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Melges 20 U.S. National Championship at Sail Newport - Day 2

by International Melges 20 Class Association on 19 Aug 17-19 August 2017

The sunny skies on Day One of the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport were replaced with low flying southerly squalls and an on-time 1100 start. PRO Anderson Reggio sent the fleet to the 'inside' Halfway Rock racecourse for what would be a very exciting, four-race day of Melges 20 sailing.

After a nice sleigh ride down to the racecourse, racing began on time with a slightly pin-favored line and a slack tide that left the fleet guessing as to which side would pay on the first upwind beat. What would turn out to be a consistent theme throughout the day, teams that were able to extend to the far left side hooked into steady left-hand breeze and sailed a much more favorable angle to the mark than those who tacked to leeward. Showing a return in top-form, 2014-2015 Class World Champ John Kilroy on SAMBA PA TI took the bullet in Race Three, followed by his son Liam on WILDMAN. Overnight leader Drew Freides on PACIFIC YANKEE came third.

With a full flood tide prior to the start of Race Four, teams that were able to touch into the left side of the course first, showed patience, took advantage and made big gains. For most of the race, Jason Michas and his team on MIDNIGHT BLUE showed consistent speed and smarts to lead. However on the final run, Michas gybed early allowing both Kilroy and Freides to advance and finish 1, 2. Michas was left to settle for third.

For the first time on Day Two, the breeze began to taper and rain clouds formed on the horizon while the breeze touched the 9-10kt range. Teams made a mad scramble to adjust their rigs in preparation for the next start. The bottom right side of the course finally showed signs of promise, but those who were able to get farthest left at the top were none other than the event leaders. Going for a 'picket fence' scoreline, the elder Kilroy worked his way to the front and hung on again for his third bullet of the day, followed by Friedes and Michas finishing second and third respectively.

Heading into the last race of the day, rain squalls moved through with Reggio determined to run another heat. The breeze was the lightest it had been all day and it looked like a toss up as to which side would pay as teams that got right early looked strong. Rob Wilber and his CINGHIALE team however, snuck to the deep left, hooked into some nice breeze and managed to lead at the top mark. On the ensuing run, the breeze built quickly and those that gybed early got punished. Freides showed solid patience extending to the corner, eventually hanging on for the win. Not far behind was Liam Kilroy and Jason Michas.

After a pounding rain on the way back to the dock, the fleet regrouped at Sail Newport to enjoy refreshments and discuss what worked well and what didn't.

Two more races are scheduled for the final day and if forecast predictions are correct, the race course will head back outside to determine who will be the next 2017 U.S. Melges 20 National Champions.

Special thanks to goods provided by Farmer Willies Ginger Beer and BoatBrim.

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.

Results after Day 2: (top five, 6 races. 1 discard)

1.) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; [4]-1-3-2-2-1 = 9pts
2.) John Kilroy, SAMBA PA TI; [5]-2-1-1-1-5 = 10pts
3.) Liam Kilroy, WILDMAN; 2-[8]-2-3-6-2 = 15pts
4.) Jason Michas, MIDNIGHT BLUE; 3-5-4-[7]-3-3 = 18pts
5.) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA; 1-7-[11]-6-7-6 = 27pts

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