John Kilroy leads Melges 20 Worlds
Published on October 1st, 2015
San Francisco, CA (October 1, 2015) – After the opening day of the 2015 Audi Melges 20 World Championship was confounded yesterday by drizzly skies and no wind, today proved more inviting for the 39-boats on San Francisco Bay. After three races, defending champion John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti team sits atop the standings.
Patience was the initial call from PRO Bruce Golison, but by 2pm the winds were up to 15 knots, though the strategy was far from obvious for the star-studded tacticians in the fleet.
“It was hard to tell which way to go,” noted Bill Hardesty, tactician for Kilroy. “We just focused on going fast and sailing conservatively. We avoided a scare in the second race, rounding the first mark in 14th but finished 6th. We didn’t set out today to win any races, just trying to avoid the big scores.”
The Samba Pa Ti team is chased in the standings by Liam Kilroy, John’s 12-year old son, who won the second race and now sits second overall. “We are well aware of who is chasing us,” noted Hardesty. “They’re our training partner and they are very fast.”
Paul Currie’s Wild Deuces leads the Corinthian, all-amateur division after an initial three heats. Russia’s Oleg Evdokimenko and this team on Kotyara are currently seated second Corinthian overall. Jay Golison aboard Midlife Crisis is third after a great eleventh place finish in Race One.
Racing is scheduled on September 30 to October 3. Eleven races are planned, with one discard after six or more races.
John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti came on strong in the first race of the day for the win. Kilroy, from the very get-go, got ahead and extended at each turn of the marks. His next best competition was Bob Hughes’ Heartbreaker and Guido Miani’s Out of Reach. Miani was tenacious as Hughes attempted to shut him out at the final weather mark successfully securing second place. Hughes was third.
Julian Plante, the designated principle helmsman of Australian entry Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion, grabbed an impressive fourth place finish. At the final offset, Plante rounded in the teens but somehow found a right-side flyer that cleverly zipped him to the front of the fleet. Cesar Gomes Neto’s Portobello rounded out the top five.
Race Two went to twelve-year old Liam Kilroy on Wildman. After a thirteenth in Race One, the younger Kilroy sailed well, holding off reigning Melges 32 World Champion Alessandro Rombelli on STIG and Gomes Neto. A solid second-place finish for Gomes Neto allowed him to tie things up even with John Kilroy in the overall standings after two races. Rombelli was third. Drew Weirda’s Merga had a great race finishing fourth ahead of Michael Illbruck’s Pinta in fifth.
The last race of the day demanded every last drop of endurance and stamina from the teams. Winner Drew Freides aboard Pacific Yankee made it look easy. Staking his position early, out on the right, it was a wire-to-wire win. Jim Wilson’s Oleander got off the starting line well, finding himself battling in the top tier to take a very satisfying second place finish in Race Three. The senior Kilroy finished third, followed by Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, Jr. and Miani finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Current Results (Top 10 of 39; 3 races)
1. Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy , USA – 1 -6 -3 ; 10
2. WildMan, Liam Kilroy , USA – 13 -1 -6 ; 20
3. STIG, Alessandro Rombelli , ITA – 10 -3 -8 ; 21
4. Portobello, Cesar Gomes Neto , BRA – 5 -2 -16 ; 23
5. Mascalzone Latino jr., Achille Onorato , ITA – 6 -13 -4 ; 23
6. Pacific Yankee, Drew Freides , USA – 18 -8 -1 ; 27
7. Out of Reach, Guido Miani , MON – 2 -22 -5 ; 29
8. Oleander, James Wilson , USA – 9 -25 -2 ; 36
9. Pinta, Michael Illbruck , GER – 16 -5 -15 ; 36
10. Grinning Streak, Rhonda Joyce , CAN – 14 -11 -12 ; 37
Photos: ©2015 JOY | International Audi Melges 20 Class Association