Miami Melges 24 Tune-Up/Midwinter Regatta Kicks off 2018 with a Bang
Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:38 PM
Seventeen Melges 24 teams spanning the globe converged on Miami's famous Biscayne Bay for three days of great racing (January 19-21) and midwinter tune-up action, taking a much desired break from the deep freeze of winter.
Each team shook off the dust and helping them along every step of the way was the North Sails University team. Every day post-racing, during and before, coaches Brian Janney, Chuck Allen and John Bowden worked with teams to help them improve and sail their Melges 24s cleaner, faster and more successfully. This came in the form of educational briefs and debriefs visually aided with drone video and photos getting each team a little bit closer to squeezing every ounce of speed out of their boat, sails, set-up, handling and their team.
This was an event to start all events - a very special regatta in which teams, some for the very first time, saw their boat and how they are racing in a completely new way. Feedback, videos and views from above gave new perspectives and a better understanding of crew work, crew position and sail trim, not to mention the footage was super cool to watch over and over. The USM24CA sends a huge shout out to Lara Dallman-Weiss with Doubleshot Studios and Felipe Juncadella at Up Top Media for the amazing drone footage.
The U.S. Melges 24 Class anticipates taking a lot of the content generated over the past weekend and collectively putting it into a context by which all the members of the U.S. Melges 24 Class can benefit, because when teams and sailors are more competitive, teams are having more fun.
Although it was a predominantly light air weekend, it was shifty which resulted in a lot of shuffling of positions within the fleet in every race. The biggest gains were made on the downwind runs and in particular, Travis Weisleder's Lucky Dog Racing and Brian Porter's Full Throttle were constantly back and forth, jostling for the top position. In the end however, Bruce Ayres' Monsoon with Mike Buckley as tactician bested the fleet coming in first place, followed by Porter. Back after a long Melges 24 hiatus, Alan Field helming WTF cleaned up nicely to finish on the podium in third. With bragging rights fully intact, top teams took home some very nice swag - the latest and greatest duffle bags from Gill North America.
"The goal of this event was to finish it sailing faster. For us - mission accomplished,' said Steve Boho, former U.S. Melges 24 Class President and owner of the The 300. "It attracted some of the top teams and enabled an informal exchange of information that doesn't just happen anywhere. It was phenomenal, and I think that was because it was in a much more relaxed setting. Because it was more interactive, it encouraged teams to engage more. This event was extremely useful to our team."
Getting the absolute most from this event was of course was the all-amatuer teams. Topping the results was Russia's Vasyl Gureyev's Barmaley in first place. Newly appointed USMCA Midwest District Governor Megan Ratliff's Decorum finished second, then reigning Corinthian National Champ KC Shannon's Shaka came third. These teams went home very happy each being awarded a bottle of Gosling's Rum.
Hats off to Randy Draftz and his incredible Regatta Management team for bringing the Tune-Up/Midwinter event online and making it happen, and especially to Miami Shake-A-Leg for being so accommodating after what has been a very challenging recovery from the 2017 hurricane season.
A big round of thanks to PRO John Abel and his wife Judi, Tommy Sawchuck, Mark Crutcher, Jeff Madrogali, and Tom Dwyer (signal boat) as they assisted with Race Committee all weekend long contributing to the overall success of 2018 Miami Midwinter Tune-Up event.
UP NEXT - ST. PETE'S, MIAMI AND CHARLESTON BOUND
The U.S. Melges 24 Class is just getting started in 2018. Teams are now looking to compete at the St. Pete's NOOD on February16-18 (18 Melges 24s are registered), traveling to Coconut Grove for Miami Sailing Week on March 7-10 (15 teams signed up), and onward to Charleston Race Week on April 12-15 (19 teams registered). Get with it and get registered!
OVERALL TOP FIVE RESULTS (After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) (USA) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 2-1--9-5-2-1-1 = 21
2.) (USA) Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 3-2-2-1-7-1-8- = 24
3.) (USA) Alan Field, WTF; 5-4-3-2-2-6-3-[18/DNF] = 25
4.) (USA) Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog Racing; 1--1-4-3-5-7-5 = 26
5.) (USA) Kevin Welch, MIKEY; 4-5-5-5--4-2-3 = 28
FULL CORINTHIAN RESULTS (After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) (UKR) Vasyl Gureyev, Bramaley; 7-9-4-8-9--12-6 = 55
2.) (USA) Megan Ratliff, Decorum; 10-6--12-6-7-9-7 = 57
3.) (USA) KC Shannon, Shaka; -3-13-7-13-12-10-8 = 66
4.) (USA) Laura Grondin, Dark Energy; -10-9-13-8-9-11-12 = 72
5.) (USA) Scott Foxman, Relentless; 8-13-8-15-14-10--13 = 81
6.) (USA) George Haynie, Firewater; 14-14-15-11-12-13-14-[18/DNS] = 93
7.) (USA) Kent Picknell, APEX; 11-15-11--17-15-15-11 = 95