DAY 3 - MELGES 24 CLASS - YACHTING KEY WEST RACE WEEK
Another light airs day at Yachting Key West Race Week saw Morgan Reeser consolidate his overall lead after the fifth Melges 24 race.
The race was lead from the first mark by Tony Wattson, who made a brilliant first beat then successfully defended his position right round the course. The only person near Wattson at the first mark was Argyle Campbell who chased hard all the way round the course but was never quite able to make up the ground.
Harry Melges had another good race although he had to work hard for his eventual 3rd place just sliding ahead of Zarko Draganic on the finish line. Resser continued to show incredible consistency finishing in fifth while Brian Porter, Paula Zubrzycki and David Ullman all had a bad day finishing up 15th, 16th and 17th respectively.
Mike Budd did very well to recover from a fourth row start to take 10th place taking him up in the overall standings to 4th, behind Reeser 1st , Melges 2nd and Porter 3rd.
For a while it looked as if the race committee would consider a second race but fortunately common sense prevailed after half an hour spent watching the breeze drop even further and the boats were sent home.
With just two more races to go the fleet is still wide open and with more light and shifty conditions forecast it looks certain that it will go right down to the final (8th) race.
Dockside comment from Mike Budd (top European and 4th overall) after the fifth race.
"We had a terrible start but we've got reasonable speed and after yesterday's disaster in the fourth race we just wanted to go up the middle and keep our heads out of the boat to look for anything major as it happened rather than three minutes after it happened which is what occurred yesterday. That kept us fairly conservative in the middle of the course and we didn't go too far wrong. I thought Morgan Reeser was sailing very fast and I thought Brian Porter was unlucky. I thought he went to the correct leeward mark which gave him clear wind on the way out but it left him no option of coming back when the wind clocked round fifteen degrees to the left. Basically it was just a light and sh*! day!"