Photos © JOY / International Audi Melges 20 Class Association
Wilson's Oleander leads after hard fought battle
The Audi Melges 20 fleet had a chilly opening day on Biscayne Bay for the 2013 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week organized by STUDIOMILANO. Light air conditions met with shifty winds challenged the fleet from start to finish completing only one of the three races scheduled for day.
Before the start the breeze was a steady 8 to 10 knots but quickly dropped right before the final signal forcing teams to make a quick adjustment. The light air meant a good start was crucial for success in this competitive fleet. Tony Tabb's Elevation Racing was first to the mark ahead of James Wilson's Oleander right on his stern, followed closely by Richard Davies' Section 16.
As the fleet was heading downwind to the gate, PRO Bruce Golision called for a charlie flag shortening the course due to dying wind. Wilson's Oleander was able to stay focused and take the lead with Marc Hollerbach's Fu challenging for contention, followed by Michael Kiss on Bacio. Once again the winds prevailed and the race committee had no choice but to move to a course three ending the race at the top.
"The sailing was tricky today", explained Sam Rogers, tactician for Wilson. "It was a matter of finding the pressure and trying to stay in it as long a possible. We stepped into pressure at the right moment, at the bottom mark and luckily it was enough for the win."
Tabb's Elevation Racing had a great race finishing second with the corinthian division winner and third place overall finisher, Marcus Eagan's Cajun Underwriting. Finishing second as corinthian is Danny Shea's Diamante followed by John Kimura's Evoked Potential. In a close fourth, is Blink 20/20 sailed by John Arendshorst rounding out the extremely competitive division.
The Melges Performance Sailing De-Brief Session presented by EFG Bank was a huge success. Teams were able to hear from the Chris and Dani Rast, Sam Rogers, Matt Pistay, and Dave Hughes, Seadon Wijsen and Mark Ivey. The MELGES ROCKS party happens Tomorrow on Friday March, 8 at 8:30 until at Mr. Moe's in the Grove. Teams are strongly encouraged to wear their MELGES ROCKS shirt for free drinks!
Media and Racing coverage
As with many previous Audi Melges 20 events in North America and around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Class Blog. Tune-in regularly for the latest developments, conditions and results. Stay close to the Official Audi Melges 20 Facebook Page for photos and further commentary. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges20.com.
Results after Day 1: (top ten, 1 race)
1.) James Wilson, Oleander
2.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing
3.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
4.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu
5.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team
6.) Michael Kiss, Bacio
7.) Naofumi Kamei/Kan Yamada, Mamma Aiuto!
8.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel
9.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG
10.) Richard Davies, Section 16
Corinthians (top five)
1.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
2.) Danny Shea, Diamante
3.) John Kimura, Evoked Potential
4.) John Arendshorst, Blink 20/20
5.) Brian Hill, Atlas