Far beneath the air traffic of Palma's very busy airport, the opening day of the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), was remarkable with brilliant sunny skies, 10-12 knots of breeze and lumpy seas set the stage on Palma Bay.
After two races, John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti
with tactician Vasco Vascotto holds the lead by one point, ahead of Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino
and tactician Francesco Bruni in second overall. Seated in third is fellow American Alexis Michas on Zetiana with Brian Ledbetter onboard calling tactics.
The first race of the day kicked off with a clean start. Kilroy, Jason Carroll and tactician Cameron Appleton on Argo
launched off the pin end of the starting line, Steve Howe's Warpath
right alongside. Onorato looked to port tack right behind the fleet in search of clean air almost immediately after the start, enabling him to get up to speed fast.
Great Britain's Peter Rogers on Highlife
with Andy Horton on tactics took an early lead rounding the top mark in first. Reigning Audi Sailing Series Champion Lanfranco Cirillo with tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica
followed in second, Onorato was third followed by Japan's Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai
with Hamish Pepper on tactics in fourth. Ishida made great strides to advance as did Onorato. Both surpassed Rogers downwind, passing through the gate in first and second. Ishida managed to hold off Onorato's challenge for the lead with a photo finish at the line for the win. Onorato settled for second, Carroll was third, Howe fourth and Kilroy worked hard to take fifth.
Kilroy showed the fleet who was boss in race two with a great start to take a lead he would simply refuse to relinquish, in fact, extended on every leg adding up to an impressive two minute lead on the fleet to win. A key, nice, up-the-right-side beat, put him in command early. Michas had an impressive run for a second place finish. William Douglass' Goombay Smash
with tactician Chris Larson was third, Onorato took fourth followed by Geoff Pierini and tactician Steve Hunt on Sicktrix
rounding out the top five.
Even lighter air is in the forecast for Wednesday, however racing is expected to begin on schedule.
1. John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa
Ti; 5-1 = 6
2. Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino
; 2-5 = 7
3. Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter, Zetiana
; 8-2 = 10
4. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO
; 3-12 = 15
5. Geoff Pierini/Steve Hunt, Sicktrix
; 12-4 = 16
6. Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One
; 9-7 = 16
7. Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath
; 4-14 = 18
8. Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
; 10-9 = 19
9. John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle
; 7-15 = 22
10. Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH
; 13-11 = 24