Ft. Lauderdale – The sun finally arrived on Day Three of the 2015 Melges 32 National Championship hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and Bahia Mar Marina, and along with it breeze out of the Northeast at 18-23 kts and 6-8 ft seas to cap a wet, yet stellar weekend of racing. A sentinel race committee boat was deployed to confirm that conditions weren’t too gnarly, and once the thumbs up was given, the Melges 32 fleet put on their chin straps and made way to the racing area, taking notes from lessons learned from a humbling Day Two and applying it to the final day of racing.
In typical efficient fashion, PRO Clyde Wright set a square 1.3 nm course and started Race Seven on time. Minimizing tacks was a priority for most teams as one bad wave during a maneuver could be very costly, thus the fleet had a defined split in those going left and right.
Unlike the second day of racing where the top left consistently paid, there were plenty of shifts and after getting flushed on the start, Jason Carroll’s Argo Team was able to jag a nice righty and lead at the first top mark followed closely by Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-Spot and Richard Goransson’s Inga from Sweden. Like a school of flying fish, the top five boats stayed tight after the first lap and di Lapigio jumped into the passing lane at the next top mark and surfed to the victory in the first race of the day. Charging hard right behind was Ryan DeVos’ Volpe who passed three boats on the final run and Carroll in third.
With the regatta victory secured, Carroll and team decided preserving their equipment was the prudent decision and took a victory sail into the Bahia Mar. The fleet again started quickly with similar conditions and with five teams separated by single digit points, the podium was anything but decided.
Goransson showed stellar speed in the final race of the Championship taking the bullet followed by a resilient Dick DeVos on Delta and di Lapigio. After dropping a few boats throughout the race, Ryan DeVos finished a tough fifth place finishing third overall. Di Lapigio happily claimed second in the event.