Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Melges 24 Worlds Corinthian at Corpus Christi Yacht Club

The final day of the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas saw the regatta come to a close with some thrilling racing action out on the water. A third place in the first race of the day for reigning world champion Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, was enough to see him retain the title he won in Tallinn, Estonia last year, with a race to spare. Despite not sailing the final race, Bressani's overall winning margin was still a massive 23 points - a real indication of just how comprehensively the Italian has dominated this regatta.

A solid second and a fourth today for Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle was good enough for him to secure second overall. Porter, who started the series with an uncharacteristically poor first day, fought his way up to second during the week with a determined and consistent performance.

The battle between Alec Cutler on BER 655 hedgehog and Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr, for the final podium place really went down to the wire. Lying in fourth place, 7 points behind Cutler going into the final day, Wilmot gave himself the best possible chance of a place on the podium by winning the penultimate race of the championship. Cutler finished that race back in seventh, meaning that he held a tenuous single point lead over Wilmot going into the final race. The final race scrap between these two was a real classic, with Cutler leading the fleet for most of the race and Wilmot having to fight his way back from eighth place at the first windward mark. On the final run Cutler initially looked to have done enough to win the race and claim third overall, however in the last third of the leg everything changed at the front, with Cutler appearing to fall out of the best pressure and allowing a pack of four boats to overtake. Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812 was furthest right boat and perfectly positioned to capitalise on the new breeze. She came through to take her second race win of the week, ahead of Eivind Melleby on NOR 804 in second. Behind them Wilmot, Porter and Cutler all approached the finish line abreast, with Wilmot diving down at the last second to take third by what looked like just the width of his bowsprit block, from Porter in fourth and Cutler in fifth. Wilmot's last-ditch efforts elevated him to third overall in the regatta, with a disappointed Cutler having to settle for fourth, just 1 point behind. Kristen Lane's final race win, earned her fifth overall, 3 points adrift of Cutler.

As reigning World Champions, Bressani and the Uka Uka Racing crew went into this regatta as the firm favourites, a mantle they more than lived up to during the championship. Their performance this week has been nothing short of remarkable, winning six out of the twelve races and never finishing below sixth in any of the races they sailed. Tactically astute throughout the series, they started well in virtually every race and both upwind and downwind they always appeared to hold a speed advantage over their competitors. Bressani's victory this week is his third in the Melges 24 Class, an achievement also matched by both team owner Lorenzo Santini and tactician Jonathan McKee. Trimmer Federico Michetti goes one better, now with a record breaking four Melges 24 World Championship wins to his name. Not to be outdone by his crewmates bowman Fabio Gridellie is now a double Melges 24 World Champion.

In the all amateur Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 closed out an comprehensive victory with two more race wins to secure the 2011 Corinthian Melges 24 World Championship title by a margin of 17 points over second placed Christof Wieland on GER 635 Unsponsored. Scot Holmgren on USA 674 Rosebud took third place on count back, having tied on points with fourth placed August Hernandez on USA 533 High Voltage.

Our final Pusser's Painkiller Wipeout Of The Day Award, sponsored by our wonderful long standing sponsor Pusser's Rum, goes to Warkwick Rookly and the Australian crew of Bandit for their hooking of the weather mark in the final race of the series. Happy fishing boys! Huge thanks to Pusser's Rum, represented here this week by the fabulous Jamie Jackson, for all the great Pusser's Painkillers and for making this very entertaining award possible. All our winners have greatly appreciated their Pusser's prizes and the press team have had huge fun selecting the winners!

The final day of the championship also saw the announcement of the winners of the cash prize in the Velocitek $1000 Speed Challenge for the fastest speed achieved by a boat using a Velocitek device on Friday. With both David O'Reilly on USA 700 ARDOR/C.R.E.A.M. and Bora Gulari on USA 820 New England Ropes/West Marine recording maximum 10 second average speeds of 16.9 knots, the competition went to tie break, with O'Reilly winning out by virtue of a maximum recorded top speed of 17.6 knots, compared to Gulari's 17.5 knots.

