Norwegian dominates on day 2
Former Laser champion Eivind Melleby of Norway dominated day two of the Melges 24 world championship in Marstrand taking two convincing wins as the rest of the fleet struggled for consistency in light and shifty conditions. Back ashore the Jury worked overtime to handle the flood of redress requests resulting for poor start management on day one.
After reopening a case regarding redress in race one having gathered further evidence the jury were duty bound to award redress to the seven boats scored OCS in the first race. The requests for redress were in response to the extremely late signals by the race committee. The jury were governed by the ISAF case-book in their decision. For race two the jury had to deal with a more complicated situation involving both display of the wrong flag and late signals and after considerable research and deliberation decided that the most equitable decision was to award average points or their best score to the entire fleet.
Racing on day two got underway in around 6 knots from 290 degrees with flat water and glorious sunshine. The fleet was off at the first attempt with just a couple of individual recalls. The right was definitely the preferred option and at the weather mark Sebastien Col, helming for Phillip Ligot, lead Eivind Melleby, Luca Santella, Terje Kjaer, Cedric Pouligny and Kenneth Thelen. Col and Melleby traded gybes the entire way down the run with Col just holding his lead as they split at the leeward mark. Col’s decision to take left was his undoing and when the boats came together at the weather mark Melleby led by a boat length. Thelen meanwhile had pulled right up to third ahead of Santella, Mathias Dahlman, Kjaer and Rob Smith. On the final run the breeze started to clock right with the last short beat turning into a starboard fetch. Melleby held off Col to the finish whilst Santella clawed back Thelen for third and Smith pulled through to fifth from Kjaer.
By the start of race two the wind was up to 8-10 knots and had gone round to 330. The first attempt to start was recalled and the black flag came into play for the second, as a result of which several boats including Keith Musto were sent home for the early bath. Eivind Melleby obviously had the bit between his teeth and after a cracking start led the fleet from start to finish despite the best efforts of Flavio Favini, helming for Franco Rossini, who pushed Melleby every inch of the way. Behind the leading pair things were equally tight with Maurizio Abba defending third place right through until the final lap when a momentary loss of concentration cost him two places. Santella was the first to pass him to finish third whilst Shark Kahn showed his true colours for the first time in the regatta by moving up from tenth at the first mark to fourth at the finish.
After racing Eivind Melleby commented: “Yesterday was a frustrating day with all the protests but now we are back on track. We had the speed, we got off the start line clean and then just stayed ahead of the competition – nice and easy!”
Due to the late finish of protest hearings and the complexity of the calculations the overall results will not be available until later today.