Thursday, 20 January 2011

Warpath Maintains Lead in the Melges 32s at Key West

Image copyright Tim Wilkes/

by Joy Dunigan

Day three of racing in Key West produced light air conditions and only one race leaving Steve Howe’s Warpath (Morgan Larson, tactician) with a comfortable seven point lead in the Melges 32 fleet. Doug Douglas’ Goombay Smash (Chris Larson, tactician) and Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca (Rob Greenhalgh) traded places once more on the leader board finishing second and third.

Wednesday looked and felt very similar to Tuesday’s pleasant conditions. A Course 4, with a bearing of 215 degrees at a distance of 1.3nm set the stage. Knowing good and well that the wind would further diminish as the day progressed, the Race Committee rushed to get things started on time. The start resulted in an onslaught of OCSs, Jackson being effected the most. His recovery was slow but sure, settling for a ninth place finish. Overnight leader Howe won the pin end, Douglas following closely, aggressively challenging tack-for-tack. The first weather mark rounding was tight as Howe spun his Melges 32 around the top about a boat length ahead of Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai (Hamish Pepper, tactician), Douglas rounded third.

The fleet began to separate slightly downwind, Howe hanging onto the lead with Douglas moving in ever closer. Back upwind the racing was incredibly close as Howe turned another corner in first. Downwind and less than a hundred yards from the line, Douglas pulled up, gybed and gained the lead seconds before crossing the finish. Ishida finished fourth after losing out to John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti (Nathan Wilmot, tactician) overtaking for third, and Geoff Pierini on Shakedown (Gavin Brady, tactician) raced in to finish fifth.

"Steve nailed the start." said Warpath tactician, Morgan Larson. "It was great racing today and the breeze was shifting pretty fast. Goombay did an excellent job at the last mark rounding. They clearly got into position to control us. They gybed, then the breeze went right on us a good 15-20 degrees and they laid the line."
Looking to Thursday in Key West, Howe has secured a somewhat solid lead. With Douglas’ second bullet of the event, he moves back into second position overall. Jackson slipped back to third. Kilroy moves from fifth to fourth overall. Ishida had a remarkable day jumping from eighth to fifth.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After five races)

1.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-6-5-1-2 = 16
2.) William Douglas/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 4-1-2-15-1 = 23
3.) Alex Jackson/Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca; 3-2-3-7-9 = 24
4.) John Kilroy, Jr./Nathan Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 5-10-6-11 = 35
5.) Yukihiro Ishida/Tony Rey, Yasha Samurai; 13-7-14-4-4 = 42
4.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 8-9-4-10-14 = 45
7.) Phil Lotz/Ed Baird, Arethusa; 11-3-17-2-13 = 46
8.) Bob Hughes/Chris Rast, Heartbreaker; 7-21-1-8-12 = 49
9.) Peter Rogers/Ruairdah Scott, Highlife; 1-20-11-9-11 = 52
10.) Terry McSweeney/Seadon Wijsen, Flat Stanley; 14-11-10-5-15 = 55

Melges 32
Key West 2011