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Vaikobi 2021 FlexForce - LEADERBOARD

Audi Melges 24 Worlds at San Francisco Overall

by Fiona Brown/IMCA 18 Oct 2003 09:05 BST
The victorious crew of Pegasus at the Audi Melges 24 World Championships © Pierrick Contin

SHARK BITES!

Fourteen year old Samuel "Shark" Kahn sailed into the record books today becoming the youngest person ever to win a Melges 24 World title and probably the youngest open international class world champion as well.

Today's final race proved to be a real nail biter. Firstly the sea breeze was late arriving putting John Craig's Race Committee under pressure to get a race in before the 2pm cut off. By 1.30pm there was just enough wind from 295 degrees and after two recalls they started on the third attempt with just minutes to spare.

On all three starts Kahn and second placed Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund, were match racing for position. Although he got the better of the deal in the first two Melges was bested by Kahn on the third. At the weather mark Kahn was fifth behind Sebastien Col, helming P&P for Phillipe Ligot, John Bertrand, Argyle Campbell and Dietrich Scheder. Melges eventually rounded fourteenth and took the only choice open by breaking away from the fleet. With the sea breeze building and backing like crazy it was a step that didn't pay and by the leeward mark he was in sixteenth. Despite a fair bit of place changing Kahn had held fifth behind Col, Olivier Ponthiu, Campbell and Brian Porter.

By now the wind had backed 65 degrees putting the second weather mark at 230. Again Melges broke away from the fleet hoping for a miracle but only gained a single place, meanwhile Campbell had a lousy beat and Kahn moved up into fourth. On the final run the leading four of Col, Ponthiu, Porter and Kahn began to open out from the pack and again Melges broke away, but ended up back in sixteenth as a result. At the leeward mark Ponthiu opted for the right whilst the rest went left giving Kahn his opportunity to pull up into third. Melges too went right but it was a desperate measure which dropped him right down to 21st, his worst result of the regatta.

Kahn seems a little bemused by his success and the enormity of his achivement, but is keen to pay tribute to his crew of Team Captain Mark "Crusty" Christensen, Tactician Richard Clarke, Spinnaker/Jib trimmer Brian Hutchinson and Bow Brian Lee, Shark's 20 year old cousin who is also his 29er crew. "I'm kind of overwhelmed and really don't know what to think at the moment. I really didn't expect this. My crew were fantastic and on the starts today it was Mark Christensen who really helped me get the better start." commented Kahn after racing. Asked about the future he confirmed "I've got some more 29er sailing coming up and I'm going to be doing the 505 Worlds and the Melges Nationals which are both in Santa Cruz and long term I'm aiming to do a 49er Olympic campaign."

Kahn had the advantage of sailing with three of the World's top professional sailors, but in a fleet of this calibre, which includes more Olympic, America's Cup, one-design, Volvo and big-boat champions than you can shake the proverbial stick at, this alone is not enough. Since making his Melges 24 helming debut at Key West Race Week 2003 Kahn has spent more than 60 days out on the water learning his craft in the Melges 24, many of them on San Francisco Bay. He's also campaigning a 29er with his 20 year old cousin Brian Lee, the fifth member of his Melges 24 crew, adding still further to the time he puts in on the water. Along side Shark's personal development he also has the full support of his father - a big advantage when your father is Philippe Kahn, the softwear mogul, and you get access to all the facilities of his mighty Pegasus yacht racing organisation.

A disappointed Harry Melges was graceful in defeat - "Shark and his boys did an awsome job and really deserved the title, but I'm beginning to feel a little old! It's been a great regatta and San Francisco and the St Francis Yacht Club have given us near perfect conditions and racing."

