Ken Read Wins the 2006 Melges 24 Gold Cup Regatta
20 August 2006
Newport native Ken Read narrowly won the Melges 24 Gold Cup Regatta presented by Boston Meridian Merchant Banking. Read captured top honors on the final day of racing in spectacular Newport sailing conditions. Only one point separated Read from second place finisher John Mollicone of Newport aboard “Big Dave.”
Read and Mollicone battled it out for three days during which nine races were sailed. Day one of racing began under a long postponement due to lack of wind, but eventually the breeze filled in and the Race Committee sent the fleet north of the bridge to race in Potter’s Cove. Three races were sailed in a 10-12 knot southerly. Mollicone made a statement to the fleet by posting three consecutive “bullets” on day one.
The fleet was greeted with far better sailing conditions on the morning of day 2. A 12-15 southeasterly sent the Melges 24’s outside to race on Rhode Island Sound. “Big Dave” got off to a quick start by continuing their winning streak with a first place finish in the first race of the day. However, Ken Read and his crew aboard “Endura” proved that they should never be counted out and sailed their way back into the regatta by ending the day with three first-place finishes in the final races of the day. Day 2 concluded with Mollicone in first with 10-points, Read in second with 11-points, and “Lightwave Nano” driven by the team of Brian Smith and David Ford of Bristol, RI in third place with 16-points.
The stage was set on the final day of the regatta for a showdown between Read and Mollicone. As if sensing the final-day tension the breeze kicked up to a consistent 18-20 knots. The strong southwesterly quickly built the seas to 4-6 feet, perfect conditions for the Melges 24. In fact, several boats reported reaching over 16 knots of boat speed while surfing downwind under the large Melges 24 asymmetrical spinnaker. Read’s “Endura,” however, was the fastest of all and captured first-place finishes in both races sailed. The final day “bullets” sealed the victory for Read and his crew. Mollicone had a strong final day with consecutive second-place finishes that put him one-point back in second-place overall with 14-points. David Ford aboard “Lightwave Nano” remained in third with 25-points.
Trophies were also awarded for the Corinthian series for boats racing with all-amateur crews. First-place went to Sean Scarborough of Ocean City, NJ aboard “Rhino,” second-place went to Bill Carleton and crew sailing “Tiburon” from Herndon, VA and finishing in third-place in the Corinthian series was Mitch Hnatt of Brick, NJ aboard “Insane.”
Race Management for the regatta was provided by Sail Newport with Principle Race Officer Sue Reilly leading the Race Committee.
- Ken Read, USA-655; -4-2-2-1-1-1-1-1 = 13
- John Mollicone, USA-623; 1-1-1-1-2-4--2-2 = 14
- Mike Buckley/Dave Ford, USA-513; 2--4-3-3-2-2-5-4 = 25
- Sean Scarborough, USA-541; 4-3-6-6--3-4-3-3 = 32
- Stan Shreyer/Dave Ford; USA-17; 3-7-5--5-6-3-4-7 = 40
- Geoffery Pierini, USA-551; -6-7-7-4-5-6-6-5 = 46
- Platt Johnson, USA-147; 8-2-3-5-6-8-9-6 = 47
- Bill Carleton, USA-378; -8-9-10-9-7-8-7-8 = 66
- Daniel Cameron, USA-43; 9-10-10-11-10-11-710-[16/DNS] = 78
- Pete Cucci, USA-522; 10-12--12-8-9-10-8-9 = 78
- Mitch Hnatt, USA-441; 6-9-8-9--12-11-11-[16/DNS] = 79
- Mike Royer, USA-514; 11-13-12-4-11-13-14-12-[16/DNS] = 90
- Bill Blank/Ben Cudd, USA-568; 12-11-11-13-12-10-12-[16/DNS]-16/DNS = 97
- Gary Schneidman, USA-37; 14-14-[16/OCS]-14-14-14-13-14-10 = 107
- Peter Hilgendroff, USA-47; -15-14-15-15-15-15-13-[16/DNS] = 117