2008 Sharon Green | ultimatesailing.com2008 Sharon Green | ultimatesailing.com

Jim Swartz Takes The Lead At The Melges 32 Gold Cup

6 December 2008

Jim Swartz (Edgartown, N.Y.) on USA-007 Q, along side of tactician Gavin Brady and crew of Ben Beer, Jamie Gale, Tim Klein, Erik Doyle and Sarah Callahan played a great game of tack and jibe at the 2008 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to take the lead with 14 points. His scoreline places him in the top spot on countback of John Kilroy's (San Francisco, Calif.) USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti with America's Cup sailor Terry Hutchinson calling tactics and crew of Eric Arndt, Eric Dorman, Justin Smart, Alan Nakanishi, Morgan Trubovich and Shana Phelan, also with 14 points. In third overall is Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) on ITA-186 Calvi Network with one of Italy's finest tacticians — Gabriele Benussi. Three great races were delivered.

Race one got underway on time with beautiful blue skies, light air conditions out of the east at 5-10 mph, warm temperatures, manageable seas and glorious Florida sunshine. This race was key for Swartz as it was his best result of the day. With a really nice jump off the starting line, he rounded the windward mark in first. Taking charge of second place was long-time class veteran Edward Tillinghast on USA-151 Dark n'Stormy. In third was another group of extraordinary sailors Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll (Clearwater, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave. Once out front, Swartz stayed out front and gradually extended his lead to take the win. Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on USA-77 Roxanne had a fantastic race taking second followed by Kullman/Carroll in third.

The second race of the day produced an aggressive start resulting in some great advances for several teams and set backs for others. Stephen Pugh (Sausalito, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo and Savino Formentini (Italy) on MON-1999 Bitipi were among those called over early. Alberini, Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-32 STAR and Kilroy in contrast had great starts. Storming the windward mark was Alberini, beating Ecklund to the punch, followed by Tillinghast. Downwind Alberini pulled ahead by a considerable margin, Ecklund desperately trying to catch up held on to second as they passed through the leeward gate. Back upwind the breeze remained light and shifty. Ecklund put into high gear taking the lead. Alberini fumbled the set making way for Kilroy to jump into second position. For the finish, reigning National Champion Eckund with Harry Melges on tactics appeared to be much happier with their second race performance with the win. Kilroy held on to second. Alberini settled for third.

For the final race of the day a course bearing of due east and breeze increasing ever so slightly, the first start resulted in a general recall. The second start was clean with Ecklund punching off the line as did Kullman/Carroll and Kilroy. At the top mark Kullman eventually got the best of Alberini following a heated race to the mark. Kilroy rounding in third. Kullman/Caroll had enough speed that they held on to the lead to take the win. Alberini and Kilroy were left to dual for second position and take the battle to the finish with Alberini ultimately getting the upper hand. It was ditto for fourth and fifth places. Woods and LYC's John Taylor (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-1315 Ninkasi vied for position at the finish line with Woods taking fourth. Taylor settled for fifth.

Saturday's racing not only will spawn continued great competition and feature the highlights of the regatta — Take A Junior Sailing Day! Some of America's best will have the chance of a lifetime to sail with the world's best.

01.) Jim Swartz, Q; 1-6-7 = 14
02.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; 9-2-3 = 14
03.) Carlo Alberini, CALVI Network; 10-3-2 = 15
04.) Marty Kullman/Mike Carroll, New Wave; 3-13-1 = 17
05.) Jeff Ecklund, STAR; 15-1-10 = 26
06.) Kip Meadows, roXanne; 2-14-11 = 27
07.) Edward Tillinghast, Dark n'Stormy = 4-4-19 = 27
08.) Joe Woods, Red; 16-7-4 = 27
09.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 14-5-9 = 28
10.) John Taylor, Ninkasi = 11-12-5 = 28
Full Results

PHOTO GALLERIES. There is a wealth of photo galleries now online for the 2008 Melges 32 Gold Cup, in particular Sharon Green, Lauderdale Yacht Club photograher John Payne and class photographer Joy Dunigan. Also, Sail22's Ed Furry has delivered the goods as well. A very special thanks to Protector Boats that has made the Gold Cup Photo Galleries possible.

VIDEO. Chris Love with Sailgroove.org has now uploaded plenty of video from today's Gold Cup races.

IM32CA BLOG. On the water reporting was conducted today. Racing highlights, photos and videos are all online. Catch-up on all things Melges 32 at the Official Blog of the International Melges 32 Class Association. Special thanks to onsite Melges 32 Class European Correspondent Justin Chisholm with Offshore Rules. Visit Offshore Rules for Justin's full reports.

ON THE WATER ANARCHY. Sailing Anarchy's famous On-The-Water Anarchy provided coverage with guest commentator Andy Burdick, president of Melges Performance Sailboats. Photos, video and more are also available online at sailinganarchy.com