worlds work

worlds work

With only two points separating the top two boats going into the final day of racing atthe Melges 32 Worlds, we knew today’s racing was going to be a nail biter.   We set up to watch it in slow motion, as the wind was hanging out in the 5-7 knot range, pre-start.  To set up the picture for the day…. the Italians on B-lin Sailing were in first (36) by two points over Full Throttle (38), and Andy Lovell on Rougarou with 42 points was in third.  

Race 9 with light and consistent breeze turned scores around and left some praying for a 10th race and others praying to go home.  In the race, B-lin sailing crawled back from much deeper roundings to finish 9th, one of their worst results, Lovell won on Rougarou, and Full Throttle got a 4th.  This meant the top three scores flipped and now were Porter (42), Lovell(43) and Lalli (45) in third.

Race 10 was a Z-Flag start at 2:20, just 10 minutes before the window closed to get in a 10th race.  The ebb pushed so many boats over the line that the RC gave it a general recall, but called a few of the individual boats, including Full Throttle, which meant they would take a penalty and most likely be out of first before the race even started.  It also set Rougarou up for clinching the Worlds, though B-Lin’s Michetti looked at his tactician after hearing Full Throttle called over and said "Let’s go win a Worlds!"

After an all clear black flag start, B-lin played the left, caught the ebb near Treasure Island, and took the elevator up.  We could see redemption in their future.  At the top mark, B-lin rounded in the top 5, Full Throttle in the teens, and Rougarou hoisted a twisted kite back in the cheap seats, and got rolled, it was sad…you could see the dejection in their body language.  John Porter fought back to a top 10 leeward mark rounding and ultimately finished 2nd, but the ZFP made it a 17th.  Jeff Ecklund, sailing on Star, had been slowly creeping up the leader board.   Today, with a 10th place finish, they ended the regatta clinching third.  The Lovells ended up sailing their drop, a 31, and dropped to 4th…off the podium after such a solid week of sailing…what a bummer!

Today’s racing ended with Leenabarca getting a bullet, moving them up to 6th overall, and Warpath in second, moving them up to 5.  Bliksem – who so many of us thought would win, just couldn’t put the low numbers together, with scores in the teens and only two second place finishes. Goombay Smash, Dougie Douglas boat (with Russell Coutts calling tactics) had two bullets in the big breeze on Wednesday and Thursday, but struggled in the lighter stuff, only figuring it out in today’s last race, finishing with a 4th.  

Looking through the crew list, the collection of professional and amateur talent was as deep as the ocean – and as one SAer mentioned in the forums – more than half the teams finished at least one race in the top 10.  The class now is in discussions about their next regatta (Miami Grand Prix vs. West Palm Beach) but you’ll surely see a lot of these teams working out their grudges in South Florida over the next few months, with even more headed over to Europe for the all-important Audi Melges 32 Series, which we expect to quickly eclipse the MedCup as the top big boat event in Europe in 2011, leading into their Worlds in Palma.  And Anarchy will be there!

Huge congrats to Federico, Rufo, Flavio,  Luca and the fun-loving crew of B-Lin on their victory.  The boys managed to break a hundred hearts while having a great time in San Francisco.  Come back soon!  Sara Proctor photos/sailfastphoto.com

-Paige Brooks