Down To The Wire — Ryan DeVos Wins East Coast Championship


Sunday leaving Ryan DeVos on Volpe with winning America’s Cup helmsman Ed Baird as tactician and crew of Scott Nixon, Sam Rogers, Mike Hill, Drew Weirda and Scott Martins as 2012 Melges 32 East Coast Champions. In second overall, Jason Carroll on Argo finished with equal points, yet lost the tiebreaker to DeVos. From Italy, Lanfranco Cirillo’s Fantastica remained in the hunt all day to finish third overall.

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The 2012 East Coast Championship was graciously hosted by the Sailfish Club of Florida in conjunction with Rybovich Marina, consisting of eight races over three days.

Sunday marked the final showdown with only five points separating the overnight leaders. The first race was key as DeVos came on strong, loving the big 18-20 knots of breeze, most notably on the last downwind run to win. John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti led for most of the race, but was overtaken right at the line by DeVos. Mark Plaxton’s INTAC had a great race to finish third and Cirillo was fourth. Carroll, who was OCS at the start recovered well to take fifth.

The last race brought on rain showers and a building breeze. Big waves made for great planing conditions downwind. Plaxton took an early lead only to be overtaken by Alec Cutler on Hedgehog late in the game. Cutler found just the right groove in Race Two commanding the lead at the final top mark to extend for the win. DeVos was fast upwind, rounding second, chasing Cutler to the finish. They finished first and second, while Carroll grabbed third ahead of Kilroy in fourth and Cirillo in fifth.

This is the first time the fleet has ever raced in West Palm Beach and there are many individuals to thank. In particular, the IM32CA thanks the 16 teams that traveled from all over the world making it a successful event. Palm Beach conditions proved to be a challenging place to sail. The IM32CA is appreciative of PRO Hank Stuart, Deputy PRO Paul Gingras and his entire Sailfish Club of Florida Race Committee Members and support staff.

The 2012 Melges 32 East Coast Championship would not have been possible if it were not for the kindness and generosity of John Taylor and Bill Koch for the use of their boats for Race Committee duty, but also to Ninkasi Racing for providing the much needed complimentary beer apres racing each day. Thanks to Samba Pa Ti, Volpe and Delta Racing Teams for the use of their marks, equipment and ground tackle during the event. The staff at Rybovich Marina was incredible, most especially to the impeccable hospitality of Wayne Huizenga, Jr. and Anthony LaCavalla.

A very special thanks is extended to the Palm Beach Sailing Club for hosting the Friday night barbeque that was much enjoyed by all the teams.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL, After eight races)
1.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 1-[14]-2-11-9-2-1-2 = 28
2.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 5-3-[14]-1-10-1-5-3 = 28
3.) Lanfranco Cirillo, Fantastica; 2-5-[16]-5-6-5-4-5 = 32
4.) Mark Plaxton, INTAC; 8-1-13-7.5/RDG-8-[14]-3-6 = 45.6
5.) Steve Rhyne, Mojo; 4-12-[13/ZFP]-7-1-3-[15]-10 = 50
6.) John Taylor, Ninkasi; 6-4-9/ZFP-5.5/RDG-3-[15]-10-12 = 51.3
7.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 12-2-3-3-[14]-12-9-11 = 52
8.) Alec Cutler, Hedgehog; [16/ZFP]-13-12/ZFP-4-2-10-11-1 = 53
9.) Pieter Taselaar, Bliksem; 9-[17/RAF]-1-2-11-16-7-7 = 53
10.) Joel Ronning, Catapult; 7-6-15/ZFP-9.3/RDG-9.3/RDG-9.3/RDG-6-9 = 55.9

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