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

Claudio Recchi Is The 2007 Melges 32 U.S. National Champion

15 July 2007

Claudio Recchi and his amazing crew of Giovanni Puntello, Gabriele Benussi calling tactics, Federico Michetti, Emanuele Cecchini, Francesca Prina, Andrea Vigoni, Francesco Di Caprio and Enrico Pucci are the 2007 Melges 32 U.S. National Champions! The regatta series consisted of eight races in which Recchi delivered a 2-1-1-2-4-2-1-[17/DNC] performance was considered virtually unstoppable. "This was an incredible pleasure. We were a little worried in the beginning because it has been so long since we have sailed together. We really thought we would not be good enough to win,' commented Reechi.

"We are really impressed to see how much the class has matured. It was a really tough regatta. There were moments when we were lucky, we sailed consistently. In the first upwind today it was really tight,' continued Reechi. "The key to 'Let's Roll' is that we are all good friends and we work really hard on the boat. We hike hard, and everyone just goes out and does their best. I trust Gabriele 100%. He is a phenomenal tactician and it's just a very good fit. This was the result of being really lucky, having good speed and good boat handling."

Proudly seated in second place is Jeff Ecklund on 'Star', who also had an outstanding crew onboard. With Jeff, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the helm, Harry Melges, III called tactics, Hans Melges, Jim Condon, and Bill Freytag served as the core. The very accomplished Lindsay Bartel was also on board along with Colin Smith — fresh off of his win at the 2007 Laser Radial North American Championship (an impressive 60 boat turn-out). At the ripe age of sixteen, he is the number one youth sailor in the country. In third, was Joe Woods from Devon, UK with Ruairidh Scott calling tactics, Tim Spink, Genevieve Spink, Paddy Bettesworth, Jamie Binmore, David Lenz and Tim Edwards on board 'Red'.

It was breeze on for the final day of the 2007 Melges 32 National Championship at Sail Newport. With only two races scheduled, Claudio Recchi from Italy on 'Let's Roll' was the overall leader, four points ahead of Ecklund in second, Rick Orchard from Deluth, Georgia was in third place.

The first race was awesome — winds sustained 15-18 knots, sunshine, blue skies with big chop for sixteen Melges 32s. The start was clean for the fleet, but a tough break for Ecklund as he was over early. It was almost a carbon copy performance for Recchi and Orchard fighting for the left, the majority of the fleet following suit. It was pile-up at the mark, Recchi took the lead early, David Hoyt from Accord, Massachusetts on 'Nosedive' rounded right behind, then Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll from Tampa, Florida on 'New Wave', Jason Carroll from New York, New York on 'Vamoose', Bob Hesse from Elma, New York on 'Lake Effect' and Glenn Darden from Ft. Worth, Texas on 'Hoss' rounded respectively.

Downwind the fleet was on fire, Kullman/Carroll and Hoyt challenged Recchi for first place. Kullman/Carroll took the lead just seconds ahead of Hoyt at the gate, then Recchi struggled rounding in third. But, not for long. The threesome of Recchi, Kullman/Carroll and Hoyt found themselves battling to the mark. Recchi recovered at the top, with Hoyt hot on his heels rounding second and Kullman/Carroll down to third. Carroll was the next closest competitor a good ten boat lengths back, with Orchard gaining on him fast. The finish was dynamic with Recchi going long and hard on the left, Hoyt even further. Kullman/Carroll gybed out to the right. Hoyt had speed on the outside, Recchi on the inside. Orchard now gaining on Recchi but, the left side had the biggest payoff. Hoyt had to gybe at the finish settling for second Carroll was third.

The second race got off to a clean start, this time both Woods and Ecklund battling for pin end ownership. It was fast with Woods launching out ahead of Ecklund. The wind has increased now to 18-20 gusting higher periodically. Raging into the weathermark Woods took charge rounding first, Ecklund strong in second and Hoyt in third. Ecklund followed Woods in a heated battle for the top spot. Hoyt moved up alongside to challenge Ecklund for the second place spot. Woods comes flying in from the right taking a signicant lead. Ecklund rounded second, Hoyt was third. Upwind, Ecklund's experience in the Melges 32 was apparent as he got the best of Woods, rounding the last weathermark of the regatta in first. Downwind, his lead got larger and stretched to the finish line. Ecklund took the bullet, Woods got second. Hoyt took third.

Reechi bowed out gracefully for the last race. "Everyone on the boat was a little upset, because this might be the last race for us on the Melges 32 this year,' said Reechi. "We will be back in Key West for certain."

Following the races, the awards ceremony took place where prizes were handed out respectively. Kattack Performance App partnered with the fleet this year just to prove how fast the Melges 32 really is! Congratulations to Doug Croker from Easton, Maryland on 'Canvasback' as he and his crew won the Speed Demon Award! They were clocked doing 14.64 knots downwind on Saturday. The entire team walked away with special issue Kattack Performance Shirts — only available at the regatta. In second was Claudio Recchi at 14.53 knots and Jeff Ecklund was in third at 14.49 knots. That's fast!

The Melges 32 Class would specifically like to recognize 'New Wave', the only entry at Nationals whose entire crew consisted of corinthian sailors only. Despite an eighth place overall finish, they are one of the most outstanding competitors in the fleet. The crew consisted of Marty Kullman (helm), Mike Carroll, Alex Shaffer, Ron "Hacksaw" Hyatt , John Jennings calling tactics, Steve Liebel, Judah Rubin, and Jay Kubel.

A special thanks to the race committee including PRO Ron Hopkins and the entire team at Sail Newport, in particular Brad Read, Adam DeSantis and Kim Cooper. And, most importantly to all the competitors who traveled so far to compete especially Joe Woods from England, Claudio Recchi from Italy and Geoff Masters from Australia.

The next stop on the racing circuit for the Melges 32 is the fantastic Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, California! Stay tuned to the official class website of the Melges 32 Class Association at www.melges32.com.

1. Claudio Recchi; 2, 1, 1, 2, 4, 2, 1, [17/DNC] = 13
2. Jeff Ecklund; 3, 3, 2, 3, 1, 4, [7], 1 = 17
3. Joe Woods; 5, 2, [8], 4, 3, 6, 4, 2 = 26
4. Rick Orchard; 1, 4, [11], 1, 5, 7, 5, 7 = 30
5. David Hoyt; 7, 5, 5, 11, [13], 3, 2, 3 = 36
6. Glenn Darden; 8, 7, 4, 7, 6, 1, 10, [14] = 43
7. Bob Hesse; [9], 8, 3, 8, 9, 5, 6, 4 = 43
8. Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll; 6, [13], 6, 5, 2, 12, 8, 10 = 49
9. Doug Croker; 4, 6, 7, [10], 10, 10, 9, 5 = 51
10. Geoff Masters; 10, 10, 9,9, 7, 8, [15], 9 = 62



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.