Ronstan

Melges 20: Kilroys Go 1-2 in Miami

Published on December 13th, 2015

Hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, the 2015-16 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series got underway December 11-13 on Biscayne Bay. Twenty-one teams completed eight races, with young Liam Kilroy taking the lead on day two and holding off his dad John Kilroy on day three to take the first of the three event series.

Report from Melges 20 class:
The first Melges 20 Miami Winter Series (MWS) event is complete and after a truly great weekend of racing with epic conditions on Biscayne Bay.

With only a one point gap between overnight leader Liam Kilroy on Wildman and fleet veteran Jim Wilson’s Oleander, the stage was set for a showdown on Sunday in big-breeze, squally conditions. Just behind Wilson was a strong arsenal of experienced teams including Drew Freides’ Pacific Yankee, World Championship second-place runner up Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello and the always relentless, double World Champion John Kilroy Jr. on Samba Pa Ti.

As PRO Blake Middleton confirmed the conditions were under class maximums of sustained 23 knots and gusts to 25, the fleet headed to south portion of Biscayne bay for the final two races.

Shaking off a tough start near the pin, the elder Kilroy found his mojo upwind, carving his way up the first beat to grab the lead at the top mark. He never looked back. A sizable squall on the second upwind beat reeled in some fresh pressure as longtime Melges sailor Paul Reilly and his Red Sky Team charged through the fleet to finish second with the blazing Brazilian Gomes Neto taking third.

In the overall standings, Liam Kilroy and Wilson did some shadow boxing around the course with Liam finishing in front of Wilson, the two placing fifth and sixth respectively.

Heading into the final race, Liam had a two point lead over Wilson, with his father looming only four points back.
For the first time this weekend, those who dug deep into the left corner were finally rewarded with a sizable shift containing fresh pressure. Showing great patience and leading the pack from the left, was Jason Michas on Midnight Blue. But it was young Liam who stole the show (with his crew of tactician Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain and 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble), as he worked the right middle eventually holding off his dad finishing first and second. Coming in third with his hair on fire was outgoing Melges 20 Class Pres Rob Wilber on the mighty Cinghiale.

It was a truly impressive performance by the young Kilroy and a well deserved victory.

CORINTHIAN KINGS
Getting off to an impressive start with a 1-1-2, brothers Bruce and Jay Golison on Midlife Crisis, along with teammate Riley Gibbs came tenth overall. Their top ten finish was well enough to take the 2015 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, Act 1 Corinthian title.

Current Standings (Top 10 of 21; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. WildMan, Liam Kilroy , USA – [8] -2 -6 -4 -1 -1 -5 -1 ; 20
2. Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy , USA – [15] -8 -7 -2 -2 -3 -1 -2 ; 25
3. Oleander, James Wilson , USA – 2 -4 -1 -3 -[9] -5 -6 -7 ; 28
4. Pacific Yankee, Drew Freides , USA – 7 -3 -[10] -1 -7 -4 -7 -6 ; 35
5. Portobello, Cesar Gomes Neto , USA – 3 -[14] -9 -5 -3 -6 -3 -12 ; 41
6. Red Sky Sailing Team, Paul Reilly , USA – 9 -5 -[11] -6 -4 -8 -2 -8 ; 42
7. Midnight Blue, Jason Michas , USA – 5 -7 -[14] -8 -14 -7 -4 -4 ; 49
8. Cinghiale, Robert Wilber , USA – 6 -9 -4 -10 -[16] -10 -8 -3 ; 50
9. Kuai, Daniel Thielman , USA – 10 -10 -[13] -11 -6 -2 -13 -10 ; 62
10. Midlife Crisis, Jay Golison , USA – 1 -1 -2 -13 -12 -[18] -18 -18 ; 65

Event websiteScoreboardFacebook

2015-16 MIAMI WINTER SERIES – COCONUT GROVE SAILING CLUB
EVENT NO. 1, SERIES OPENER: December 11-13, 2015
EVENT NO. 2, MIAMI WINTER REGATTA: February 5-7, 2016
EVENT NO. 3, MELGES ROCKS REGATTA: March 4-6, 2016

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