Michael Illbruck Wins Melges 20 World Championship

Published on August 28th, 2016

Scarlino, Italy (August 28, 2016) – The final day of competition at the Melges 20 World Championship came to a dramatic finish with two races that saw Michael Illbruck (GER) on Pinta with tactician John Kostecki and crew Federico Michetti close strong to take the 2016 title.

The final round of racing began with Illbruck and American Drew Freides (USA) on Pacific Yankee with Morgan Reeser calling tactics and Charlie Smythe on the bow, separated by only three points, advantage Freides. Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking.

With less than a minute to the start, Illbruck and Freides appeared to be over the line. Illbruck, however, got away to the best pressured side, focusing mainly on the right in favor of a wind shift halfway up the course. Freides went left with his luck running out when he needed it most. His final race result was his second disappointing finish of the day that ultimately served Illbruck well, advancing and overtaking for the big win.

“It’s a fantastic feeling, a very important result that I dedicate to my father Willy who founded over 40 years ago and built, success after success, the story of Pinta, which continues today on the Melges 20,” said a joyful Illbruck post racing. “For us, this first season of racing with the Melges 20 was to be just one step closer to the goal we set ourselves, that is the World Cup in 2017 in Newport, but we worked hard and now we can celebrate this incredible achievement today.”

Pinta tactician John Kostecki reflected on the historical moment. “For me, to win with the Pinta Team has always been very special. I’ve been part of this team since 1994, and today is a day of great happiness for me and for all the Illbruck family.”

Poland’s Krzysztof Krempec on Mag Tiny ends the event in third overall, with Krempec as the only other boat other than newly crowned World Champion Illbruck to collect more than one bullet this week.

Nine of the 56 teams qualified for the all-amateur Corinthian division, with the World title going to 30th overall finisher Emanuele Savoini (ITA) at the helm of Evinrude. Cesar Gomes Neto (BRA) at the helm of Portobello finished second, followed by overnight leader and tough competitor Mirko Bargolini (ITA) on Spirit of Nerina in third.

Fifty-six teams competed on August 25-28.

Final Standings (Top 10 of 56; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. Pinta, Michael Illbruck, GER – 7 -1 -1 -6 -5 -[32] -5 -2; 27
2. PACIFIC YANKEE, Drew Freides, USA – 6 -2 -5 -4 -2 -3 -12 -[39]; 34
3. MAG TINY, Krzysztof Krempec, POL – 12 -5 -3 -[40] -22 -2 -1 -1; 46
4. WildMan, Liam Kilroy, USA – 13 -4 -22 -1 -3 -[51] -3 -5; 51
5. MASCALZONE LATINO JR., Achille Onorato , ITA – 4 -6 -9 -3 -[40] -4 -8 -26; 60
6. CINGHIALE, Rob Wilber, GBR – 9 -16 -4 -25 -1 -12 -13 -[35]; 80
7. OUT OF REACH, Guido Miani, MON – 18 -22 -2 -15 -11 -11 -[29] -9; 88
8. STIG, Alessandro Rombelli, ITA – 25 -18 -6 -2 -19 -8 -[26] -13; 91
9. Section 16, Richard Davies, SUI – 16 -12 -11 -11 -18 -10 -[43] -15; 93
10. RUSSIAN BOGATYRS, Igor Rytov, RUS – 1 -30 -15 -22 -27 -[34] -6 -3; 104

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2016 Melges 20 World Champion Michael Illbruck and his Pinta team proudly accept the title trophy, alongside of runner-up Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee (left) and third place Krzysztof Krempec’s Mag Tiny (right).


2016 Melges 20 Corinthian World Champion Emanuele Savoini and his Evinrude team celebrate winning the top-amateur trophy alongside second place Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello (left) and Mirko Bartolini’s Spirit of Nerina (right).

Source: Melges 20 Class

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