2007 JOY Advertising/Melges 32 Class Association2007 JOY Advertising/Melges 32 Class Association

Recchi Leads Melges 32 Nationals

13 July 2007

Claudio Recchi and his sensational Italian Melges 32 team 'Let's Roll' delivered an incredible, winning performance today at the Melges 32 National Championship in Newport, Rhode Island hosted by Sail Newport. "The sailing conditions were really great here today and the class is so competitive. When I look back to recent events such as Miami this past March, some of the teams have become very good in just a short period of time' said Recchi. Seated in second overall is Jeff Ecklund, reigning Melges 32 National Champion Jeff Ecklund from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 'Star' and in third is Joe Woods from Devon, UK on 'Red'.

The first race of the day took place under amazing blue skies and sunshine, southerly winds at 8-10 at one o'clock sharp with a course bearing of 225, 1.5 nautical miles. The start was clean with Claudio Recchi from Italy on 'Let's Roll' dominating the pin end of the line, alongside of Glenn Darden from Ft. Worth, Texas on 'Hoss' and Tom Lee on 'Jammy Beggar' from Essex, Connecticut. With pressure building on the right Marty Kullman (helm) and Mike Carroll from Tampa, Florida on 'New Wave' got a great start middle of the line alongside of Ecklund.

As the fleet progressed upwind Woods, Rick Orchard from Flowery Branch, Georgia on 'Grins' and Recchi looked strong after a long trek on the left punching through to the top of the fleet leading into the top mark. It was a dual to the mark with Recchi beating Orchard by a slim two boat lengths, Woods was right on his transom.

After a clean set, Recchi held the lead downwind leaving Orchard, Woods and Kullman/Carroll to battle for second place. It was a full charge into the leeward gate. Recchi headed to the right gate first with Woods in second. Orchard took the left gate and Kullman/Carroll took the right splitting the difference for third.

Back upwind, significant gains were made by Doug Croker from Easton, Maryland as he struggled for a piece of front runner action with Orchard and Recchi. Right at the mark Orchard snagged the lead, Recchi rounded a close second while Croker settled for third. Downwind, with everyone on port the wind clearly had shifted. Orchard just did maintain the lead at the gate — the two split Orchard went left, Recchi went right. At the last weathermark, as expected a change of course was implemented to 245 degrees. Orchard stayed strong to increase his lead by five boat lengths. Recchi was second, Ecklund pulled up to third, Croker was fourth and recovering nicely after a spinnaker failure early on, Joe Woods took fifth.

Race two got underway immediately, this time fewer legs but longer in distance — 1.75 nautical miles at 240. The first start resulted in a general recall. The second try was clean and the fleet slit right down the middle. With the breeze building 12-14 knots, Recchi was able to find a gear that no one else seemed to have. He was back out front and full on speed. In second was Orchard and in third was Woods. Kullman/Carroll were trying desperately to find their groove rounding fourth, then to only add insult to injury after a mediocre beat they lost a spinnaker just after the set. Recchi continued to hold the lead until the finish with Woods chasing for second, Ecklund found his way into third, Orchard was fourth and David Hoyt from Accord, Massachusetts on 'Nosedive' was fifth.

The sun was still out with a thin layer of clouds hovering the course for the start of third race — four, 1.25 nautical mile legs, bearing 240 was the course. The winds had noticeably diminished as had the temperatures. The start generated three individual recalls. Unfortunately, both Orchard and Woods were among those called back to the line. Again Recchi and his 'Let's Roll' team sailed with great speed and made no mistakes, granting them the ultimate lead. But, as always in this very competitive class his commanding lead did not go unchallenged. This time it was Bob Hesse from Elma, New York on 'Lake Effect' vying for position rounding second, Ecklund in third and the Kullman/Carroll team rounding fourth. Recchi continued to 'roll' the fleet as he began to pull away and sustain the win. Into the finish, Ecklund found something on the right and banked on it, pulling ahead of Darden who rounded the last mark safely in second. Ecklund turned on the speed and took second place. The battle for third was three wide at the line — Darden, Hoyt and Kullman. From the left Hesse, who was doing a spectacular job of keeping up with Recchi until the last run, shot in from the left and grabbed third, leaving Darden in fourth, Hoyt in fifth and Kullman/Carroll in sixth.

Four points separate the overall leader Recchi and Ecklund in second place. Woods holds steady in third with fifteen points total.

1. Claudio Recchi; 2, 1, 1 = 4
2. Jeff Ecklund; 3, 3, 2 = 8
3. Joe Woods; 5, 2, 8 = 15
4. Rich Orchard; 1, 4, 11 = 16
5. Doug Croker; 4, 6, 7 = 17
6. David Hoyt; 7, 5, 5 = 17
7. Glenn Darden; 8, 7, 4 = 19
8. Bob Hesse; 9, 8, 3 = 20
9. Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll; 6, 13, 6 = 25
10. Geoff Masters; 10, 10, 9 = 29



Kattack Performance Applications has partnered with the International Melges 32 Class Association for Nationals. Check out the action at www.kattack.com

For more information about the International Melges 32 Class Association and/or the 2007 Melges 32 National Championship contact Joy Dunigan, Melges 32 Nationals Press Officer on email at press@melgesperformancesailboats.com, by phone +1 912 398 5776.