Spotlight on San Francisco Bay turns to Melges 20

Published on October 2nd, 2014

San Francisco, CA (October 2, 2014) – With several storylines brewing prior to the Audi Melges 20 North American Championship on October 3-5, the buzz in the fleet is the current wave that Cesar Gomes Neto and his Portobello team is riding. Racking up wins across North America including the U.S. Nationals, Canadian National Championship and most recently the Pacific Coast Championship, Gomes Neto has remained unfazed.

However, Gomes Neto is heading into their biggest challenge yet with a stacked fleet this coming weekend on San Francisco Bay. Despite John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti holding the current world title and racing on his home waters, a Portobello win would solidify Gomes Neto’s claim as the toughest team to beat in North America headed into the 2015 Miami Winter Series.

Based out of the well polished, relaxed and racing oriented San Francisco Yacht Club, twenty-one Audi Melges 20 teams are ready to lock horns and do their best to slow Gomes Neto down, or at the very least, require him to compete in the last race to secure an overall win, something he has not had to do with the benefit of a throw out for the past two events. More impressive yet is that he continues to win while sailing with a new tactician in the past three events. With reliable bow/trimmer John Bowden keeping it real on the front of the boat, Gomes Neto has managed to have several talented sailors help call the shots, with Scott Nixon taking the reigns this weekend.

Standing in Gomes Neto’s way are familiar world class pro and amateur Audi Melges 20 teams who are chomping at the bit to end his run, along with several newcomers on the West Coast making their first appearances at the Audi Melges 20 PCC’s last weekend. Across the Atlantic from Italy is current RC44 and former Melges 32 owner Andrea Pozzi on Bombarda, who along with the rest of the fleet is hoping to learn some valuable lessons in preparation for the 2015 Worlds Championship set to take place in San Francisco Bay this time next year.

Eight races are scheduled on Berkley Circle where conditions provide for tight crosses, windward mark jam ups that shuffle the fleet, and awesome rides downwind with teams leap frogging each other as they blast into the gates. By Sunday, the conclusion will either break the regatta win streak of Gomes Neto, or have to stand as one and proclaim, “Hail Cesar.”

1.) Michael Kiss/Mike Buckley, Bacio
2.) Roland Vandermeer, BLAST!
3.) Andrea Pozzi/Lorenzo Bressani, Bombarda
4.) Rob Wilber/Anthony Kotoun, Cinghiale
5.) Mike Keefe, Flannel
6.) Tom Kassberg/Cameron McCloskey, Flygfisk
7.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu
8.) Sid Gorham/Dan Morris , Funner
9.) Daniel Thielman/Seadon Wijsen, Kuai
10.) Erwan Le Gall, Le Rescator
11.) Skip Shapiro/Trevor Baylis , Makaira
12.) Bob Hayward/Phil Toth, Manatea 20
13.) Alexis Michas/Mark Mendleblatt, Midnight Blue
14.) Jim Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander
15.) Cesar Gomes Neto/Scott Nixon, Portobello
16.) Elliot James, Problem Child
17.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16
18.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti
19.) Wes Whitmyer/Max Fraser, Slingshot
20.) Doug Wilheim, Wilco
21.) Liam Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Wildman

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