Freides holds lead at Melges 20 Worlds
Published on October 5th, 2017
Newport, RI (October 5, 2017) – The second day of the 2017 Melges 20 World Championship again delivered a solid Sou’Wester for the 38-boat fleet to roll through three more races. After six races with a discard, Drew Freides with Morgan Reeser and Charlie Smythe have retained their lead, and despite a more mortal day of a 7-6-7, have grown their margin to nine points over Jim Kilroy’s team. Ten races are planned for October 4 to 7.
Daily report from Melges 20 class:
As sailors waited at Sail Newport for the morning announcement on the course location from PRO Peter ‘Luigi” Reggio, debates were waged on both sides; some sailors wanted to give their bodies and equipment a break and head north of the Newport Bridge for flat water, others wanted to take advantage of yet another day of Newport’s southwest breeze.
At 9 a.m., Reggio announced the seas were manageable and the wind was slightly less than Day One, and that all teams should proceed to course Alpha…it was time to go outside.
As the fleet blasted off the line to start Race Four, sailors quickly figured out that while the breeze direction was the same as the day before, Day Two had a new bag of tricks.
Longtime Melges 20 sailor Daniel Thielman and his team on KUAI have showed solid speed all week and they managed to pick some nice shifts and eek out a bullet over a hard charging Jim Wilson and his OLEANDER team. Grabbing 3rd place was the New Bedford Yacht Club team led by Caleb Armstrong on MOBY.
Drama was beginning to unfold as Wilson was mounting a charge to take the lead from overnight leader Drew Freides on PACIFIC YANKEE who impressively climbed back from a deep first windward mark to finish seventh.
After a small adjustment to the starting line to compensate for a pulsing left shift and one general recall, Race Five began. Despite the lefties, teams that were able to work the top right’s combination of stronger breeze and favorable ebb tide were able to make big gains.
Using his ample Melges 20 World Championship experience, John Kilroy on SAMBA PA TI put together a convincing race win followed by Igor Rytov’s RUSSIAN BOGATYRS. The younger Kilroy, Liam on WILDMAN, had an amazing first downwind going from 17th to third to finish on the podium.
With the fleet thinking that it was a race to the deep right corner up the first beat, the Sou’Wester threw a curveball and a big left shift descended after the start allowing those who extended straight off the line to dig into the leftie and find themselves in a good place at the top mark.
2016 Melges 32 World Champion Alessandro Rombelli on STIG had a great start and extended left to lead at the top mark followed by Armstrong and Alexis Michas on MIDNIGHT SUN.
In a heated race all around the track, Rombelli held on for the bullet with Michas in second and a hard charging CINGHIALE Team with Rob Wilber at the helm made a gain on the last downwind to grab third.
A happy Rombelli commented at the dock, “The last race, we managed another good start. We were faster upwind than the previous start, so we managed to sail to the mark in first position and held it until the end. It was very difficult today as the conditions were trickier than yesterday, but we sailed a great race.”
After two days of epic World Championship racing, Justin Quigg’s CHARACTER 2.0 extended his lead ever so slightly in the Corinthian division over Cesar Gomes Neto’s PORTOBELLO. Sweden’s Johannes Lind-Widestam on INTERMEZZO remains in third.
The forecast for tomorrow calls for a whole new scenario – light breeze. Already, there is a great deal of discussion about which course (inside or outside) the fleet might be racing on.
Day Two Results (Top 10 of 38; 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Pacific Yankee, USA300, Drew Freides – 1 -2 -2 - -6 -7 ; 18
2. Samba Pa Ti, USA13131, John Kilroy – 11 -3 -6 -6 -1 - ; 27
3. Oleander, USA250, James Wilson – 4 -1 -5 -2 - -17 ; 29
4. Nika, RUS309, Vladimir Prosikhin – 5 -6 - -4 -4 -12 ; 31
5. Kuai, USA7676, Daniel Thielman – 9 -4 -4 -1 -15 - ; 33
6. Wildman, USA311, Liam Kilroy – 7 -5 -12 -8 -3 - ; 35
7. Stig, ITA65, Alessandro Rombelli – 10 -9 -11 - -9 -1 ; 40
8. Raya, MON301, Matteo Marenghi Vaselli – 8 -11 - -9 -8 -6 ; 42
9. Russian Bogatyrs, RUS898, Igor Rytov – 2 -19 -3 -23 -2 - ; 49
10. Slingshot, USA217, Wes Whitmyer Jr – 6 -7 -8 -10 -18 - ; 49