Illbruck’s Melges 32 Pinta Maintains Slim Lead at Acura Miami Grand Prix
7 March 2008
Miami Beach, Fla – Wet and wild! That was the story on a spectacular day off Miami Beach. High winds and heavy seas made for exciting yet challenging conditions on Day 2 of Acura Miami Grand Prix. Event director Peter Craig called for three races and PRO Dave Brennan delivered, giving competitors in all four classes quite a workout.
“It was awesome sailing, especially downwind. You get these boats surfing down those big waves and it’s fun, fast racing,” said John Kostecki, tactician aboard Melges 32 leader Pinta.
Southeast winds gusted to 25 knots while steep waves were as high as eight feet during Race 1, causing a bit of carnage on the course. Roxanne, the Melges 32 owned by Kip Meadows, sustained a broken spreader while two other entries in the sportboat class did not finish.
Pinta remained atop the Melges 32 class after posting a superb line of 1-3-2 yesterday. This is only Illbruck’s second regatta in the rapidly growing class and Kostecki’s initial appearance as tactician, but you would never know it by the results. Pinta has placed no worse than third in compiling a low score of 11, but is still just one point ahead of New Wave.
“Winning is not the issue for us. We are brand new to the class and still have a lot to learn,” said Illbruck, a resident of Munich, Germany. “I was surprised by how well the boats handled in these types of conditions. We were under control the whole time.”
New Wave, co-owned by Michael Carroll and Marty Kullman of Clearwater, Fla., won the last two races to keep the pressure on Pinta. Star, skippered by Jeff Ecklund of Ft. Lauderdale, lost points to the leaders despite a 4-2-4 score line yesterday.
“There were some big gains to be made out there today. Surfing the waves is a blast and provides plenty of opportunities to pass boats downwind,” Ecklund said.
Results, photos and news: http://www.premiere-racing.com
JOHN PAYNE PHOTO GALLERY NOW ONLINE!
John Payne is the photographer that brought us the beautiful photos from the 2007 Melges 32 Winter Tune-Up Regatta. Check out these great photos!
ABOUT 2008 ACURA MIAMI GRAND PRIX
March 6 – 9, 2008
Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of the Miami Grand Prix, Miami Race Week and the SORC for the previous 8 years. They are joined by supporting sponsors Mount Gay Rum (Official Rum) and SLAM (Official Technical Gear and Retailer).
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Thirty-five Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 7th year.
Learn more about the Industry Partners and the Program on the event web site.
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