Melges 20 Worlds: A Change of Pace
Published on October 6th, 2017
Newport, RI (October 6, 2017) – After two days of perfect Southwest Newport breeze, Day Three of the Melges 20 World Championship dawned sunny skies and warm temps, but no wind. As sailors arrived at Sail Newport to begin their preparations, the glassy water was tempting for water skiing. A lengthy morning postponement gave way to one light air Melges 20 World Championship race, again shuffling the standings with one final day to go.
At 09.00, PRO Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio announced that the AP would be hoisted and the next announcement would be at 11:30, giving Melges 20 sailors a relaxing morning to check out Newport’s best coffee shops.
With the best chance for fair racing being on the outside course due to the light-filling sea breeze and a strong ebb tide, the fleet once again congregated at Course Alpha for a 2:00 p.m. start. The light air was a big change of pace with the World Championship title hanging in the balance, and Day Three proved pivotal in the overall standings. Drew Freides’ PACIFIC YANKEE entered the day with a 9-point lead over two-time World Champion John Kilroy on SAMBA PA TI, while several other contenders remained ready to pounce on the smallest opportunity to advance. In essence, Freides and his Pacific Yankees were marked men.
Once to the racing area, Reggio took advantage of the wind on the race course, dropped marks and got the sequence under way. With a port favored line, the pin end was crowded and those that were able to get off the line clean and tack onto port found solid pressure in the middle of the course and made some nice gains. The left looked promising early, but it turned out to be fool’s gold as the left side eventually caved hard and the boats on the middle right led at the top mark.
Jason Michas and his MIDNIGHT BLUE team nailed the start close to the pin, flopped onto port and never looked back leading wire-to-wire in challenging, light conditions. Race Six winner Alessandro Rombelli on STIG challenged for the lead and took second, while Vladimir Prosikhin at the helm of NIKA sailed well to grab third in his brand new Melges 20. Michas’ win marked the seventh different race winner, showing the depth and balance of the fleet at this World Championship.
Michas commented after his race win, “We tend to like the light stuff, we were able to get off the line nicely and managed to have a couple good upwinds and held our own downwind.” With the win, Michas moved from eleventh overall to seventh, and the fight for the top ten is intense with just 30 points separating fifth from fifteenth.
Continuing his strong performance in the Corinthian division and overall, Justin Quigg’s CHARACTER 2.0 collected another bottle of champagne and looks to close out his Corinthian World title on Saturday. A great Thanksgiving indeed for these Canadian Sailors.
The forecast for the final day is looking raceable and with a 2:00 p.m. final race cut off it will be important to start on time to get in three races for a full series.
Day Three Results (Top 10 of 38; 7 races, 1 discard)
1. Pacific Yankee, USA300, Drew Freides – 1 -2 -2 - -6 -7 -5 ; 23
2. Nika, RUS309, Vladimir Prosikhin – 5 -6 - -4 -4 -12 -3 ; 34
3. Kuai, USA7676, Daniel Thielman – 9 -4 -4 -1 -15 - -6 ; 39
4. Samba Pa Ti, USA13131, John Kilroy – 11 -3 -6 -6 -1 -13 - ; 40
5. Stig, ITA65, Alessandro Rombelli – 10 -9 -11 - -9 -1 -2 ; 42
6. Oleander, USA250, James Wilson – 4 -1 -5 -2 -20 -17 - ; 49
7. Midnight Blue, USA 228, Jason Michas - -8 -9 -13 -10 -11 -1 ; 52
8. Wildman, USA311, Liam Kilroy – 7 -5 -12 -8 -3 -18 - ; 53
9. Raya, MON301, Matteo Marenghi Vaselli – 8 -11 -15 -9 -8 -6 - ; 57
10. Cinghiale, USA 414, Rob Wilber -3 - -1 -26 -22 -3 -4 ; 59
Source: International Melges 20 Class Association