John Kilroy repeats as Melges 20 World Champion
Published on October 3rd, 2015
San Francisco, CA (October 3, 2015) – It was a dramatic final day in San Francisco at the 2015 Audi Melges 20 World Championship hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club (SFYC). John Kilroy, Jr. aboard Samba Pa Ti has won his second, consecutive title. With the win, double success is also extended to crew member Jeff Reynolds, and Bill Hardesty who becomes a two-time Melges 20 World Champion tactician.
The final day of Worlds in San Francisco culminated in two final races that were absolute knock-down drag outs, literally for some. Early forecasts predicted the breeze would get bigger as the day went on, the real question was of course how quickly, if and when would it reach the Class’ wind speed maximum.
Race Seven was won by Kilroy, securing his World Championship title. Corrado Agusta’s Customly proved that he and his team were still in the groove with a successful first race of the day to take second. Drew Weirda’s Merga had a great race to finish third.
For the final heat of the World Championship series. Under sunshine and 18-20 knots, Gomes Neto made it count, getting out front for the win. The top mark roundings and downwind runs were sheer entertainment as some teams were hit hard on the gybe sets allowing for other teams to unexpectedly advance. Freides recovered from a disappointing thirty-fourth in Race Seven to finish second. Miani was third.
At the awards ceremony, Kilroy gave a heart-warming speech about his team and how Liam, came to sail in the Audi Melges 20 Class. “This is such an amazing class. This is the smallest boat I have ever sailed and I never thought I was going to be in this class for more than a year,” said a very emotional Kilroy. “It is such a great honor to be here, before you all – as an owner, as a family. And, I thank you for accepting Liam. I thank everyone in this room. I thank you for being the wonderful people that you are. This class is special. I salute you.”
In second overall, Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello had a fantastic event. “I like a lot of breeze. Believe it or not, it keeps me calm. The light air makes me nervous,” said Gomes Neto at the awards ceremony. “It was a lot of fun. This is such a nice class. So many great sailors. I just love this. I wish I knew how fast we were going today, but there was so much water downwind coming over the boat.”
Liam Kilroy on Wildman came away from the Worlds with a third place trophy, followed by Guido Miani on Out of Reach finishing the event in fourth. It was a very proud day for Jim Wilson and his Oleander team as they rounded out the top five.
In the all-amateur team division, Oleg Evdokimenko on Kotyara with Aleksander Andrianov and Kontstantin Besputin are newly crowned Corinthian World Champions. “The racing was amazing this week and we were so happy to be racing in San Francisco,” said Konstantin Besputin, Corinthian World Champion crew member. “This was a great place to have a Worlds, racing against the very best sailors. This win was a great step for us as a team.”
Paul Currie at the helm of Wild Deuces with Justin Barnes and David Mori from Canada completed the event in second overall. Jay Golison driving Midlife Crisis with crew members Steve Flam and Keiran Searle were third.
Racing was scheduled on September 30 to October 3. Eleven races were planned, with one discard after six or more races.
Photo: Winners (from left) Liam Kilroy, Cesar Gomes Neto, John Kilroy
Final Standings (Top 10 of 39; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy , USA – 1 -6 -3 -2 -4 -1 -1 - ; 18
2. Portobello, Cesar Gomes Neto , BRA – 5 -2 - -6 -6 -5 -6 -1 ; 31
3. WildMan, Liam Kilroy , USA –  -1 -6 -1 -1 -8 -9 -6 ; 32
4. Out of Reach, Guido Miani , MON – 2 - -5 -10 -2 -4 -15 -3 ; 41
5. Oleander, James Wilson , USA – 9 - -2 -4 -9 -6 -11 -5 ; 46
6. Pacific Yankee, Drew Freides , USA – 18 -8 -1 -5 -3 -10 - -2 ; 47
7. Customly, Corrado Agusta , MON –  -9 -21 -8 -7 -2 -2 -9 ; 58
8. STIG, Alessandro Rombelli , ITA – 10 -3 -8 - -11 -21 -10 -4 ; 67
9. Mascalzone Latino jr., Achille Onorato , ITA – 6 -13 -4 - -18 -9 -8 -11 ; 69
10. Shimmer, Brian Porter , USA –  -18 -11 -3 -12 -12 -7 -7 ; 70