Rod Jabin Leads 2007 Melges 32 East Coast Championship

28 April 2007

Thirteen Melges 32s finally got the chance to battle it out today on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland. Class newcomer Rod Jabin on 'Ramrod' worked hard and took the lead today right at the finish.

Race one was held on the second day of the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, and for the Melges 32s — the 2007 East Coast Championship. The one and only race of the day didn't kick-off until late, around 3:00 p.m. The fleet sailed a beat and with the sea breeze fighting the gradient breeze the end result was an abandoned race. Then, after waiting all day the sea breeze finally won out and the Melges 32s went racing.

After a nice start and sail up the first beat, 2006 St. Petersburg NOOD Champions Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman on 'New Wave' rounded the weathermark first, then Rick Orchard on 'Grins' in second. Bob Hesse on 'Lake Effect' was in the hunt and jibed out early along with Jeff Ecklund on 'Star.' On the downwind run, the better current was out in the shipping channel, so it was necessary for you to extend around the top mark. This move really paid off for Jabin as well as local favorite Tom Ripley on 'Bad Fish'. All eyes were on Orchard and Carroll/Kullman's battle to the second weathermark along with Jabin and Joe Woods on 'Red.'

Ripley went right and found new breeze bringing him to the mark in third overall just behind Carroll/Kullman and Jabin. In the end, Jabin's run was awesome taking the win. Carroll/Kullman settled for second, Woods was third, Orchard fourth and Ripley finishing fifth.

The Melges 32 was amazingly fast in the light conditions today. In only four knots of breeze teams reported going over five knots upwind — it's true! Very cool and very fun even in the light conditions.

Looking ahead to Sunday's races, two-three races are scheduled for Sunday — the final day for the Melges 32 East Coast Championship. Stay tuned to this site to see who comes out on top.