Saturday, December 5, 2009

Meadows Overtakes Lovell At The Melges 32 Gold Cup

Becky DaMore/ for all photos. A link to the full gallery can be found at

Class stalwart Kip Meadows overtakes the Gold Cup lead, now seated a nice five points ahead of second place, overnight leader Andy Lovell.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - Day two of the 2009 Melges 32 Gold Cup supported by Henri Lloyd and hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club offered somewhat of a shake-up in the results. Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on roXanne now tops the crop by playing the day solid with a 6-3 score line to slide into the overall lead, a nice five points ahead of overnight leader Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on Rougarou. Lovell holds one point over John Taylor’s (Jupiter Island, Fla.) Ninkasi now in third.

Meadows explained after racing that finding a good lane was key. "We had two good starts so we went where we wanted to. RoXanne's tactician Andy Horton really put us in all the right places and made some really good calls." said Kip. "Sean Clarkson is trimming the main and made it much easier to steer through some of the really weird wave angles. Communication on the part of Dave Scott has improved our downwind speed tremendously." Meadows continued, "We've had a lot of fun over the last two days. Sailing is very much a team sport. When you look around at this fleet, at the owners, many of whom I have sailed against in other classes and having been a part of this class for 3 years, and the new boats that are known to be really good by reputation, and the ‘who’s who’ of sailing walking around on the docks, it's a really nice feeling to be doing well in such strong competition. But, there's more sailing to be done."

Overcast skies greeted the teams, as did an approaching front that handed down some tricky conditions for two additional races. Moderate breeze and comfortable temps with a little rain on the horizon set the stage for the first gun with a course bearing of 205. It was a clean start for the twenty-three strong Melges 32 fleet. Around first was fleet newcomer Phil Lotz (Newport, R.I.) on Arethusa, followed by Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red and Italy’s Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantasticaaa. Cirillo, with Daniele De Luca as tactician caught up quick downwind, as did Woods and fellow Englishman Stuart Simpson (London, UK) on Team Barbarians. Back upwind and down again for the finish, Woods managed to stay out front and win. Great strides on the final leg of the race by Marty Kullman (St. Petersburg, Fla.) on New Wave enabled them to take second, Taylor did well finishing in third. Cirillo kept in the game for fourth and Don Jesberg (Mill Valley, Calif.) on Viva rounded out the top five.

For what turned out to be the final race of the day, the breeze really softened, yet heated up once more for John Kilroy’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Samba Pa Ti Melges 32 as he led the fleet around the first mark. Trailing right behind was International Class President Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on STAR. Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y) on Argo, Lotz, Meadows and Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on Leenabarca followed respectively. Jackson made all the right moves back upwind, passing both Kilroy and Ecklund taking it to the finish line for the win. Kilroy settled for second, Meadows was third, Ecklund took fourth and Carroll, fifth.

Today was a very special day for the Lauderdale Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing program in which 23 of their top-notch youth sailors got the chance of a lifetime. The famous Take A Junior Sailing Day meant that a junior sailor was placed on each boat and in the direcly line of hot competition. "I liked going fast and I had a lot of fun," said LYC's Wade Waddell who sailed with Rougarou. "I learned that if my boat has a lot of momentum, and if a boat tacks on me, I can just head up and still have a chance for a good race." Great smiles were greeted on the docks afterwards. Some of the juniors actually got to drive and went home with some great swag from the teams.

Tomorrow will be a pivotal day for the Melges 32 fleet with three races scheduled, a very tight points standing as we head into the final day (this isn’t over yet) and more moderate temps and breezes expected. Stay close to as there is definitely more excitement and incredible racing to come.

Top Ten Results
1.) Kip Meadows, roXanne - 10-6-4-6-3 = 29
2.) Andy Lovell, Rougarou - 3-1-9-7-14 = 34
3.) John Taylor, Ninkasi - 6-3-8-3-15 = 35
4.) Jason Carroll, Argo - 4-8-12-11-5 = 40
5.) Bob Hesse, Lake Effect - 2-15-5-8-11 = 41
6.) Joe Woods, Red - 9-19-3-1-16 = 48
7.) Lanfranco Cirillo, Fantasticaaa - 16-4-2-4-22 = 48
8.) Rod Jabin, Ramrod - 1-2-16-23-7 = 49
9.) Jeff Ecklund, STAR - 8-7-15-18-4 = 52
10.) Marty Kullman, New Wave- 17-5-6-2-18 = 58

Full Results