2022 Melges 24 World Championship: with Bora Gulari Leading the Pack
For the strong Melges 24 World Championship fleet in Fort Lauderdale, California, it was a bit challenging day on the water since the wind was reluctant to put in a proper appearance in the morning making the fleet wait for more than an hour increasing then up to 8 knots from South-East to get the first race started. Bora Gulari's New England Ropes (USA, 5-5-2 today) leads by ten points from Peter Duncan's Raza Mixta (USA, 4-2-9). Laura Grondin's Dark Energy (USA, 2-1-6) lies in third overall tonight tied on points with Duncan.
It took a while to get racing started, but by midday, a light wind arrived with just enough velocity to play the starting signal at 12:15, however this race was abandoned after less than ten minutes by PRO Tom Lihan because of the mistaken starting procedure. Then, the expected wind shift arrived, and the Race Committee after adjusting the course sent them off, but then the general recall horn sounded. At 12:55, the second attempt was successful, and after rounding two laps, it was Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee (USA, 1-3-10) crossing the line first ahead of Laura Grondin's Dark Energy and Brian Porter's Full Throttle (USA, 3-10-1).
Conditions finally began to pick up more in race two and fortunately held for the third race of the day with the teams enjoying some good surfing in 10-12 knots.
In race two, Laura Grondin's Dark Energy , being second with a small gap in the first race, took a win from the second race ahead of Peter Duncan's Raza Mixta with Pacific Yankee in third place.
"We had a really good day today and we were really contributed to the fact that our downwind speed was really strong," said Laura Grondin at the dock. „We were really working on the boat hard and we passed boats every downwind every race. It was really excellent!"
Third race brought the bullet to Brian Porter's team on Full Throttle, followed by the current overall leader Bora Gulari on New England Ropes and Zenda Express of Harry Melges IV (USA, 12-7-3).
"It was really nice today! A good breeze, a little light in the first one and built a little bit throughout the day and it was a really good sailing!" was Brian Porter happy to report in Lauderdale Yacht Club after the races. „All our competitors are very good here and I'm especially happy for Bora, who is sailing spectacularly - he has really worked out and it shows!"
Three best Corinthians are respectively on the thirteenth, seventeenth and twentieth positions in overall starting with Niccoló Bertola's Taki 4 (ITA, 19-15-13), followed by Fraser McMillan's Sunnyvale (CAN, 10-17-27) and Geoff Fargo's Sentinel (USA, 13-14,18), pushing off from the provisional podium team 3 ½ Men of Steve Suddath.
On Saturday two races are scheduled with the first start set for 11 am, however according to PRO Tom Lihan, going ahead we have some challenges and racing might be postponed for the later.
Melges 24 World Championship 2022 is hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and organized along with the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) on May 7-15.
Top Ten after nine races (1 discard):
USA820 New England Ropes - Bora Gulari 4-1-2-(15)-7-2 16-5-5-2 28 pts
USA856 Raza Mixta - Peter Duncan (13)-13-3-1-5-1-4-2-9 38 pts
USA864 Dark Energy - Laura Grondin 6-2-10-7-4-(12)-2-1-6 38 pts
USA851 Monsoon - Bruce Ayres 5-3-(12)-2-3-7-8-8-7 43 pts
USA866 Zenda Express - Harry Melges IV 1-5-5-SCP11-2-11-12-7-3 45 pts
USA858 Lucky Dog - Travis Weisleder 3-8-9-4-(22)-9-7-6-5 51 pts
USA849 Full Throttle - Brian Porter 10-6-6-8-9-(15)-3-10-1 53 pts
USA865 Pacific Yankee – Drew Freides 2-(17)-7-17-15-4-1-3-10 59 pts
GER859 Nefeli - Peter Karrie 8-4-14-(21)-12-5-6-9-12 70 pts
ITA860 Altea – Andrea Racchelli 12-(20)-8-11-11-10-9-4-17 82 pts