Muller/Friesecke Take The Lead On Day 2 Of The 2012 Melges 29er Open Orange Bowl Regatta

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28 December 2012

Article courtesy of Matt Pistay - Day two of the 2012 Open Orange Bowl Regatta brought a steady 8-10 knots from the southeast.

Race One for the 29ers got underway with three boats being called OCS and only one if them came back to clear. As the fleet headed upwind, most of the teams decided to tack onto port, sending it to the right side if the course.

At the weather mark, Nic Muller and Kai Friesecke claimed a 10-boat lead on Quinn and Dane Wilson. Following closely in third was Duncan Williford and Matthew Mollerus. At the gate, the Muller/Friesecke team held their lead and extended. Quinn/Dane Wilson took the right gate increasing their lead followed by Williford/Mollerus in third. At the final weather mark, Muller/Friesecke had a massive lead that they took all the way down to the finish line to take the win. Second place went to Quinn/Dane Wilson with third going to Williford/Mollerus. Not many position changes for the 29er as this fleet is tough. With many of these sailors being at an average age of 16, they know how to sail these boats to the max.

The second race of the day resulted in a general recall. All boats quickly headed back to the starting line as the Race Committee was not going to wait long — and their off!! Race Two was underway and the breeze dropped to around 5-7 knots and swung due south. Pulling ahead at the top mark was Williford/Mollerus, but right on their transom was Rob Rice and Matt McDermaid in second, followed by Quinn/Dane Wilson. This weather mark rounding is a close one. With all twenty-two 29ers rounding within 3 minutes of each other. What a great fleet! Where is the rest if the North American 29er fleet?

At the bottom of the course rounding through the gates Williford/Mollerus took the left side and tacking right away. Quinn/Dane Wilson moved up to round second. The final weather mark presented Williford/Mollerus holding their own with the Wilson's trying to make a move on the top spot and taking a dramatic win right at the line!

The third and final race of the day was ushered in with another general recall at the start. The 29ers all headed back to the line. The wind is fading fast, lets see if we can get this race going!! Another general recall went up. Time for the black flag to come out! Race Committee goes to an I-flag start. Be careful 29ers… don't want to start in the middle of the line and be over. Some boats were looking to be close to the line! The fleet headed to the right side of the race course to try and get under some mean looking clouds that could have more wind in them. Taking charge early Rice/McDermaid. Quinn/Dane Wilson came second and right behind them is Cole Baker and Steven Leuck. Very close weather mark rounding for the rest of the fleet. First to the leeward gates is Muller/Friesecke taking the left hand gate and going right. Rice/McDermaid and the Wilsons both battle for second and third place, with the fleet following close behind the leaders and the wind fading. This was setting up to be a very tough and tricky race. The Wilson's moved into the lead for the final mark rounding followed by Rice/McDermaid and Muller/Friesecke in third. Downwind, Quinn and Dane Wilson turned up the head and took the gun. Muller and Friesecke took a close second with Rice and McDermaid settling for third.

Tomorrow is forecasted to be windier, then we'll really see what these machines can do!

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