Melges 20s revel in classic Biscayne Bay conditions
Published on March 12th, 2015
Miami, FL (March 12, 2015) – With near perfect conditions for the February Audi Melges 20 Winter Series event (Miami Winter Regatta), it was assumed that the Melges Rocks Regatta in March would not be able to deliver the same. After completing three races with 80 degree temps, warm water and a easterly 12-15 knots of breeze, it looks like the finale of the Winter Series may be the best yet.
No stranger to nice weather and flat brim hats, John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti jumped on the first race and grabbed a bullet, followed by Wes Whitmeyer’s Slingshot and Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello in third. With big breeze lines rumbling down the course from both the right and left sides, there were major changes in velocity and direction, but it was the left side of the course that proved to be the honey hole, and the teams that found clean lanes from the left did well.
Downwind it was a similar story as those who were able to extend to the corner benefited from solid pressure enjoying every second of the consistent planing conditions, while those who gybed out early found themselves fighting for clear air. Gomes Neto started well, and never looked back returning to his form from the Fall of 2014 when he was nearly untouchable. Young Liam Kilroy and his Wildman team grabbed second, Whitmeyer was third.
For the last and final race of the day, the right came more into play, and after completing more than half of the beat, the right side looked strong and several boats took advantage. However, just when it looked like the left was not going to pay it rang triple 7s and rewarded teams greatly that were able to fight and be left at the top.
Kilroy once again won the left side, led at the top mark and never looked back. Italian entry Dario Levi on Fremito D’Arja showed he was enjoying the sunshine and breeze grabbing second, followed by Russ Lucas’ hard-charging Shimmer team in third.
Continuing his stellar performances in both the Overall and Corinthian standings, Brian Hill’s Atlas (or B. Hill as most like to call him) is seated in the overall top 10 and commands the lead in the Corinthian division. At this point, his main concern is keeping enough sunscreen on his Canadian complexion.
Similar stellar conditions are forecast for Day 2, and it will be interesting to see if the teams behind Kilroy can find a bit of extra speed to provide more of a challenge.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY THING THAT IS CONSISTENT
With one day of racing complete, the 2015 Miami Winter Series ranking is intensifying as Michael Kiss on Bacio begins to close the gap, little-by-little on his great friend and fellow competitor, overall Series leader Marc Hollerbach on Fu. Kiss is now second, and after a really good day on the water Gomes Neto now moves into third. Alexis Michas on Midnight Blue and Jim Wilson’s Oleander are seated fourth and fifth overall going into Day 2. View The 2015 Miami Winter Series Ranking (After 2 Events and 3 Races).
Day One Standings (Top 10 of 33, 3 Races)
1.) John Kilroy/Bill Hardesty, Samba Pa Ti; 1-4-1 = 6
2.) Cesar Gomes Neto/John Bowden, Portobello; 3-1-6 = 10
3.) Wes Whitmyer Jr./Max Fraser, Slingshot; 2-3-7 = 12
4.) Michael Kiss/Mike Buckley, Bacio; 5-10-4 = 19
5.) Liam Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Wildman; 11-2-12 = 25
6.) Dario Levi/Niccolo Bianchi, Fremito D’Arja; 4-21-2 = 27
7.) Drew Weirda/Scott Nixon, Peshmerga; 12-12-8 = 32
8.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 13-9-11 = 33
9.) Brian Hill/John Goller, Atlas; 8-13-15 = 36
10.) Tom Kassberg/Pat Whitmarsh, Flygfisk; 9-14-13 = 36