final Rolex Trophy Ceremony where specially engraved Rolex timepieces will be awarded to the St. Francis Yacht Club’s six Perpetual Trophy winners.

About St. Francis Yacht Club
Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club is renowned for its expertise in running world and national championships.