In the overall standings Kahn took the regatta by nine points from Melges with Brian Porter third, Luca Santella with Giovani Maspero's Joe Fly team fourth and Sebastian Col and Phillipe Ligot's P&P fifth. The winner of the Corinthian World Championship title, for the first amateur crew, and sixth overall was Egidio Babbi.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
149PEGASUS 24-1Samuel ""Shark"" Kahn531232116*320
217STARHarry Melges11241111821*29
324FULL THROTTLEBrian Porter8812*371042244
44JOE FLYLuca Santella3614114913116*61
59P&P SAILING TEAPhillipe Ligot22*1020142379166
63EBREX LOGISTICBabbi Egidio1013322*913617778
739 Dave Ullman197135111624*3680
813BLACK SEALJamie Lea171829*94512191195
912UNPROTECTEDRobert Greenhalgh2928718425738*100
1011 Ian Cleaver1869*610121521530108
116BLU MOONFlavio Favini142232329*851222109
1238MONSOONBruce Ayres1330*582128101113109
1368HOME SLICESeadon Wijsen616181626*149624109
1418TICKLERSheldon Ecklund262041*206181758120
1521WINDQUESTJohn Bertrand91145*18131726209123
1620GILLStuart Rix124222881244*3210128
1714BARBARIANSRob Smith1624*1519202081319130
1810GROUPE LUNCIENOlivier Ponthieu43382135*2630104136
1950PEGASUS 24-3Philippe Kahn7517132211293536*139
2064EGODon Jesberg3319161152137440*146
2126WICKED FEETTom Freytag342235*26106212218159
2237ROCK N ROLLArgyle Campbell23232733*167281423161
2372BACKBREAKERKenneth Kaan3115415303139*2315164
2461CAVALLINOLammens / Draganic30217122534*312117164
2540AVERAGE WHITE BDoug Weitz / Matt McQueen11273862469*34395184
268WICHARDLe Moign Damien2917924232240*2439187
2743SOUTHERN SPARSJames Spithill2114263033*27182625187
2859SABOTAGEJeff Thorpe2428212931*19222525193
292MASUI MDietrich Scheder37*3725272623191820195
307HARD CORECharon Benoit1528101743*32423137212
3158GRINDERJeff Littfin28313142*1935153035224
3267SURFEITPeter Vessella4969*11351744322527240
3334STRYKKerry Poe40383243*343733333250
3415 Martin Wedge3212423945242069*42256
3552SMOKESHOWScott Dale4169*43402841163414257
3647MINOR THREATPeter Dalton25323332273052*2950258
3748SOFA KING FASTDennis Bassano202669*441525454741263
3819RHINOSean Scarborough383952*493829142829264
3936 Jeffrey Brizes27431954*4148413612267
4069TEAM MOSELEYRick Moseley4629244769*36462728283
4123FLYER 02Chuck Holtzman4325303169*49354431288
4262SMOKINKevin Clark363565*253742594046320
435TAPE THATCoco & Carlos Vroon454062*413638363848322
4416SILVERJoe Woods4769*34363940515326326
4535BANDITAndy Mack393451553251333769*332
4675JOLLY TARBill Wright69*4139464933474657358
471SITTING DUCKClaes Rojining423653484052484159*360
4851GO DOGS GOPepe Parsons545455*534739235055375
4960ABRACADABRA IIIDennis Surtees3542493753476369*51377
5042ENIGMAHubert Guy44515445445056*4252382
5165LIGHT BRIGADEWarren Davidson484661345169*554347385
5256NIKITAKrak Arntson624840385857434569*391
5327TWISTED MISTERKeith Grzelak57443651525566*5252399
5455SEA YAPatricio Sly69*69D57594846385732406
5544PERSONAL PUFFDan Hauserman555537505654535169*411
5629DANGEROUS WHENChris Winnard524758584669*545544414
5725BLINGBLINGEvan Jahn5369*46616469504943435
5853BONESRobert Harff69*525669D5445624849435
5931GOOSE N'DUCKPaul Bennett6356646469*56275653439
6046CARPE CERVISIAMDean Daniels69*5350566143615461439
6130PUTTANESCAMarv Toland64*5760525553575954447
6241DONT BENO DREADRob Arrand6569*44575959585258452
6328TIKANGACharles Guildner59584869*5060496969462
6432TROPHY WIFEGlenn Klute614963*636261606345464
6566VA VA VOOMNigel Donnelly604569*625762646062472
6657ATOMIC DOGTeam Atomic Dog51596669*6358675856478
6754ROCKET WIDGETDarrel Lager58505969*6963656260486
6833USA 183Doug Du Bois5669*47606069696169491

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