Melges 20 Miami Winter Regatta: Midnight Sonata
Sunday, February 5, 2017 7:26 AM
After a lack of wind halted racing on Day One, the Melges 20 headed out to the race course in a fragile northerly that had just enough pressure to get racing started on-time. PRO Blake Middleton and the robust volunteers from Coconut Grove Sailing Club did a fantastic job of making changes to the course to keep the racing fair and balanced despite the tough conditions.
With a gradient 'left' northerly wind and a seabreeze 'right' wind battling each other all day, it was a constant game of hedging bets on which breeze would win without many visible indications on the course. Jason Michas and his team on Midnight Blue did a great job of staying in phase with the pressure and balancing the sides to take the bullet in Race One, followed by Daniel Thielman on Kuai and Jason's father, Alexis on Midnight Sun in third.
Proving their race win was no fluke, Jason nailed the first beat in Race Two and never looked back. A happy Michas commented, "We felt fortunate to be sailing with a crew of four today, the extra body helped us be dynamic in the chop so we could keep the boat moving. It was also a great to have Stu McNay nail the tactics. He knows Biscayne Bay incredibly well." Drew Wierda at the helm of Merga grabbed second followed by Jim Wilson on Oleander.
As the breeze continued to show big left phases, followed by big righties, the power boat chop also increased adding another layer of difficulty to the sailing. Showing nice patience to dig into a heading right shift, Series leader Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee held tough and took the bullet in Race Three followed by Wilson and Igor Rytov on Russian Bogatyrs finishing second and third respectively.
Holding firm on his plan to get four races completed, PRO Blake Middleton adjusted the race course 50 degrees to the right to get in the last race of the day. In what proved to be the steadiest in terms of velocity, the breeze still had plenty of surprises for the fleet. Charging in from the right corner came Liam Kilroy's Wildman Melges 20. Thirteen-year old Liam was excited about the win. "Today we focused on improving downwind, and making sure to communicate as a team. It finally came together the last race!"
Jason Michas had yet another satisfying race to take second, followed by Rytov.
As the fleet looks ahead to one more day of racing, Jay Golison's Midlife Crisis is in charge of the Corinthian Division by a slim margin. Occupying second place is John Brown sailing Blind Squirrel and Rhonda Joyce on Grinning Streak keeps it real in third.
Stay tuned to the Melges 20 Facebook Page for live coverage and colorful moments from beautiful Miami. Racing wraps up on Sunday, February 5th.
MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
As with other Melges 20 events around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 20 Facebook Page. Be sure to also follow the fleet on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews and photos at melges20.com.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Four Races)
1.) Jason Michas, Midnight Blue; 1-1-5-2 = 9
2.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 4-7-1-5 = 17
3.) Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs; 5-6-3-3 = 17
4.) Jim Wilson, Oleander; 13-3-2-4 = 22
5.) Liam Kilroy, Jr., Wildman; 8-9-6-1 = 24