Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kilroy Stays In The Lead

Great Sailing Conditions Make For An Extraordinary Day Of Sailing The Melges 32, Kilroy Stays In The Lead

Melges 32 fleet prepares for the final day of racing in Key West Race Week 2010.

Key West, Fla. - Key West Race Week 2010 is officially on the homestretch with the completion of Thursday’s racing. Classic conditions prevailed as John Kilroy (Malibu, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti maintained the top spot in the fleet with a solid 10 point lead. In second overall, moving up from sixth place overnight is Marty Kullman (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave. Rounding out the top three is Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on GBR-700 Red.

With a steady 15-18 knots of breeze and lumpy seas for the start of race one, Woods had a phenomenal start rounding the top mark in first. Kilroy gave great chase to round in second. The downwind run however was what the fleet signed up for in Key West — stunning breeze, sunshine and big waves delivered Kullman’s New Wave power, style and speed to round through the gate in second, overtaking Kilroy. It was the tightest fleet racing seen thus far in Key West as Woods pulled off with the win, Kullman held on for second, Kilroy was third, Lanfranco Cirillo (Torri del Benac, Italy) on ITA-212 Fantastica was fourth and Bob Hesse (Elma, N.Y.) on USA-153 Lake Effect was fifth.

Kullman got a tremendous start on the second race, placing him well ahead of the fleet for the lead. Race two was five legs set at 060 with a course length of 1.8 nm. Up the middle and playing a strong left side Kullman found his way to the mark rounding almost neck-and-neck with Hesse. Hesse led the fleet around the offset with Cirillo, Geoff Pierini (Perth Amboy, N.J.) on USA-178 Shakedown and Bob Hughes (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on USA-201 Heartbreaker in hot pursuit. Kullman was quick to gain control and commanded the remainder of the race leaving Cirillo, Hughes, Woods and Pierini to battle for second thru fourth positions. As the race progressed, the breeze diminished with Kullman taking the win, Cirillo in second and in third, Hughes.

Friday is the last day of racing where partial sunshine is expected to make an appearance yet the breeze potentially will be a lighter than today. Kilroy, who is seated in first overall is quick to acknowledge that this regatta is far from over. "Overall, we're pretty happy. Anything can happen in this fleet. In the meantime, we're going to keep working hard and keep sailing smart, we've learned a lot about tuning our rig this regatta," said Kilroy.

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.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; [14]-1-4-1-11-1-3-6 = 27
2.) New Wave, Marty Kullman; 2-13-13-3-[14]-3-2-1 = 37
3.) Red, Joe Woods; 9-6-[19]-6-5-10-1-5 = 42
4.) Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo; [18]-8-12-9-4-4-4-2 = 43
5.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 1-9-[15]-10-7.4RDG-2-15-8 = 52.4
6.) Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes; 5-12-6-2-12-[14]-14-3 = 54
7.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin; 3-3-11-4-[18]-9-8-17 = 55
8.) Lake Effect, Bob Hesse; 8-[19]-3-5-15-13-5-7 = 56
9.) Leenabarca, Alex Jackson; [20]-2-7-11-3-15-10-10 = 58
10.) Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini; 12-5-1-8-10-7-16-[19] = 59