Key On Day Two At The Melges 17 Midwinters : Start First and Increase Your Lead

Key On Day Two At The Melges 17 Midwinters : Start First and Increase Your Lead

10 March 2007

10 MARCH 2007 ? A simple statement made by a great sailor ? Buddy Melges. On Saturday, of the two Melges 17 races completed this proved to be the case as the boat that won the start went on to win the race.

The fleet lined up for race number two of the series on Saturday morning. Winds were light and shifty but certainly sailable. Mary Anne Ward sailing 'USA-181' lined up on the pin end, had the start of the fleet and went on to win big this race. The key? "The key for us was the start, we nailed the pin end with speed, sailed for about 100 yards and tacked to port. There was no looking back after that", said Ward. A tight battle took place for second place. David Moring racing Martin Zonnenberg's Melges 17 'USA-105' match raced with Iggy Labanauskus. In the end Iggy won the battle and finishing second, Moring was third.

A break for lunch and then right back out for the next heat. There was some real heat too. Sun, 80 degrees, a beautiful Florida day. If you ever considered coming to this regatta this type of day would convince you to be in Florida racing sailboats - beautiful day!

The pin end was good in the third race of the series as well. Iggy Labanauskus and Blaine Unicume each had great starts. Labanauskus tacked out first though and that proved to be better midway up the beat as there was a 15 degree right shift. Labanauskus rounded the windward mark first, Joe Kutchenreuter was second and Mary Anne Ward was third. The breeze went flat on the run though so there was a big turn of events. Labanauskus gybed as did Bill Fauntleroy. This looked dreadful but as time went on it proved to be a hit. As these two boats rounded the bottom mark in 1,2 fashion ? Larry Brand snuck in at third. The top two boats extended and hung on to their positions finishing respectively. Brand fell back to fourth in the race as Mary Anne Ward fought her way back to third.

Two really great races with more to come on Sunday, determining ultimately who will be the nect Melges 17 Midwinter Champion!

Top Three Results
1.) Iggy Labanauskus - 4 points
2.) Mary Anne Ward - 6 points
3.) Bill Fauntleroy - 15 points

Going into Sunday's races it's too close to call. With Labanauskus very comfortable in first place, Ward's determination is going to be tough to beat. Only two points separate the top two. Bill Fauntleroy is another participant that has proven to be a force to recon with as well. Despite the ferocious competition within the top three seats other boats doing well in the overalls are Brian McMurray, Bill Wiggins, Joe Kutchenreuter and Blaine Unicume.

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