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December 5, 2011

Having the opportunity to battle it out in conditions that we experienced over the past 3 days is what makes people forget about all the regattas of no wind, rain, fog, cold or any undesirable conditions.  It seemed like each morning as we made our way to the racecourse, the breeze was fresher than the day before and the waves bigger, triggering a private conversation of, “this is going to be fun….I hope this goes well….Is my lifejacket zipped….Are there great whites in Ft. Lauderdale…is this what a 20ft wave looks like…lets get racing.”  The 2011 Gold Cup will go down as one of truly great Melges 32 events, and just like the conditions over the weekend, I’m sure its legend will grow bigger.

Headed into Sunday, our team on Volpe had small window to catch Warpath who had suffered an OCS the previous day.  Shortly after our first start, Warpath stumbled off the line and had to spin a circle placing them squarely in last place.  With a good combination of feeling no pain from the night before and staying cool under pressure, they did a great job of putting themselves in a position to catch boats as we raced around the track to finish 3rd.  Shortly before their finish, Warpath was able to pass 4 boats on their last gybe and instead of being tied with us going into the last race, they now had a 5 pt lead.

We both had average starts in the last race and it looked like we were even headed up the beat, but as we approached the top mark we got hung up in traffic and Warpath was able to get around clean, set their kite and establish themselves in the front group while we couldn’t escape the grasp of the mid-fleeters. Our small window of opportunity was quickly shut after it was opened as Warpath took 2nd in the race and we battled hard for 8th.

There are tons of great photos on the Melges 32 website and be sure to check out some onboard footage from our team on the last day…keep an eye on our pit-man Adam Burns who snags his foot in the spin sheet and tries to free himself during a hectic douse.  Big thanks to the DeVos family for an awesome weekend of sailing, and to the team on Volpe that is always fun to sail with.  Full results.  Off to Miami for the 40 boat Melges 20 Gold Cup…


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