Frenchman Jean Francois Cruette (FRA) leads the Melges 24 Worlds after the first two races in Travemuende, Germany. With 72 boats competing from 13 nations, light to moderate conditions and some stiff competition it was a tough day of racing.
In the first race Cruette came off the line well and within three minutes had established a clear lead and was never seriously challenged again. Behind him Mario Ziliani (ITA), E Melleby (NOR), Kenneth Thelen (FIN), H Kvalvaag (NOR) and Tom Freytag (USA)had some excellent racing in the very light airs with regular place changes on each leg and a close finish in the above order. Hot favourite Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund (USA) could only manage an eleventh whilst Jamie Lea, helming for Richard Thompson (GBR) had to settle for 18th position.
For race two the wind was up to 8-10 knots with a slight chop. This time it was Erik Arthur (NOR341) who lead at the first mark, closely followed by Egidio Babbi (ITA), Melges and Freytag. By the end of the second beat Arthur, Babbi and Melges had eked out a small lead leaving Freytag to head th rest of the pack. Down the final run Melges showed an outstanding turn of speed to pass the other two boats and lead into the finish. Babbi took second with Arthur third and Freytag hanging on to fourth just ahead of Rob Smith, helming for Stuart Simpson (GBR).
Overall Cruette leads by 1 point from Freytag with Melges in third, Zilianni fourth and Smith fifth.
'It's always a great feeling to get a good result on the first day but it's important to remember that there are still four days to go!' commented Jean Francois Cruette after racing.
Results (after 2 races)
1 FRA321 Jean Francois Cruette 1, 8 - 9 pts
2 USA353 Tom Freytag 6, 4 - 10 pts
3 USA409 Harry Melges/Jeff Ecklund 11, 1 - 12 pts
4 ITA139 Marion Ziliani/A Preti 2, 11 - 13 pts
5 GBR484 Rob Smith/Stuart Simpson 10, 5 - 15 pts
6 NOR506 H Kvalvaag/H Faeste 5, 12 - 17 pts
7 ITA421 Egidio Babbi 19, 2 - 21 pts
8 NOR249 Kristoffer Spone/ Neils Hauff 9, 15 - 24 pts
9 GBR473 Jamie Lea/Richard Thompson 18, 7 - 25 pts
10 GBR431 Stuart Rix/Quentin Struass 23, 6 - 29 pts