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Recchi Continues To Lead Melges 32 Nationals

14 July 2007

Going into racing on day two of the Melges 32 National Championship, Claudio Recchi from Italy on 'Let's Roll' lead the fleet by a narrow four points, just ahead of Jeff Ecklund from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 'Star' in second place overall. Joe Woods from Devon, UK on 'Red' was third, however the table change today was subtle. With only one day to go, Recchi continues his winning crusade. "We did well, so we are happy. We were quite fast but not fast as some of the others. There were times we were nervous as Rick Orchard was very fast, he raced better than us downwind," commented Recchi following racing.

The first race got off on time under very light conditions 3-5 knots, blues skies and plentiful sunshine. It was a four-legger and with a bearing of 200 at 1.25 nautical miles. As in past races, Recchi guarded the pin end of line heading left at the gun, then going right, catching up with Marty Kullman (helm) and Mike Carroll from Tampa Bay, Florida on 'New Wave' who had some nice speed off the line. Ecklund initially jetted off to the right hoping to find some pressure closer to land. As they progressed, Ecklund got the upperhand. Coming into the top mark, Rick Orchard from Flowery Branch, Georgia on 'Grins', Walter Kennedy from Charlotte, North Carolina and Recchi looked good going into the mark but Orchard was the one that had the speed just one boat length ahead of the pack. Rounding third was Kennedy on 'Savannah' followed by Ecklund. Downwind Recchi tried to hunt down Orchard. Orchard increased the lead by a couple of boat lengths by the time he reached the leeward gate in which a change of course was announced at 180. Orchard loved the left side again, Recchi passed through in second. Ecklund made up some ground moving into third, Kennedy in fourth and Kullman/Carroll in fifth. With the wind gradually increasing the left side was favored into the last weathermark of the race. Orchard tried to extend his lead but Recchi was determined. In the end, his efforts were just not sufficient. With smooth gybes right at the finish, Orchard protected his lead and crossed the line first, Recchi was second, Ecklund was third, Woods passed Kennedy to take fourth and Kullman/Carroll held on to fifth.

Winds were on the up and up for race two, building from 3-5 knots to 5-8 knots. The first start resulted in a general recall. The second start was clean with three individual recalls. At the top a shake up in the fleet was in order and the boats were really tight coming into the mark. Geoff Masters from Sydney, Australia on 'Melges Asia Pacific' rounded in first, followed by Ecklund, then Recchi in third. Downwind Ecklund turned on the speed rounding the left gate in first, while Masters went to the right gate dropping back a couple of positions. Another course change was issued at the gate of 205. Recchi although not the leader had been working the left side of the course, on the upwind beat he worked the right looking for better pressure. At the top Ecklund rounded in first and held the lead to the finish. Woods was second and Recchi was third, then Orchard in fourth. On the set, Ecklund revisited the right looking for some clean air downwind. Despite starting dead last, as they were one of the three individual recalls at the start, Kullman/Carroll worked hard all race long taking a second place in the finish. Woods was third. Beyond the top three finishers it was a massive traffic jam. Recchi was fourth, in fifth was Orchard, Glenn Darden from Ft. Worth, Texas on 'Hoss' was sixth and Masters in seventh!

The race committee fired off the third race in instant succession. Glorious conditions prevailed as race three got underway just after two o'clock. The fleet witnessed another shake down at the first mark with Darden calling the shots rounding first, followed by Recchi and his Italian batallion. Darden held the lead to the gate taking off to the right and Recchi rounding a close second going left. David Hoyt from Accord, Massachusetts on 'Nosedive' was third and Ecklund in fourth. It was a dual between Darden and Recchi for the remainder of the race. They battled it out all the way to the finish with Darden taking his first bullet of the championship. Recchi was second, Hoyt was third, Ecklund fourth and Doug Croker from Easton, Maryland on 'Canvasback' in fifth.

Now that six races are complete, a throw out is in effect. Recchi's worst finish so far is a fourth. He carries not only the lead into Sunday, the final day of racing but only eight championship points. It was very evident that the Ecklund's 'Star' team worked really hard today. They remain seated in second place overall with twelve points. Six points back is Orchard in third, Woods is currently fourth overall and Darden is fifth.

1. Claudio Recchi; 2, 1, 1, 2, [4], 2 = 8
2. Jeff Ecklund; 3, 3, 2, 3, 1, [4] = 12
3. Rick Orchard; 1, 4, [11], 1, 5, 7 = 18
4. Joe Woods; 5, 2, [8], 4, 3, 6 = 20
5. Glenn Darden; [8], 7, 4, 7, 6, 1 = 25
6. Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll; 6, [13], 6, 5, 2, 12 = 31
7. David Hoyt; 7, 5, 5, 11, [13], 3 = 31
8. Bob Hesse; [9], 8, 3, 8, 9, 5 = 33
9. Doug Croker; 4, 6, 7, [10], 10, 10 = 37
10. Geoff Masters; [10], 10, 9,9, 7, 8 = 43



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.