Brazilian entry wins Melges 20 U.S. Nationals
Published on August 23rd, 2014
Newport, RI (August 23, 2014) – After an overcast, light and tough day yesterday, the skies cleared today allowing for a sunny, 10-15 knots of breeze from the Northeast for the final two races of the 2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport.
The team on Portobello consisting of owner/helm Cesar Gomes Neto, tactician Andre Forseca and John Bowden wasted no time in putting a stamp on this event to become the first non-U.S. team to claim the prestigious Audi Melges 20 National title. “I only got into the fleet about a year-and-a-half ago and it has been amazing to be a part of,” said the Miami-based Gomes Neto at the awards ceremony. “Many thanks to everyone who has helped us and supported us, most especially my crew.”
Making the long trek for the third and final day of racing north of the Newport Bridge to Halfway Rock, the fleet arrived and made their preparations for Race Seven in a series of Eight. PRO Bill Canfield started on time with the fleet splitting both right and left.
With the shifty Northeast breeze in pay, several teams were able to get in phase and sail fast to take control. Morgan Kiss on Baciami showed her college sailing prowess by leading at the top mark followed closely Gomes Neto and Jason Michas’ Midnight Blue. While Kiss did her best to hold off Gomes Neto, it was to no avail as they quickly overtook the lead on the first run and going on to win the race. Morgan digressed further with her father Michael catching up only to challenge her at the finish line. The Baciami team never let up taking second ahead of Bacio in third.
For the final race of the championship, the breeze ticked up slightly in the 11-15 range. Once again the fleet split left and right, and immediately after the start, it looked like the unthinkable might happen with Gomes Neto called OCS and having to re-round. With the fleet darting to the windward mark, Gomes Neto was deep, but just as he did throughout the Series, his consistent speed and solid tactics enabled him to claw back into the race passing boats at will to put the nail in the coffin with yet another bullet.
Final Standings (Top 5 of 15; 8 races, 1 discard)
1.) Cesar Gomes Neto/Andre Forseca, Portobello; -2-3-2-2-2-1-1 = 13
2.) Drew Weirda/Scott Nixon, W; 6-4-2-1-3--6-7 = 29
3.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 1-1-8-6-5--4-5 = 30
4.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendelblatt, Midnight Blue; 3--10-3-9-1-5-3 = 34
5.) Jim Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander; 5-3-1--11-3-8-9 = 40
Event website: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1164
Photos: (from left to right) Cesar Gomez Neto, John Bowden and Andre Forseca
Report by class media.