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27 September 2012, 10:09 am
Hedgehog Spikes Competition To Take Melges 32 Worlds Lead
Rough day on the water
Rough day on the water

Melges 32 World Championship
Newport, USA

Day two of the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was a long day featuring one race and a new overnight leader - Bermuda's Alec Cutler and tactician Richard Clarke aboard Hedgehog.
"We just wanted to get through the two windiest days in good position," said Cutler. "Today was great, but it's still a little too early to get excited about where we are at in the standings. We still a long way to go."

Moving from fourth place overnight into the second position is Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone with Branko Brcin on tactics and in third overall, Andrea Pozzi with Gabriele Benussi as tactician on Bombarda.

The day started with teams anticipating racing on the outside (offshore) again, but the Race Committee, due to very harsh conditions, relocated racing to the inside course (bay). When teams arrived they found 18-20+ knots of breeze and a steep chop. As the Race Committee worked hard to set the course, the breeze gradually built to a healthy 20+ for the first start of the day, which resulted in a general recall. The breeze only increased further, prompting PRO Hank Stuart to send the fleet ashore while he and his NYYC Race Committee Team remained on station. At 12.30, Stuart reported a solid 27 knots with gusts to 33, clearly exceeding the IM32CA Rule racing maximum.

At 14.00, the AP ashore was lowered and the fleet went racing again, in the same place as before but with more overcast skies and chop. The one and only race of the day, a course five with a bearing of 230 at 2.0 nm, kicked off a little after three o'clock, with Cutler, Steve Howe on Warpath, Lupi and John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti battling the entire race. Cutler took the early lead with Kilroy and Howe chasing for the lead but in the end, Kilroy took command at the final windward mark of the race and held on for the win. Cutler settled for second and Lupi finished a solid third.

"Our first place finish today proved that we are a strong team and that we can compete at a very high level," commented Kilroy. "Yesterday was not a good day as we broke a spinnaker and we did a penalty turn which caused us to end with a 20th place finish. Our win today put us in the top ten, but we hope to not stop there. Sailing the Melges 32 in Newport, hosted by NYYC has been just fantastic."

Cutler now possesses one of the few single digit score lines at the event thus far, moving into the lead by one point.

Two more races, with the option for a third, are scheduled for Thursday 27 September with a start of 11:00.

Top Five
1. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 5-7-2 = 14
2. Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 8-4-3 = 15
3. Andre Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda; 1-6-9 = 16
4. William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 3-3-12 = 18
5. Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-15-4 = 21

Full results
Joy Dunigan
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