NYYC Race Week Presented By Rolex - Photo by Dan Nerney/RolexNYYC Race Week Presented By Rolex - Photo by Dan Nerney/Rolex

KULLMAN TAKES THE LEAD ON DAY TWO OF THE 2006 MELGES 32 NATIONALS

21 July 2006

21 JULY 2006 Day two prompted a leader board change of drastic proportion as Marty Kullman (helm) and Mike Carroll on "New Wave" gladly take over the lead from Jeff Ecklund on "STAR" now seated in second place overall. Rick Orchard on "Grins" maintains the third place position. "It's nice to see more boats on the line. The racing is really close, this is the way it ought to be. If you make mistakes you pay for them." commented Orchard. "Sailing was pretty straight forward today."

Day two started out under beautiful sunny skies, warm temps and nine Melges 32s batched on the starting line anticipating four full-on races. With winds somewhat light and variable, 5-8 with a course bearing of 240 and a fierce current, it seems as though the entire fleet was over as the airwaves were flooded with OCSs being announced. Only a few returned for their penalty turns on the pin including overnight leader Ecklund, Orchard, Glenn Darden (helm) and Reese Hillard on "Hoss" and Walter Kennedy on "Savannah."

Kullman opened the show with a good start, turning up the speed as they rounded first through the leeward gate. Followed by John Cooper on "Quick Fix", then a nice match race to the gate between Geoff Masters on "Melges Asia Pacific" and Doug Croker on "Canvasback." Croker was forced to leeward leaving Masters taking to weather.

Coming into the finish Kullman put some distance between himself and the rest of the fleet, simply cruising across the finish line. Kullman appeared relaxed, maybe somewhat relieved as he turned to view the contention between the second, third, fourth and fifth place finishers. Croker and Masters were back at it. Ecklund worked hard and got back in the game as he worked alongside of Kennedy. Ecklund had awesome speed and passed Masters, with Croker in his sights. Croker beat Ecklund by less than half a boat length. Kullman took first, Croker second, Ecklund third, Masters in fourth and Cooper in fifth. Or, so we thought. The disappointing news is that both Croker and Cooper failed to return to the starting line when called OCS. So despite the apparent battles throughout the race and on the finish line, the final standings are Kullman in first, Ecklund was awarded second, Masters was third, Orchard in fourth and Kennedy finished fifth.

The competition and speed during the second, third and fourth races were equally intense. Ecklund came back in true form during race two taking the top spot. From Australia, Geoff Masters had another go on his Melges 32 finishing rather well in second. And beyond, it was a battle for third between Kullman and Joe Woods on "Red." Kullman simply had the speed as he won the third spot and Woods settled for fourth, Darden was fifth. Races three and four is where Kullman and his team did exactly what they set out to do, "This is a core team which is just awesome. We need to keep our heads outside of the boat and avoid pitfalls if at all possible," said Kullman after yesterday's racing. And that's just what they did. With a 1,1 finish in races three and four of the day, Kullman slipped into first place two points ahead of Ecklund. Ecklund was 2, 4 whilst Orchard had a consistent 3, 3, finish.

For Saturday, day three of the four day championship Marty Kullman is riding high in first place overall, followed by Jeff Ecklund in second and Rich Orchard in third. Moving up a couple of knotches is Geoff Masters jumping to fourth, Joe Woods occupies fifth.

FULL RESULTS
1.) Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll, New Wave; 3, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1 = 12
2.) Jeff Ecklund, STAR; 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 4 = 14
3.) Rick Orchard, Grins; 2, 4, 2, 4, 6, 3, 3 = 24
4.) Geoff Masters, Melges Asia Pacific; 6, 3, 7, 3, 2, 8, 2 = 31
5.) Joe Woods, Red; 5, 6, 5, 6, 4, 5, 5 = 36
6.) Glenn Darden/Reese Hillard, Hoss; 4, 5, 6, 7, 5, 6.5 = 39.5
7.) Doug Croker, Canvasback; 7, 7, 4, 10 OCS, 7, 4, 8 = 47
8.) Walter Kennedy, Savannah; 8, 9, 10 DNS, 5, 8, 6.5 = 53.5
9.) John Cooper, Quick Fix; 9, 8, 10 DNF, 10 OCS, 9, 10 DNC, 10 DNC = 66

The Melges 32 is taking one design racing to the next level, so stay tuned to the official web site of the Melges 32 Class Association - www.melges32.com as daily reports, results and interviews will be posted. Also, visit Melges Performance Sailboats online at www.melges.com.

Rolex Watch U.S.A. has been the exclusive presenting sponsor of the NYYC events since 1994. Supporting sponsors of Race Week include Mount Gay Rum and Heineken USA. For more information, visit www.nyyc.org or contact the New York Yacht Club Sailing Office, Harbor Court, 5 Halidon Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island 02840; phone 401-845-9633; fax 401-846-3303; email sailingoffice@nyyc.org

For further information about the Melges 32 Class Association and the 2006 Melges 32 National Championship contact Joy Dunigan, Melges 32 Press Officer on email at press@melgesperformancesailboats.com, phone 912-398-5776.

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