2017 Melges 20 World Championship: Day two in Newport
Friday, October 6, 2017 8:42 AM
As sailors waited at Sail Newport for the Day Two morning announcement on the course location from PRO Peter 'Luigi" Reggio, debates were waged on both sides; some sailors wanted to give their bodies and equipment a break and head north of the Newport Bridge for flat water, others wanted to take advantage of yet another day of Newport's southwest breeze. At 9 a.m., Reggio announced the seas were manageable and the wind was slightly less than Day One, and that all teams should proceed to course Alpha... it was time to go outside.
As the fleet blasted off the line to start Race Four, sailors quickly figured out that while the breeze direction was the same as the day before, Day Two had a new bag of tricks. Longtime Melges 20 sailor Daniel Thielman and his team on KUAI have showed solid speed all week and they managed to pick some nice shifts and eek out a bullet over a hard charging Jim Wilson and his Oleander team. Grabbing 3rd place was the New Bedford Yacht Club team led by Caleb Armstrong on Moby. Drama was beginning to unfold as Wilson was mounting a charge to take the lead from overnight leader Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee who impressively climbed back from a deep first windward mark to finish seventh.
After a small adjustment to the starting line to compensate for a pulsing left shift and one general recall, Race Five began. Despite the lefties, teams that were able to work the top right's combination of stronger breeze and favorable ebb tide were able to make big gains. Using his ample Melges 20 World Championship experience, John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti put together a convincing race win followed by Igor Rytov's Russian Bogatyrs. The younger Kilroy, Liam on Wildman, had an amazing first downwind going from 17th to third to finish on the podium.
With the fleet thinking that it was a race to the deep right corner up the first beat, the Sou'Wester threw a curveball and a big left shift descended after the start allowing those who extended straight off the line to dig into the leftie and find themselves in a good place at the top mark. 2016 Melges 32 World Champion Alessandro Rombelli on Stig had a great start and extended left to lead at the top mark followed by Armstrong and Alexis Michas on Midnight Sun.
In a heated race all around the track, Rombelli held on for the bullet with Michas in second and a hard charging Cinghiale Team with Rob Wilber at the helm made a gain on the last downwind to grab third. A happy Rombelli commented at the dock, "The last race, we managed another good start. We were faster upwind than the previous start, so we managed to sail to the mark in first position and held it until the end. It was very difficult today as the conditions were trickier than yesterday, but we sailed a great race."
Thank you to New York Yacht Club for serving as hosts, and our chief sponsors Melges USA and North Sails.
After two days of epic World Championship racing, Justin Quigg's Character 2.0 extended his lead ever so slightly in the Corinthian division over Cesar Gomes Neto's Portobello. Sweden's Johannes Lind-Widestam on Intermezzo remains in third.
Post race, sailors gathered at NYYC Harbor Court for the daily awards hosted by Team Slingshot and Red Sky, with specialty team drinks and an impressive raw bar.
The forecast for Thursday, Day Three in Newport at the World Championship, calls for a whole new scenario - light breeze. Already, there is a great deal of discussion about which course (inside or outside) the fleet might race tomorrow.
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 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; 1-2-2--6-7 = 18
2.) (USA) John Kilroy Jr., SAMBA PA TI; 11-3-6-6-1- = 27
3.) (USA) Jim Wilson, OLEANDER; 4-1-5-2--17 = 29
4.) (RUS) Vladimir Proshikin, NIKA; 5-6-[39/DNF]-4-4-12 = 31
5.) (USA) Daniel Thielman, KUAI; 9-4-4-1-15-[39/DNF] = 33
2017 FIVE MELGES 20 WORLD LEAGUE RESULTS (After 12 Events Complete)
1.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS = 136 pts.
2.) (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA = 95 pts.
3.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR. = 82 pts.
4.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 77 pts.
5.) (RUS) Alexander Ezhkov, PIROGOVO = 73 pts.