International Melges 20 Class Association: Pacific Yankee Power
Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:37 AM
As if on repeat from the 2017 December event, the first day of the February Miami Winter Series dialed up near perfect conditions with great breeze, sunshine and warm temps to give northern sailors a much needed break from the cold. Starting on-time, PRO Blake Middleton along with his stable of volunteers from the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (GCSC) set a square, 1.2nm race course and the fleet got underway.
After a quick break from Melges 20 sailing, Wes Whitmyer's SLINGSHOT along with Johnny "Nugs" Goldsberry and Bri Porter, led around the first top mark in solid fashion. With a clean set, they blasted off to the leeward marks looking like seasoned Melges 20 sailors. Once to the gate however, Freides showed why his team is currently the best team on the planet; superior downwind sailing. Nailing the angle of heel, smooth boat handling and with sure tactics, Freides grabbed the lead and never looked back followed by Whitmyer and Italy's Matteo Marenghi Vaselli's RAYA.
Race Two got started without delay, and much like the breeze for all other Melges 20 events this winter season, the winner of the race was on repeat. Freides again showed solid speed around the track and after a brief tussle with a few teams from 'across the pond,' he took the bullet followed by Russia's Vladimir Prosikhin on NIKA, and Achille Onorato's famous MASCALZONE LATINO, JR.
The third and final race of the day began with the same conditions, and as Freides went for the elusive 'picket fence' scoreline, a pack of Melges 20 sailors were improving throughout the day - pushing hard to make podium status.
Once to the finish line however, the speed and polish of Freides and his PACIFIC YANKEE team proved invincible handing in a golden 1-1-1 scoreline. Denmark's Bo Boje Pedersen on UPUPUP showed his capabilities to grab second. Prosikhin rounded out a solid day finishing third.
With Freides as the overnight leader, the rest of the podium is tight with just 10 points separating second from tenth. The forecast for Day Two states that teams can anticipate more epic racing - three more races are guaranteed.
CGSC played gracious host to Melges 20 teams post racing with a nice spread of apps and cold beer. More action to come from Miami.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Three Races)
1.) USA - Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; 1-1-1 = 3
2.) MON - Matteo Marenghi Vaselli, RAYA; 3-8-4 = 15
3.) RUS - Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA; 12-2-3 = 17
4.) MON - Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO, JR.; 6-3-8 = 17
5.) USA - Wes Whitmyer, Jr., SLINGSHOT; 2-5-12 = 19