Kilroy was here, barely, to win Melges 20 North Americans

Published on October 5th, 2014

San Francisco, CA (October 5, 2014) – Reigning Melges 20 World Champion John Kilroy never lost sight of the prize at the Melges 20 North Americans, winning half of the eight races during the three day event to take the title with crew Paul Goodison and Jeff Reynolds. Finishing second, 15 points back, was Michael Kiss who beat Cesar Gomes Neto in third on countback. Finishing 18th was Doug Wilhelm, who was the lone entry in the Corinthian division.

Additional report by class media…
Continuing with the trend of making bold, accurate calls throughout the weekend, PRO Bruce Golison sent the Audi Melges 20 fleet out for a noon start with two races scheduled to determine the 2014 North American Champion, along with the top ten which was anything but settled.

As if on cue, once to the starting area in the Berkeley Circle, the breeze built from 270 degrees and allowed for another perfect day of sailing with 9-14 knots of wind. Audi Melges 20s really come into their own in this condition with settled upwind sailing, and easy, fast planing downwind. It is tough to put into words how perfect the conditions were, and with the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island as the backdrop, it made for some truly memorable racing.

With only Cesar Gomes Neto’s Portobello and Michael Kiss’ Bacio having a shot to displace John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti from winning the event, it did not take long for Kilroy and his team to squash any hopes of last day drama as they went out and finished second in the first race, sealing the win with a race to spare. Finishing second overall never felt so good as the bullet went to the younger Kilroy, Liam on Wildman who won his first ever Audi Melges 20 race and had a shot to get fourth in the event.

Kilroy was able to sail a victory lap in the last race, but there was still plenty of drama in the middle of the fleet as essentially every finishing spot was still up for grabs in the final standings. Jim Wilson’s Oleander team needed to have a solid last race to fend off a push from the Liam Kilroy and Richard Davies’ Section 16, while both Kiss and Gomes Neto had to avoid tough races to hang onto their podium finishes. In the end, the two would tie and have their places determined by a count back, while Wilson was able to take a second in the last race and solidify his fourth place overall finish. Taking second place on the day and sliding into fifth overall was Liam Kilroy and a very excited Wildman team.

Hailing from San Francisco, Doug Wilhem and his Wilco team improved a ton over the weekend and took home the Corinthian honors and will be a team to watch as the Corinthian World Championship title will be decided on these same waters in October of 2015. From here, the Audi Melges 20 fleet takes a small break from its World Tour to regroup and set the stage for what will be a heated winter series in Biscayne Bay. With years of experience of hosting the winter series, the Coconut Grove Yacht Club is teed up again for another successful season of winter sailing.

Final results (21 boats; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy , USA – 1 -1 -2 -2 -1 -[4] -2 -1 ; 10
2. Bacio, Michael Kiss , USA – 8 -2 -3 -1 -[10] -1 -7 -3 ; 25
3. Portobello, Cesar Gomes Neto , USA – [7] -4 -1 -3 -7 -3 -3 -4 ; 25
4. oleander, James Wilson , USA – 5 -5 -[8] -8 -2 -5 -5 -2 ; 32
5. Wildman, Liam Kilroy , USA – 6 -[15] -12 -6 -6 -2 -1 -5 ; 38
6. Section 16, Richard Davies , USA – 4 -[13] -9 -4 -3 -7 -8 -6 ; 41
7. Midnight Blue, Alexis Michas , USA – 2 -3 -5 -[15] -5 -14 -10 -7 ; 46
8. Fu, Marc Hollerbach , USA – 9 -6 -[11] -5 -9 -10 -4 -10 ; 53
9. Bombarda racing , Andrea Pozzi , ITA – 10 -9 -4 -12 -8 -[22] -6 -12 ; 61
10. Cinghiale, Robert Wilber , USA – 3 -10 -10 -9 -12 -9 -[15] -13 ; 66
11. Makaira, Skip Shapiro , USA – 12 -11 -16 -7 -4 -12 -12 -[17] ; 74
12. Funner, Sid Gorham , USA – 15 -[17] -7 -13 -13 -8 -11 -8 ; 75
13. Flannel, Mike Keefe , USA – 11 -8 -13 -16 -[18] -13 -9 -11 ; 81
14. Kuai, Daniel Thielman , USA – 13 -14 -6 -11 -15 -[17] -13 -14 ; 86
15. Flygfisk, Tom Kassberg , USA – 14 -7 -15 -14 -11 -11 -[20] -15 ; 87
16. Slingshot, Wes Whitmyer Jr , USA – 16 -[19] -18 -10 -14 -6 -16 -9 ; 89
17. Le Rescator, Erwan le Gall , USA – [20] -12 -17 -18 -16 -19 -17 -20 ; 119
18. Wilco, Doug Wilhelm , USA – 17 -18 -[19] -17 -19 -15 -18 -18 ; 122
19. Manatea 20, Bob Hayward , USA – 19 -[20] -20 -19 -20 -16 -14 -16 ; 124
20. Problem Child, Elliott James , USA – 18 -16 -[20] -20 -17 -18 -19 -19 ; 127
21. BLAST!, Roland Vandermeer , USA – [22] -22 -22 -22 -22 -22 -22 -22 ; 154

Event details

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