Sunday, March 24, 2013

Delta Stays in Control at International Rolex Regatta, OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands - Saturday, day two of the 40th Anniversary edition of the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club proved to be just as challenging as the first, this time not only for the nine participating Melges 32 teams, but also for the Race Committee.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Despite the hardships, Dalton DeVos aboard Delta delivered a 1-5-1 daily result to further secure first place overall with seven races now complete and one discard in effect. He sits six points ahead of Jason Carroll's Argo now in second, while Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden slips back one slot to finish third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
From the moment the teams stepped into the race arena, they could see it was not going to be an easy day. The breeze was funneling in essentially from two directions caused mainly by St. John's Island (which also influenced the fleet decision to do more windward/leeward configurations rather than distance races). The Race Committee put the fleet under immediate postponement, and eventually pulled up anchor from their original position to better accommodate the breeze angle. This enabled them to fire off the first race of the day.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
DeVos gave a carbon copy performance winning Race One. Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima appeared to be somewhat back on track finishing up in second and Ryan DeVos' Volpe took third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
As the Race Committee worked to get the second race underway, the breeze took a huge swing in direction and not in favor of the fleet start. The Race Committee had no other choice but to abandon the race/start and relocate once more in a general offshore direction. Goransson got off the line fast in the 8-10 knots of breeze with a slight chop. He lead the fleet around the track for the win. Carroll hung in to claim second and DeVos' Volpe took third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
For the start of final race of the day, the breeze was still unsettled. But, with a quick reset of the starting line, Race Three produced quite a traffic jam at the committee boat with several leaders getting caught up in the shuffle, Dalton DeVos and Goransson among them. 

Thanks to some quick thinking by DeVos' tactician Jonathan McKee, the Delta Team immediately found a right side hole at the start, port tacking out for some clean air. This one specific move put DeVos back out front at the top ahead of Tony Buckingham's Ngoni and Carroll. DeVos ran away with the lead, while Buckingham and Carroll battled for second, the two finishing respectively in second and third.

The final day of racing in St. Thomas will be nothing short of spectacular with more great racing expected on Sunday.

Top Five Results (after seven races, one discard)

1.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-2-3-[6]-1-5-1 = 13
2.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; [7]-4-1-3-6-2-3 = 19
3.) Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden; 3-5-2-4-5-1-[6] = 20
4.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; [8]-3-5-5-3-3-7 = 26
5.) Mark Plaxton/Richard Clarke, INTAC; 2-[9]-6-1-7-7-5 = 28

Joy Dunigan

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