Melges 20: Kilroy rocks, Hollerbach rolls

Published on March 14th, 2015

Miami, FL (March 14, 2015) – The globe turns, the sun rises, and on Biscayne Bay at the Melges Rocks Regatta hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, the wind pumps from the East at 12-18 knots under 80 degrees with sunshine. While this statement is not fully supported by the Farmer’s Alamanac or The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore’, it proves accurate for the 33-strong Audi Melges 20 teams who were treated to near perfect conditions on each day of the third and final 2015 Audi Melges 20 Winter Series event.

After the dust cleared from a high energy Melges Rocks Party (and even more questionable dance moves), PRO Blake Middleton did a great job of banging off two well-run races that allowed for a high quality racing experience. An insane amount of generous, hard working volunteers assisted in the effort, and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club again proved it is one of the best places in North America to host an event.

With a logjam at the front of the Winter Series and tight at the top of the overall and Corinthian standings, everything was up for grabs with plenty of good banter between teams looking to gain any sort of mental advantage and a leapfrog their team ahead.

John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti maintained their blistering pace to grab a 2-4 and win the event overall in impressive fashion. But the story of the day was the younger Kilroy, Liam on Wildman who posted a 1-3 passing his father on the final run of the last race and grabbing third overall and now might have the upper hand in staging a coup to grab “Dad’s Chair” at the next family movie night. Maintaining a steady hand throughout the winter series, Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello showed some great speed, boathandling and tactics to secure 2nd overall.

After having been labeled the Matriarch of the fleet, Karen Hollerbach watched her husband Marc and the Fu team sail yet another solid event and duke it out with several teams for the overall series, including fellow Michigander Michael Kiss and his team on Bacio. Hollerbach battled for a second in the final race, securing sixth overall in the regatta and winning the series outright, while Kiss sailed another great event to grab second overall followed by Gomes Neto in 3rd.

Tied for fifth in the Winter series standings heading into the day, longtime friends Jim Wilson on Oleander and Alexis Michas on Midnight Blue who originally met in business school in 1982, battled around the track with Wilson taking a bullet in final race and fourth in the series standings for some short term bragging rights, Michas followed in fifth..

Corinthian stalwart Brian Hill made a push for a Corinthian event win, Corinthian Series win, and a top ten overall finish, he once again showed his team of tactician Adam Burns and John Goller were able to lock horns with the best teams in the fleet and stand their own. After taking all three titles, after five stellar years in the class, Hill tipped his hat to his “idols” that he has been able to race against and a heartfelt thank you to his teammates who helped make it possible.

As the fleet marches on to the Worlds in San Francisco in the fall of 2015, the next stop is the US National Championship during the highly popular Charleston Race Week.

Report by class media.

Editor’s note: We thought dad beats son would be too provocative a headline, but maybe it should have been woman beats man. Going into the last race, Liam Kilroy’s Wildman team were in fourth overall, one point behind Stig in third. Liam’s crew included Stephanie Roble, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, while Stig had Terry Hutchinson, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. The two teams were neck and neck in the race, but split half way up the second beat as Stephanie saw more wind left. Wildman came out ahead, tacked on Stig to push them back some at the top, and then extended downwind to get third to their ninth, moving Wildman up to third overall. Yachtswoman comes out on top!

Final Standings (Top 10 of 33; 8 races, 1 discard)
1.) John Kilroy/Bill Hardesty, Samba Pa Ti; 1-[4]-1-2-3-1-2-4 = 14
2.) Cesar Gomes Neto/John Bowden, Portobello; 3-1-6-[21]-2-7-6-11 = 36
3.) Liam Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Wildman; 11-2-[12]-7-7-6-1-3 = 37
4.) Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; [27]-8-5-13-1-2-4-9 = 42
5.) Michael Kiss/Mike Buckley, Bacio; 5-10-4-1-11-[29/ZFP]-7-8 = 46
6.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; [13]-9-11-3-9-9-3-2 = 46
7.) Wes Whitmyer Jr./Max Fraser, Slingshot; 2-3-7-12-[17]-4-10-12 = 50
8.) Jim Wilson/Jeremy Wilmot, Oleander; [21]-5-14-15-19-5-17-1 = 76
9.) Daniel Thielman/Seadon Wijsen, Kuai; 7-[27]-23-8-15-10-9-7 = 79
10.) Brian Hill/Adam Burns, Atlas; 8-13-15-9-16-8-[18]-13 = 82

Corinthian Results (Top 3 of 6; 8 races, 1 discard)
1.) Brian Hill, Atlas = 82 pts.
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel = 133 pts.
3.) Elizabeth Harned, Windhover = 165 pts.

Event detailsEvent resultsWinter Series results


2015 Audi Melges 20 Melges Rocks Champions, Samba Pa Ti — (From left to right: Jeff Reynolds, Helm John Kilroy, Jr. and tactician Bill Hardesty)


2015 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Champions, Fu — (From left to right: Ben Allen, helm Marc Hollerbach, tactician Jonathan McKee)


2015 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Corinthian Champions, Atlas — (From left to right: tactician Adam Burns, helm Brian Hill and John Goller)

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