On behalf of all the competitors at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, the International Melges 24 Class Association would like to thank the Corpus Christi Yacht Club, Corpus Christi Marina, City of Corpus Christi, and the State of Texas, for their most generous Texan hospitality and all of their hard work in making this year's World Championship such a success. We would also like to recognise the contribution of the many individual sponsors of the championship whose support has been invaluable.

Reprinted from, May 24, 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011 Melges 24 World Championship Pre-Regatta at Corpus Christi Yacht Club

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 NOR 804 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 ITA 817 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 IRL 607 Embarr take the final Pre-Worlds podium position. The winning Corinthian, all amateur team was USA 15 Abordage owned and helmed by Erwan Le Gall from San Francisco.

The Melges 24 World Championship will take place at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club from May 11 to 21.
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 (ITA) 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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

J-22 Circuit #3/ Leukemia Cup Regatta

This weekend was the lake wide Leukemia Cup Regatta, hosted by the Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club. It is an annual regatta that raises money for the fight against leukemia.

After a week of the weather people telling us about the expected 20-30 mile and hour winds, we were all a little apprehensive about getting out there. It was windy early in the morning, but by the time we started, it was blowing about 3 mph. As it turned out, it became a beautiful day.

There were a total of 56 boats registered for the races. We were all broken up into 2 courses, with the Vanguard 15s and the Butterflys in the north end of the lake near CSC, and the Flying Scotts, Corinthians and miscellaneous in the south end of the lake.

Saturday was really busy for our group with the committee holding 8, maybe 9 races. I lost count. Many were short, too short, races. One of those races took only 7 minutes.
The Butterfly entrants were Amber, Frank, Sandy, Burton, Luigi, Brad and Shawn. Tom and Bruce were part of the race committee in the rescue boat.

On Sunday the weather had really changed. It was 70 degrees at 7:30 AM, and the wind was just ok. About 30 minutes later, it had changed to the north, started blowing at least 20, with a gust to 40. It rained and the temp was suddenly 52 degrees. When the committee blew the horn to signal that there would be no racing, a big cheer went up from the crowd.

Frank won the first place prize in the Butterflys, with Burton second and Sandy third. Congrats to them.

It was a very active and fun event.

Reprinted from, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 Houston Yacht Club Offshore Race

The Houston Yacht Club's Offshore Race, previously known as the Freeport Triangle, was defined by a 100+ nm triangle course anchored by the Buccaneer Platform (180 degrees), the Freeport Texas Outer Sea Buoy (267 degrees) and the Galveston South 5A jetty marker (45 degrees). The unusually small spinnaker fleet consisted of a King 40 (Hot Ticker), a 1D35 (Tres Hombres), an Express 37 (Milleniumm Express), a J/109 (Surprise), a J/105 (Stinger) and a Catalina 36 (Island Time). Both the Catalina and the J/109 were forced to withdraw due to rig problems. Wind forecast was for 15-20 knots out of the South building to 25+ after midnight, but a more accurate prediction would have called for ESE winds ranging from 12-30+ knots. The start at the Galveston Channel 11 marker came off exactly as predicted at 13:00 with the J/105 hitting the line first about two boat lengths ahead of the 1D35. Stinger rounded the 5A marker first on her way to the Buccaneer platform and held her own with the 1D 35 for several hours. At approximately 7:30, she rounded Buccaneer in third (25 minutes behind the lead boat) and hoisted her 110 sq mt spinnaker in a surprising 12 knots of breeze. Running toward Freeport the wind began to build (20+) providing ample power for 13-14 knot surfs with steady 10-12 knot runs. The Freeport Outer Buoy saw Stinger within view of at least one of the lead boats and in good position to take over first in PHRF. After a beautiful douse in 23 knots of breeze, she rounded the mark with a excessively large 155% genoa on the furler. Unfortunately this sail was far too powerful for the 24+ knot breeze. Great crew work produced an almost perfect douse followed by a very fast head sail change. The 40 mile fetch back to 5A saw speeds in excess of 9 knots with gusts to 31 knots. For most of this fetch, the winds averaged 24 knots. After rounding 5A, Stinger finished under main and jib at 03:19:28 to take first place in the regatta. While the seas were rough and the spray was very wet, the awesome crew work made the win possible. The 24 nm run back up the Houston Ship Channel was done under main alone with a following 3+ knot current and average speeds between 8 and 9 knots.

