Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Melges 24 Worlds Daily Interviews

27 Good Day For The Italians But Larson Extends His Lead At The Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis Melges 24 World Championship
October 2009
Despite the decidedly damp and cold conditions which prevailed on day two of the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, the quality of racing for the international fleet was nonetheless characteristically red hot. Overnight leader Chris Larson aboard 'West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes' turned in a solidly consistent 6,4, scoreline for the day, which sees him extend his margin at the top of the leaderboard tonight to eleven points. Surprisingly perhaps Larson believed that the Annapolis conditions today had been more predictable than normal. 'The wind didn't really move about that much today, so much so in fact that in both races we were actually able to one-tack both first beats by simply hitting the left hand layline.

This afternoon though the wind did begin to get a little spotty, with more pressure in some places than others.' Whilst obviously delighted to still be leading at this stage, Larson also recognised that there was still a long way to go in this Championship. 'We are four races in to a twelve race series and so far I've been successful with doing my job on the boat, which is to get us off the line cleanly. Richard Clarke has been doing a great job on tactics and the whole crew has been solid. I think if we can maintain this approach then we will be in good shape.'

Today also saw a return to more familiar form for two of the Melges 24 fleet's most well known teams, as Italians Lorenzo Bressani on 'Uka Uka Racing' and Gabrio Zandona on 'Joe Fly' respectively, each took a gun in today's two races. Bressani followed up his win in the first race with a second place in race two, after a prolonged battle with Zandona at the front of the fleet. 'Uka Uka Racing's' 1, 2 score today earned them boat of the day; an achievement made all the more impressive given that they were racing with a substitute crew, following a severe ankle injury to their regular bow-girl Francesca Prina.

For the first time this regatta, they have broken into the top ten and now sit in seventh place overall. Trimmer Federico Michetti was full of praise for stand-in Meredith Adams, who he said had coped well with sailing with a foreign speaking team. 'To be honest I was very nervous about how things would go today as we have raced and trained for so long with Francesca. Meredith fitted in really well however and picked up our way of doing things very quickly.' Asked if he thought 'Uka Uka Racing' could still win this championship, Michetti glanced down at the results sheet and commented 'For sure we could.

There are lots of teams in the top ten with poor scores. We definitely have no more room for mistakes and it will be very, very difficult. However, we like a good fight and of course will be trying to the very end.' Michetti has his own special incentive to keep striving for victory; already a triple Melges 24 European Champion, victory here this week would make him the first ever person to have sailed on three Melges 24 World Championship winning crews. Read more...