Pacific Yankee wins Melges IC37 US Nationals

Published on October 4th, 2020

Newport, RI (October 4, 2020) – Pacific Yankee was crowned the 2020 Melges IC37 US National Champion as the West Coast-based team, co-owned by Bill Ruh and Drew Freides, finished with a resounding 13-point lead after nine races.

“We’ve sailed against the top teams in this fleet before, so we knew they were good, but some of these new teams are really talented too,” remarked Freides.

While Pacific Yankee had a firm grip on the lead, there was only a five-point separation between the second and fifth place boats going into today’s final two races.

The first race of the day had Alexis Michas’s Midnight Blue leading the pack around the racetrack to the finish. Michael Goldfarb’s Waka Jawaka snuck by Chris Culver’s Blazer II on the final downwind and placed second.

Half the fleet was called over early in the final race of the regatta. The rapidly deteriorating wind conditions made it near impossible for those OCS boats to clamor their way back. Having a clear start, Midnight Blue was able to jump ahead and knock out their second bullet of the day shifting from fourth to second place in the event.

For newcomer Brad Gibbs and the team on Hope, Nationals has been an unforgettable experience. As a teacher, his young team was comprised of his former students and college sailors from Brown University alongside Stu Hebb who sailed the Melges IC37 last season.

“The class was super welcoming,” said Gibbs. “Everyone was eager to lend a hand and it was wonderful having the Class Coach out there helping us get up to speed. It was also great having a bunch of dinghy sailors on board as they were super cognizant of weight transfers and how the boat was moving.”

It was Gibbs’s first season onboard the Melges IC37, and he’s fairly certain he’ll be returning. “I got the email to charter earlier this summer and had mixed feelings about sailing during a pandemic, but my wife said it was important to have something to look forward to,” said Gibbs. “I’m really glad we were able to have fun and compete in a safe manner.”

Teamwork, consistency, and practice were the primary facets of the Pacific Yankee program. “We’ve had almost the entire team together for the past year and it takes a team to win on this boat,” said Freides.

Freides strongly attributes their success to the talent onboard remarking how well they work together and perform in their roles. “We spent a lot of time trying to make the boat fast and we found a number of techniques to keep the boat flat. Like the Melges 20, you have to keep the boat flat and depowered, especially in the waves, so that’s what we strived for.”

Racing was held from October 2-4.

Event informationRegatta detailsResultsPhotos

Winners: Pacific Yankee – Drew Freides / Bill Ruh

Final Results (9 races, 1 discard)
1. Pacific Yankee, Drew Freides / Bill Ruh , USA – 1 -3 -1 -2 -1 -2 -2 -7 -[8] ; 19
2. Midnight Blue, Alexis Michas , USA – 4 -5 -[11] -1 -5 -8 -7 -1 -1 ; 32
3. Blazer II, Christopher Culver , USA – 6 -1 -8 -3 -2 -[10] -6 -3 -3 ; 32
4. Waka Jawaka, Michael Goldfarb / Laura Grondin , USA – 2 -6 -5 -[7/ZFP] -7 -4 -1 -2 -7 ; 34
5. Qubit, Chris Lewis , USA – 5 -8 -[10] -6 -3 -1 -8 -6 -6 ; 43
6. Rima37, John Brim , USA – 10 -4 -4 -8 -4 -9 -[12] -5 -2 ; 46
7. Gamecock, Peter McClennen , USA – 7 -2 -3 -10 -10 -3 -3 -10 -[11] ; 48
8. Members Only, Kinney / Cross / Swett , USA – 9 -10 -2 -[12/ZFP] -9 -5 -4 -4 -5 ; 48
9. Arethusa, Phil Lotz , USA – 3 -7 -6 -5 -12 -6 -9 -8 -[13] ; 56
10. Buckaroo, Jim Buckingham , USA – [12] -9 -9 -7 -6 -7 -5 -9 -4 ; 56
11. Hope, Brad Gibbs , USA – 13 -[14/DNF] -7 -13 -8 -12 -11 -11 -12 ; 87
12. Rattlesnake, Carter Robertson / Clark Robertson , USA – 8 -12 -13 -[14/ZFP] -11 -13 -13 -12 -9 ; 91
13. Ticket, Whitmore / Giglia / Greenhouse , USA – 11 -11 -12 -[15/ZFP] -13 -11 -10 -13 -10 ; 91

Source: Melges IC37 Class

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