Day one of the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship, in San Francisco is complete with Andy Lovell on Rougarou, alongside of his brother, tactician Johnny Lovell in the overall lead.
In second place, from New Zealand is Stefan Goldwater with tactician Andrew Willson Tirade and in third, is Alex Jackson and tactician Rob Greenhalgh on Leenabarca.
Three races were held under plentiful sunshine and building, perfect breeze-on conditions. First around the mark was Doug Douglas' Goombay Smash with the efforts of tactician Russell Coutts, with Goldwater on his heels. "It was a lot of fun." said a cool, calm and collected Goldwater. "I think we got lucky."
Regardless, luck wielded its way and played in Goldwater's favor for an incredible first race win. Goldwater finished miles ahead of second place finisher Lovell. Comeback of the day goes to John Porter on Full Throttle. At the start of the race, Porter was OCS but worked it out beat-by-beat, played the fleet and the breezy conditions to take an incredible third place position. Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai was fourth and in fifth was North American Champion Don Jesberg on Viva.
Race two introduced more breeze, the waves grew larger and the intensity of racing increased as well. Coutts called the shots putting Goombay Smash in all the right places to win. Rod Jabin, with tactician Chris Larson on Ramrod, took to the right side of the course then played the centre to keep up with Douglas' speed, only to settle for second. It was his best effort of the day. Goldwater had another great race taking third.
The last and final race of the day was all about endurance. After two races at a distance of 2.0 nm, PRO John Craig ordered a five-legger as the breeze built to a pleasant 22-23 knots. Larger seas and square chop led the fleet into an initial first start resulting in a general recall. Craig clearly knows how to handle this fleet, immediately putting the Z-Flag penalty into effect. Italy's Luca Lalli on B-lin Sailing battled the entire race to hold off both Lovell and Jackson for a win. "The red boat is really fast (referring to Rougarou). This was very difficult. Very good racing, but very difficult. The waves made the sailing very challenging. The strong breeze made for really fun downwind sailing." said the young Lalli. "The competition here is really tough." Reigning World Champion Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem finally found a groove to take second and Lovell was third.
At the end of the day, tactician Lovell commented. "We kind of felt things were pretty straight forward. We looked to the committee boat end almost ever time, tacked, then went right. We had good boat speed and really good boat handling downwind. We just tried to make as few mistakes as possible."
Racing continues on Thursday with at least two more races. To watch the racing live and keep up-to-date with all the action visit www.melges32worlds.com
Top Ten Results (After 3 Races)
1. Andy Lovell/Johnny Lovell, Rougarou; 2-4-3 = 9
2. Stefan Goldwater/Andrew Wills, Tirade; 1-3-8 = 12
3. Alex Jackson/Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca; 10-5-4 = 19
4. Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani, B-lin Sailing; 16-6-1 = 23
5. Robert Hughes/Torvar Mirsky, Heartbreaker; 11-8-7 = 26
6. Doug Douglas/Russell Coutts, Goombay Smash; 13-1-14 = 28
7. Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 7-20-5 = 32
8. Jeff Ecklund/Harry Melges III, STAR; 6-19-9 = 34
9. John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 3-23-10 = 36
10. Yukihiro Ishida/Tony Rey, Yasha Samurai; 4-21-11 = 36