Monday, January 18, 2010

Jabin Leads The Melges 32 Fleet In Key West

Key West, Fla. - 2009 Melges 32 Gold Cup Champion Rod Jabin (Annapolis, Md.) on USA-206 Ramrodleads the field of twenty-two competitors after one day of racing at Premiere Racing’s Key West Race Week 2010. In second overall is defending champion Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-32 STAR with John Kilroy (Malibu, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti in third.

It was a really beautiful day on the water in Key West. Plenty of sunshine, a nice moderate 8-10 knots of breeze and flat water set the pace for the two-race day.

The Melges 32s were the last in the rolling start on the Division 1 course with Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series champion Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) on ITA-186 Calvi Network fighting for the pin end to start. Ecklund’s STAR, with a great lane on the first upwind beat, placed him around the mark in first, followed closely by Jean Francois Cruette (La Rochelle, France) on FRA-202 Teasing Machine in second and Bob Hughes (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on USA-201 Heartbreaker in third. Ecklund extended his lead leaving the real battle for second and third to Marty Kullman (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave and Hughes in third. By the final windward mark of the race, Ecklund had a substantial lead that comfortably allowed him to finish in first. Kullman worked hard to end the race with a nice second, Jabin moved up gradually taking third.

The second race of the day was a five-legger at 025 degrees, 2.1 nm. It was an all clear start, taking Kilroy and Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on USA-174 Leenabarca head-to-head into the top mark. From the mark to the offset, the two battled feverishly for position, Kilroy barely getting a grip on the lead. Jackson stayed with it downwind, but couldn’t find the power to over take Kilroy. Jabin looked strong the entire race. The three finished respectively.

Going into day two of racing, the point standing couldn't possibly be tighter. Jabin leads the fleet by four, followed by Ecklund in second. It's a three way tie for third between Kilroy, Kullman and Woods each with 15 points. The event is still young and there's plenty of racing yet to come. Stay close as each day, the Official Melges 32 blog will be running with brief updates. Daily video uploads can be seen online at Offshore Rules.

Top Ten Results
1.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin; 3-3 = 6
2.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 1-9 = 10
3.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; 14-1 = 15
4.) New Wave, Marty Kullman; 2-13 = 15
5.) Red, Joe Woods; 9-6 = 15
6.) Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini; 12-5 = 17
7.) Robert Hughes, Heartbreaker; 5-12 = 17
8.) Flat Stanley, Terry McSweeney; 7-10=17
9.) Teasing Machine, Jean Francois Cruette; 4-15 = 19
10.) Ninkasi, John Taylor; 17-4 = 21

Full Results