Frenchman Jean Francois Cruette leads the Melges 24 world championship after two races

Jean Francois Cruette (FRA321 – Scutum) leads the Melges 24 world championship after the first two races in Travemuende, Germany.

With 72 boats competing from 13 nations, light to moderate conditions and some stiff competition, it was a tough day of racing out on Lubeck Bay yesterday.

In the first race Cruette came off the line well and within three minutes, had established a clear lead and was never seriously challenged. Behind him Mario Ziliani (ITA139 – Ale Ali 3 ALA), E Melleby (NOR366 – Siste Stein), Kenneth Thelen (FIN236 – Suunto), H Kvalvaag (NOR506 – Lek) and Tom Freytag (USA353 – Mad Cap) had some excellent racing in the very light airs with regular place changes on each leg and a close finish in the above order. Hot favourite Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund (USA409 – Star) could only manage an 11th while Jamie Lea, helming for Richard Thompson (GBR437 – Black Seal) had to settle for 18th.

For race two the wind was up to 8-10 knots with a slight chop. This time it was Erik Arthur (NOR341) who led at the first mark, closely followed by Egidio Babbi (ITA421 – Citta’di Cesenatico), Melges and Freytag. By the end of the second beat Arthur, Babbi and Melges had pulled out a small lead leaving Freytag to head the rest of the pack. Down the final run, Melges showed an outstanding turn of speed to pass the other two boats and lead to the finish. Babbi took second with Arthur third and Freytag hanging on to fourth just ahead of Rob Smith, helming for Stuart Simpson (GBR484 – The New Barbarians).

Overall Cruette leads by one point from Freytag with Melges in third, Zilianni fourth and Smith fifth. Jean Francois Cruette commented:’It’s always a great feeling to get a good result on the first day but it’s important to remember that there are still four days to go!’

Results (after two races)

1 FRA321 Jean Francois Cruette 1, 8 – 9 pts

2 USA353 Tom Freytag 6, 4 – 10 pts

3 USA409 Harry Melges/Jeff Ecklund 11, 1 – 12 pts

4 ITA139 Marion Ziliani/A Preti 2, 11 – 13 pts

5 GBR484 Rob Smith/Stuart Simpson 10, 5 – 15 pts

6 NOR506 H Kvalvaag/H Faeste 5, 12 – 17 pts

7 ITA421 Egidio Babbi 19, 2 – 21 pts

8 NOR249 Kristoffer Spone/ Neils Hauff 9, 15 – 24 pts

9 GBR473 Jamie Lea/Richard Thompson 18, 7 – 25 pts

10 GBR431 Stuart Rix/Quentin Struass 23, 6 – 29