Reprinted from Class News, 3-May-2011.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Loe Real Sets Border Run Long Course Record

NEWPORT BEACH -- 230 skippers and crews competed in the third annual Border Run April 9, racing everything from 90-foot catamarans to dinghies -- with many donating to a worthy cause at the same time.

Early morning hail on race day worried race co-founder Randy Reynolds. But by dawn, the sun and a decent amount of wind both made their presence known.
“A lot of hardy sailors showed up -- and we had 6 knots of wind at the start and up to 15 during the race,” Reynolds said.

Of the race’s 233 registered boats, 34 crews raised more than $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

“Imagine what we could do in the future for this charity if everyone helped with the fundraising,” Reynolds said. “We’re really going to push that in the future.”

Three courses starting in Newport Harbor offered racing for boaters of every experience level, Reynolds said. The 91-mile International Long Course around Los Coronados islands finished outside San Diego Bay; the 70-mile Short Course took boaters from Newport Beach to San Diego; and the new 14-mile Sprint Course took small boat skippers from Newport Beach to Dana Point.

H.L. (Loe) Enloe’s 60-foot trimaran Loe Real set a new Long Course record, finishing in 7 hours, 48 minutes, 52 seconds elapsed time -- topping Mike Maloney’s R33 record of 7 hours, 57 minutes, 2 seconds set in 2009.

William Gibbs’ Afterburner finished the Short Course first with an overall elapsed time of 6 hours, 11 minutes, 37 seconds -- but was unable to beat the 2009 record of 6 hours, 7 minutes, 36 seconds set by Reynolds’ Cat Attack.

The fastest Sprint Course overall time was 2 hours, 21 seconds, by David Martin in his Hobie Cat 18, Sueno Majado.

“The 14-mile Sprint Course has a bright future, judging by those involved,” Reynolds said. “We had windsurfers and paddleboards, Weta trimarans, lasers, dinghies, catamarans, monohulls and multihulls.”

Reynolds said feedback was positive, and everyone involved seemed to have a good time. He was pleased to see participation from boaters near and far -- including Maryland and Canada.

The race was presented by XS Racing and assisted by several yacht clubs, including South Shore YC as the organizing authority, Southwestern YC as host of the trophy party and Dana West YC as host of the Sprint Course after-party. Reynolds expressed gratitude to the many sponsors and has high hopes for the future.

“Next year we hope to get more kids out there in the sprint course,” Reynolds said, going along with the Border Run’s “all-inclusive” philosophy.

Long Course top finishers include:

West Coast 70 PHRF
1st: Holua, Brack Duker, California YC; 2nd: OEX, Peter Tong, Long Beach YC; 3rd: Condor, Lindy Thomas, San Diego YC.

1st: Medicine Man, Robert Lane, Long Beach YC; 2nd: Pendragon VI, John MacLaurin, California YC; 3rd: Katana, Laura Schlessinger, Santa Barbara YC.

Short Course top finishers include:
XS Light A
1st: Cat Attack II, Randy Reynolds, Lido Island YC; 2nd: Lani, Mickey Ryan, San Diego YC; 3rd: Afterburner, William Gibbs, Pierpont Bay YC.

PHRF Light A
1st: Dare, Kettenhofen, Balboa YC; 2nd: Heartbeat, Charles Brewer, Newport Harbor YC; 3rd: CoolManCool2!, Ken Johnson, American Legion YC.

Sprint Course top finishers include:
XS Mono
1st: Holder, James Conner, Oceanside YC; 2nd: Pendragon, Howard Lewis, Dana Point YC; 3rd: Bolero, Rich Fischbeck, Balboa YC.

For full results, go to and click on “results archive.”

Reprinted from the Log California's Boating and Fishing News.
By: Heidi Kulicke Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:44:00 AM
Last updated: Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:44:00 AM