Saturday, March 23, 2013

Young Gun Leads Melges 32 Rolex Regatta, Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI - Friday marked the opening day at the 40th Anniversary edition of the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
PRO Dave Brennan fired off four amazing windward/leeward races placing the youngest helmsman in the fleet, Dalton DeVos aboard Delta in first place overall, ahead by two points. In second place is Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden. Rounding out the top three is Jason Carroll on Argo.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Red hot off the starting line, DeVos launched off the pin end in Race One, establishing an almost immediate and impressive lead. In addition to having the hottest looking, smartly outfitted boat on the course, DeVos turned up the speed rounding the top mark in first with a comfortable lead.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
He held his own leaving an intense battle for second place to Goransson and Mark Plaxton's INTAC. While DeVos gradually put more space between himself and the fleet, Plaxton and Goransson fought aggressively, changing positions at every opportunity. DeVos finished in first, Plaxton took second place honors, while Goransson grabbed third.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Valentin Zavadnikov on Team Synergy took charge in Race Two, with DeVos hot on his heels. The difficult, very tricky light air and crazy current conditions took its toll on the fleet as Zavadnikov barely hung on to win. DeVos' Delta, who ended up settling for second, came inches within grabbing another bullet at the line. Dalton's older cousin, Ryan DeVos on Volpe came third.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Carroll came on strong in Race Three winning the start and landing himself ahead of the fleet at the top mark. Carroll was constantly challenged by Goransson, followed by DeVos' Delta throughout the race. But Carroll was lucky enough to catch all the right shifts enabling him to stay out front and win. Goransson came second, while DeVos finished third.

The final race of the day gave way to more steady, yet continued challenging breeze conditions in Great Bay. Tony Buckingham's Ngoni got out front early on, wrapping the top mark in first, just ahead of DeVos and Plaxton.

They were tight and the two fought for position fiercely throughout the remainder of the race. In the end, Plaxton claimed ownership of the race followed by Buckingham. Carroll cleaned up for third.

Racing will continue on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.

Top Five Results (after five races)

1. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-2-3-6=12
2. Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden; 3-5-2-4=14
3. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 7-4-1-3=15
4. Mark Plaxton/Richard Clarke, INTAC; 2-9-6-1=18
5. Tony Buckingham/Chris Nicholson, Ngoni; 4-7-7-2=20

Joy Dunigan

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