Melges USA Built 29ers Dominate Top Three Spots At Open Orange Bowl Regatta!

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30 December 2012

Article courtesy of Matt Pistay - Final day for the 2012 Open Orange Bowl Regatta. Sailors woke up to a solid 17-20 knots of breeze from the Northwest.

Race One is off! The 29er fleet is heading up both sides of the course. What side will win? At the top mark, Duncan Williford and Matthew Mollerus took the lead. Rounding in second was Nic Muller and Kai Friesecke. Close in their heels, was Campbell D'Eliscu and Conner Keiter in third with the rest of the fleet right behind them. D'Eliscu/Keiter pass through the gate in first followed by Muller/Friesecke in second and Sam Gustin and Ian Woodbury in third. These top 3 boats are gone. The rest of he fleet is 2-3 minutes behind the leaders. Back upwind to the top mark, D'Eliscu/Keiter continued to lead with a huge separation between first and second positions. In second was Gustin/Woodbury and Quinn and Dane Wilson were holding firm in third. This team has sailed a great event. They were over early went back and are still managing to place in the top five. D'Eliscu/Keiter take the bullet with Williford/Mollerus over taking Muller/Friesecke at the finish.

The start of Race Two of the day was a tricky one. Both sides of the course look good, but it was the left side of the course that the sailors liked most. With a clean startMuller/Frieseck assume a very comfortable lead. Williford/Mollerus came second with D'Eliscu/Keiter inches behind, trying to make their move into the second place position. Muller/Friesecke maintain and begin to extend their lead as they round at the leeward gate. D'Eliscu/Keiter split from the leaders looking to the other side of the course to try and make a move. Holding their lead all the way around the course, Muller/Friesecke cross the line in first with no other boat around them. D'Eliscu/Keiter came second. These guys are sitting in second place overall and are looking to advance to the first place spot. Hopefully they can make it happen with one race left. In third is the Wilson's. This team is leading the event overall. We'll see if they can hold onto the lead going into the final race.

At the start of the final race of the series, 29ers jockey to find a spot at the boat end of the line with a little right hand shift across the course. And their off! But the Race Committee pulled the general recall flag as most of the fleet was over early.

Take Two of the start of the final race resulted in another general recall! Teams were still liking the boat end of the line, but as the wind shifted more to the right, the fleet was called over early as the boat end of the line was too favored.

On the third try, the wind shifts right and also builds a bit more. As the count approaches the final minute, teams still like the boat end of the line. And their off with the fleet split into two — half going left the other going right! Who will reach the top first?

Coming into the top mark, it's Max Fraser and Jonny Goldsberry in first, but it's super close with the entire fleet. Ian MacDiarmid and Scott Ewing rounded close behind the leaders with Quinn/Dane Wilson in third. With both Fraser/Goldsberry and MacDiarmid/Ewing splitting around the gates. They do their final battle back to the weather mark. At the final weather mark, MacDiarmid/Ewing lead the fleet followed closely by D'Eliscu/Keiter and Fraser/Goldsberry. At the finish, MacDiarmid/Ewing took the bullet in style. This team had bested the fleet with superior boat speed and handling. Fraser/Goldsberry was second and D'Eliscu/Keiter came third.

Well that's all folks. Next event is the ISAF Youth World Qualifiers up in Clearwater, Florida on January 18-21, 2013, hosted by the Clearwater Yacht Club.

View Photo Gallery - courtesy of Bob D'Elicru
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