Kilroy remains in control at Melges 20 North Americans

Published on October 4th, 2014

San Francisco, CA (October 4, 2014) – It was more of the same on the second day of the Melges 20 North Americans, with reigning World Champion John Kilroy winning the day with a 2-1-4 to remain in the lead over the 21 teams. Michael Kiss moved up to second overall after winning two of the races (1-10-1), while Cesar Gomes Neto held position in third. Racing concludes Sunday. Event details.

Report by class media…
With a leisurely 12:30 p.m. start time allowing for some much needed rest and late breakfasts at the popular New Morning Café in Tiburon, the Audi Melges 20 fleet was feeling relaxed and fresh in preparation for a possible four-race race day. After a quick look on the bay, the only action on the water were the harbor seals poking their heads on the surface looking to get a glimpse of the Race Committee and race boats staying at the dock waiting for raceable wind.

Unusually warm temps again stifled any sort of thermal that the bay area is well known for and continuing with solid calls, PRO Bruce Golison sent the fleet out in an all-or-nothing attempt to see what might develop around noon. What looked like another light northerly quickly clocked to the preferred 270 direction and saw a steady build allowing for three stellar late afternoon races.

In the first race of the day, Race Four in a scheduled series of eight, it was Michael Kiss’s Bacio winning the pin end of the starting line, taking full advantage of the left side as it was heavily favored throughout the day to lead from wire to wire nabbing the win. As the day progressed, a building but steady breeze in the 13-15 knot range with a strong flood current gave the right side of the course a decided advantage. With a strong pin favored line in Races Two and Three, the boats that were able to resist the temptation to win the pin and get on port tack early to the right side of the course, which ultimately would paid off later up the beat.

John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti claimed Race Five to come within another top 5 finish to clinch the North American title, while Michael Kiss “bookendend” the day with another bullet in Race Six to slide into second overall. The most impressive performance of the day however was Skip Shapiro and his Makaira team who battled well in Races Five and Six showed solid boatspeed and tactics both upwind and down to nab a 7, 4 and slide into 11th overall.

Two scheduled races remain and with another relaxed start time of 12 pm slated for Day Three. Mother nature will have to cooperate with another solid set of conditions to allow for eight races. To this point in the regatta, the conditions, race management and post sailing social sessions at the San Francisco Yacht Club have been first class, and very deserving of a World Championship one year from now. If only the harbor seals can help provide some stellar conditions on Day Three, the Audi Melges 20 fleet should be in good hands.

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