Leaders neck and neck on day 4 of the Melges world championship in Hyeres 31/8/06

The overnight gales may have abated but there was no shortage of thrills and spills on day four of the Melges 24 World Championship in Hyeres as the 119 crews completed the final two of six round robin races to decide the gold and silver fleets yesterday.

The overall standings are extremely close with just 11 points separating first to tenth places.  At the top of the leader board Italy’s Alina Helly Hansen, helmed by double Mumm 30 World Champion Luca Valerio and owned by Maurizio Abba, shares 15 points with the 2004 Melges 24 World Champion DRP Partner & Partners from Marseille, skippered by Philippe Ligot and now helmed by Francois Brenac.

On count back DRP Partner & Partners/Brenac are in second.  Two points behind is the reigning Melges 24 North American Champion Full Throttle, helmed by owner Brian Porter with 2002 Melges 24 World Champion Harry Melges calling tactics.  Fourth on 18 points is GEBL, helmed by Italian America’s Cup sailor Sandro Montefusco and owned by Cesare Bressan. 

Britain’s Gill, helmed by Stuart Rix and owned by Quentin Strauss, is in fifth place overall on 20 points and there is an interesting fraternal battle developing as Team Gill, helmed by Irish Olympian Mark Mansfield and owned by Quentin’s brother Simon Strauss, lies in sixth on 22 points.  The Italian Bette team, helmed by Nicola Celon and owned by Ezio Amadore, is the fourth placed filling in the Strauss sandwich on 21 points.

Results (after 6 races)