MIAMI, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2017) - The first day of the 2017/18 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series opened with near perfect conditions. A pleasant 11-15 kts out of the Northeast and sunny Florida skies provided three great, tricky races. PRO Blake Middleton and his legion of volunteers from the Coconut Grove Sailing Club did a great job getting off racing on time and in efficient fashion.
Race One gave the Melges 20 fleet of hint of what was to come with big shifts on the left and right sides of the course. Picking his way up the beat and hedging towards the right side was longtime Melges 20 owner Bo Boje Pedersen from Denmark on UPUPUP with a sizable lead at the first top mark. Not far behind was Daniel Thielman on KUAI and John Bailey on TALISMAN. Showing his stellar first beat was no fluke, Pedersen led wire-to-wire for the win followed respectively by Thielman and Bailey.
The second race saw three Melges 20 veterans duking it out for the lead as Rob Wilber on CINGHIALE nailed the start and first upwind beat, followed by the World Champ on Drew Freides at the helm of PACIFIC YANKEE and Alexis Michas on MIDNIGHT SUN. Wilber maintained his lead at the second stop mark, but the speed and polish of the Freides and his team would prove to be too much as they passed Wilber on the run and grabbed the bullet. Overall Melges 20 World League leader Igor Rytov on RUSSIAN BOGATYRS snuck past Michas to grab third.
As the start of the third race approached, a big left shift descended on the race course forcing the course to be shuffled back to the left. Those that started near the pin and extended left struggled as those who got right early were able to ride a river of breeze and a thin vein of current to the top mark. John Brown's BLIND SQUIRREL rounded in the top group and sailed a great lap to gain the lead and hold on for the bullet. Rytov continued his solid day with a second place finish followed by Pederson finished in third for another podium finish.
The forecast remains the same for Day 2 with more breeze from the Northeast in the 11-15 kt range which should provide for another three race day. If Day One was any indication, Day Two will feature plenty of shifts to shuffle the fleet and the standings.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Three Races)
1.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS; 8-3-2 = 13
2.) (DEN) Bo Boje Pedersen, UPUPUP; 1-13-3 = 17
3.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO, JR.; 4-5-9 = 18
4.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; 5-1-13 = 19
5.) (USA) John Brown, BLIND SQUIRREL; 10-11-1 = 22
TOP FIVE 2017 MELGES WORLD LEAGUE RESULTS
(After 14 Events Complete)
1.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS = 158 pts.
2.) (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA = 102 pts.
3.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 97 pts.
4.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR. = 85 pts.
5.) (USA) Liam Kilroy, WILDMAN = 81 pts.
TOP FIVE 2017 NORTH AMERICAN MELGES WORLD LEAGUE RESULTS
(After 5 Events Complete)
1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 97 pts.
2.) (USA) Liam Kilroy, WILDMAN = 81 pts.
3.) (USA) John Kilroy, SAMBA PA TI = 79 pts.
4.) (USA) Jim Wilson, OLEANDER = 74 pts.
5.) (USA) Jason Michas, MIDNIGHT BLUE = 72 pts.