March 29, 2017 - Adelaide, Australia - Story by Marc Ablett, DownUnderSail - Dave Alexander and crew sailed their way to a dominating overall victory after the second leg of the Vostok Europe Melges 24 Regatta at Adelaide Sailing Club earlier this month (March 17-19), winning the final six races of the event.
Alexander missed the opening weekend of the series, however luckily for him only two races were able to be sailed in the first leg due to weather.
Peter Royle, Dave Alexander, Dale Geddes and Marc Ablett - photo Ally Graham
The forecast for the final leg of the regatta was not looking promising for the final day, but after a short postponement racing got underway just after the scheduled 11am start time in what were light northwesterly conditions.
Heading into the final day, Doug Watson’s Rank Bajin, Dan O’Connell’s Kowabunga and Ken Abbott’s Vostok Europe were all capable of taking out the overall title – as well as a beautiful Vostok Europe watch – however Alexander’s form looked to be too strong.
Although the pressure was up and down, the direction was surprisingly stable with no massive shifts disrupting the racing, and as the wind clocked left all day the fleet sailed the final two races in wind just to the right of the usual sea breeze direction.
It was close racing in the Vostok Europe Melges 24 Series. - photo Ally Graham
Credit must go to the race committee of Mike Rogers and Malcolm Hughes for continually tweaking the course to allow for such great racing.
Although Alexander won all races, the competition between the boats was fierce with every boat tasting the lead at some stage.
Alexander’s overall dominance however could be attributed to good starts, however the final race was the best for overall competition, with Abbott just leading around the top mark the first time with only 10 seconds separating the four boats in the fleet.
Dave Alexander swept up the Vostok Europe Melges 24 series by winning the last six races of the event. Photo - Ally Graham
Alexander was out the back in fourth, which put his overall win in doubt, but he clawed back down the run to round in second behind Vostok, before sailing his own course out to the right while the majority of the fleet went left.
He picked a great shift and took himself into the lead heading down the final run while continuously under pressure from Watson on Rank Bajin.
It was a fantastic effort by Alexander to win all six races over the weekend to claim the overall regatta despite not sailing the first leg in November.
Full results can be found HERE
Source: Down Under Sail