Familiar at Front of Melges 24 US Nationals
Published on April 8th, 2017
Charleston, SC (April 8, 2017) – Lighter winds proved the theme of Day Two of the 2017 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship hosted by the Charleston Yacht Club (ChYC). More sunshine, cool temps, but a lot less breeze for three races.
Six-time Melges 24 U.S. National Champion Brian Porter (1999, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015) on Full Throttle (USA-849) blitzed the 25-boat fleet with all bullets, ending the day with a ten point advantage over second place finisher John Brown on Blind Squirrel (USA-547), Kevin Welch’s Mikey (USA-838) with Jason Rhodes at the helm, is now in third.
PRO Hal Smith got the racing started on time, despite the possibility that with a stiff, outbound current and a very shifty breeze, Race Four may not come easy. A first attempt ended in abandonment, leaving the fleet to wait for almost two hours before having another chance to start a race.
Around 2 o’clock, Smith and his ChYC Race Committee set the course and the fleet went racing. Thankfully, the breeze came in early allowing for not only one race, but three for a total of six complete, activating a discard of each boat’s worst score.
While Porter dominated today’s overall division, the fleet was under siege in the Corinthian category. Atlanta-based teams Brent McKenzie at the helm of Ex-Kahn (USA-575) and K.C. Shannon’s Shaka (USA-801) chose to ‘go to the mattresses.’ After a light, shifty and very tricky day of sailing, only one point separates these two teams with Shannon taking over the lead from Friday leader McKenzie.
“We’re gonna take’em out,” said Reid Collins, long-time Melges 24 sailor and crew member aboard McKenzie’s Ex-Kahn. “Like an ‘Ex-Kahn’ would!” he furthered in friendly banter. The perseverance of these two teams paid off nicely today as they now find themselves also in the top ten overall standings.
Stuart Simpson’s Team Barbarians (GBR-691) struggled a bit sliding back one space to round out the podium in third. Zane Yoder’s FNG/Eelsnot (USA-9) is fourth, and Lake Geneva’s, 76-year old Frank Davenport on Wild Goose (USA-736) emerged to round out the top five Corinthian standings.
Tomorrow is the final day of scheduled racing, where the fleet will attempt two more final races.
TOP TEN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY – After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle: 1-4-2-1-1-1 = 6
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel; 3-2-7-2-6-3 = 16
3.) Kevin Welch/Jason Rhodes, Mikey; 2-7-5-5-5-4 = 21
4.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 5-1-6-5-18-4-6 = 22
5.) Michael Goldfarb, Warcanoe; 8-5-10-6-2-7 = 28
6.) Peter Duncan, Jigs In Space; 12-6-3-7-21-2 = 30
7.) Wes Whitmyer, Jr.; SlingSHOT; 7-8-4-4-9-10 = 32
8.) Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 25/RET-3-1-20-10-5 = 39
9.) (C) KC Shannon, Shaka; 17-14-9-3-8-18 = 51
10.) (C) Brent McKenzie, EX-KAHN; 9-9-12-8-14-19 = 52
TOP FIVE CORINTHIAN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY – After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) KC Shannon, Shaka = 51 pts.
2.) Brent McKenzie, EX-KAHN = 52 pts.
3.) Stuart Simpson, Team Barbarians = 56 pts.
4.) Zane Yoder, FNG Eelsnot = 68 pts.
5.) Frank Davenport, Wild Goose = 70 pts.
Source: Joy Dunigan