Russians top Melges 20 Winter Series #1

Published on December 15th, 2019

The three-event Melges 20 Winter Series got underway for the first stage on December 13-15 in Miami, FL. Fourteen teams completed eight races in conditions varying from 3 to 20 knots, with Russian skippers Vladimir Prosikhin and Igor Rytov tied for the win, with Prosikhin claiming victory on countback.

With a 10th in the final race, Prosikhin’s NIKA team figured they’d missed their chance at a win. “We expected to be second and we were very happy with that. It was truly a surprise! The fleet is very strong with a few boats who can win any regatta.”

NIKA displayed their light air prowess on Day One, winning two of the three races. Robert Hughes’s Heartbreaker won the first race. “We had a good start and our tactician, Michele Ivaldi, picked a couple good shifts on the first beat. We got to the top mark in second or third and did a nice job getting past the other boats. We were able to do that thing that you love – when you get out in front and extend while letting everyone else hammer each other in the back.”

Miami upped the ante on Day Two for three races with planing conditions in gusts up to 20 knots.

“They were classic, epic conditions for the Melges 20,” noted Race One winner, Robert Wilber, Cinghiale. “If you were doing poorly one leg, you could do well the next and catch right up – classic Miami.”

The key to success on the second day proved to be breaking away from the pack for clear air and avoiding high-speed chaos at the leeward mark. “We were able to get away from the group immediately. We tacked out right after the start and just went for it,” said Wilber.

The final day of racing opened with a challenging postponement in rising temperatures and a beating sun while Race Committee waited to meet the class’ minimum wind requirements. Fearing short-lived velocity, Race Committee set up a battle royale-style course at a meager .6 miles.

Heartbreaker once again snagged the first blood of the day. Thankfully the wind peaked to slightly over 10 knots after a second postponement, rewarding the racer’s patience and anticipation for the eighth and final race.

Despite their light-air showings on Day One, this was NIKA’s most disparaging race of the event. Things got off to a rough start after getting picked off on the boat end and being forced left while Russian rival, Rytov, took off to the right. Luckily, the left proved fruitful, but they were unable to recover while underdog, Shimmer, led the fleet for the first two legs and Cinghiale played Pied Piper on the final downwind for the win.

“We rounded the mark third and that was our mistake – we didn’t sail our own race,” said Prosikhin. “We started match racing with Rytov and finished poorly. The race was hard and tactically not perfect.”

NIKA originally discarded nine points from in Day Two’s big breeze, but that was displaced by their tenth-place finish in the final race.

Event detailsResultsPhotos

Final Results (8 races, 1 discard)
1. NIKA, Vladimir Prosikhin , MON – 3 -1 -1 -5 -3 -9 -2 -[10] ; 24
2. Russian Bogatyrs, Igor Rytov , RUS – 2 -3 -[9] -2 -1 -2 -6 -8 ; 24
3. Boo-Fu, Sam Barron-Fox , USA – 5 -2 -3 -6 -4 -3 -[9] -4 ; 27
4. Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes , USA – 1 -7 -7 -4 -[9] -8 -1 -2 ; 30
5. Red Sky Sailing Team, Paul Reilly , USA – 7 -[8] -5 -3 -2 -7 -5 -6 ; 35
6. Kuai, Daniel Thielman , USA – 10 -5 -2 -[11] -6 -1 -7 -7 ; 38
7. Cinghiale, Robert Wilber , USA – [11] -10 -6 -1 -5 -5 -11 -1 ; 39
8. Gamecock 20, Peter McClennen , USA – 4 -9 -8 -7 -10 -6 -[14] -14 ; 58
9. Midnight Sun, Alexis Michas , USA – 8 -4 -4 -8 -13 -[15/DNF] -10 -12 ; 59
10. Midnight Blue, Jason Michas , USA – 9 -6 -11 -[13] -11 -11 -4 -9 ; 61
11. Grinning Streak , Rhonda Joyce , CAN – [15/DNS] -15/DNS -15/DNS -12 -7 -10 -3 -3 ; 65
12. Yo Momma, Devin McGranahan , USA – [15/DNS] -13 -13 -9 -8 -4 -8 -11 ; 66
13. Shimmer, Jennifer Canestra , USA – 6 -11 -10 -10 -12 -[15/DNF] -12 -5 ; 66
14. The 300, Steven Boho , USA – 12 -12 -12 -[14] -14 -12 -13 -13 ; 88

 

Miami Winter Series 2019-20
December 13-15
February 7-9
March 13-15

Source: Melges Performance Sailboats / Morgan Kinney

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