Please select your home edition
Edition
Crewsaver ErgoFit 50N

Melges 20 World Championship at New York Yacht Club - Day 1

by International Melges 20 Class Association 5 Oct 2017 08:10 BST 2-7 October 2017

Tourists come to Newport for fall foliage and clam chowder. Sailors come for yachting history and the legendary Newport Sou'wester Breeze which arrived on Day One of the 2017 Melges 20 World Championship.

Mixing together warm, sunny fall temperatures, great breeze and near perfect Melges 20 surfing conditions, three races were completed in efficient fashion with Drew Freides' PACIFIC YANKEE holding the overnight lead with an impressive 1, 2, 2.

With a plan to start on time, at 11 a.m. eastern time, PRO Peter "Luigi" Reggio sent the fleet to course 'Alpha' or better known as the outside course. With wind at 15-18 kts, 2-3 ft waves and a solid southwest direction, Race One began with a clean start and Friedes leading at the top mark, followed by Igor Rytov's RUSSIAN BOGATYRS, and John Kilroy's SAMBA PA TI. In a duel of leaders of the North American and European World League leaders, Freides showed polished form around the track to fend off Rytov, and making a hard charge for third was Rob Wilber and his team of pork chops on CINGHIALE.

Wasting no time, Reggio fired of the warning signal for Race Two and it was Jim Wilson's OLEANDER who tacked off the line and found a nice honey hole in the deep right corner. With a track similar to a Nascar oval, the teams that extended to the right corner on the upwinds and nailed the right corner downwind saw big gains. Wilson would hang on for the win followed by Freides and SAMBA. Wilson commented post race, "We had ideal Newport conditions today. It felt great to win a race here at the Worlds. The racing was close and clean. It was full-on near the top end of the fleet. Lots of high speed action. On a day like today, there's nothing better than going downwind with the kite up!"

The final race of the day saw a general recall which was a much needed additional break for teams looking to catch their breath. With breeze continuing to touch 22-23 kts, the Melges 20s had a full gallop down wind while surfing big waves and getting the occasional mouth full of salt water. Using the mid-line sag to his advantage, Wilber punched off the line, tacked to port and extended to the right, and played the middle left taking advantage of the first lefty puffs of the day. After a brief tussle with longtime Melges 20 owner Daniel Thielman at the helm of KUAI, Wilber managed to hang on for the win, with Freides charging into second and Rytov in third.

"We kinda pulled it together on the last race of the day," said Wilber. "We had a great first race, a tough Race Two, but we regrouped to take a bullet in the third race. There's no better way to do that than to go out and win one. We are excited for Day Two."

Post racing, Melges 20 sailors gathered at New York Yacht Club Harbor Court sponsored by owners Drew Freides and Rob Wilber, to relax and regale each other in stories from an epic day of Melges 20 sailing. With breathtaking views on the top of the hill at Harbor Court, daily awards were given as teams guessed at whether the race course will remain 'outside' for Day Two, or will the wind and sea state demand that the race course be moved to the 'inside' race course which would present a new set of challenges.

Thank you to the New York Yacht Club for serving as hosts, and our chief sponsors Melges USA and North Sails.

Corinthian Clash

With a handful of great teams competing in the all-amatuer Corinthian Division the heat is on high early. Canada's Justin Quigg on CHARACTER 2.0 and Brazil's Cesar Gomes Neto on PORTOBELLO swopped leadership places throughout the day. Ultimately, it was Quigg getting the upper hand over Gomes Neto to lead. "Generally we're pretty happy - We think we're in a good spot for tomorrow," commented Quigg. "In the Corinthian fleet, there's lots of trading places back and forth. We're only a few places ahead of the guys behind us right now." Sweden's Johannes Lind-Widestam sailing INTERMEZZO sits third after three races.

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 1: (top five, 3 races)

1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; 1-2-2 = 5pts
2.) (USA) Jim Wilson, OLEANDER; 4-1-5 = 10pts
3.) (USA) Daniel Thielman, KUAI; 9-4-4 = 17pts
4.) (USA) John Kilroy Jr., SAMBA PA TI; 11-3-6 = 20pts
5.) (USA) Wes Whitmyer Jr., SLINGSHOT; 6-7-8 = 21pts

Full results can be found here.

Related Articles

Melges 20 World League at Lerici, Italy overall
Levi conquers 2018 Melges 20 World League in Lerici Atop the fleet in Lerici on the final day of racing is event champion Dario Levi at the helm of Fremito D'Arja with crew members Enrico Fonda, Stefano Lagi and Rossella Losito. Posted on 25 Jun
Melges 20 World League at Lerici, Italy day 2
Levi takes Fremito D'Arja into the lead The second day of racing in Lerici at the 2018 Melges 20 World League, European Division was a perfect sailing day. With a consistent 12 knots of pressure, the fantastic Dario Levi at the helm of Fremito D'Arja has taken over the event lead. Posted on 24 Jun
Melges 20 World League at Lerici, Italy day 1
Racing starts in third stage of the 2018 Melges 20 World League, European Division The third stage of the 2018 Melges 20 World League, European Division hosted by Circolo Vela Erix officially kicked off today with two races completed. Posted on 23 Jun
2018 Melges 20 World League Round 3 this weekend
Racing taking place at Lerici from the Circolo della Vela Erix The International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA), fleet returns to action this weekend for the third round of competition at the 2018 Melges 20 World League in Europe. Posted on 21 Jun
North Sails Weekly Debrief
3Di Sail Care, Melges 20 World League 3Di Sail Care, Melges 20 World League, North Head of R&D Gautier Sergent answers three questions from Francois Gabart's team, and what makes a great sail? Posted on 2 Jun
Melges 20 World League at Scarlino overall
Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee team take the win Congratulations are in full order for American Drew Freides at the helm of Pacific Yankee, with tactician Paul Goodison and crew member Charlie Smythe - they are 2018 Melges 20 World League, Scarlino Champions. Posted on 28 May
Melges 20 World League at Scarlino day 2
Freides' Pacific Yankee steadfast in Scarlino Light and unstable air only allowed for one race on Day Two at the 2018 Melges 20 World League, European Edition in Scarlino hosted by Marina di Scarlino, and still Drew Freides' PACIFIC YANKEE has a very tight grip on the overall lead. Posted on 27 May
Melges 20 World League at Scarlino day 1
Freides' Pacific Yankee commands first day of racing All the big names and expected challengers of the Melges 20 International Class occupy the top half of the general classification, after three races hosted by Marina di Scarlino. Posted on 26 May
Melges 20 World League Circuit returns to Scarlino
For the second event of the 2018 European season It's only been a month since the first Melges 20 World League event in Forio d'Ischia took place and since, both Charleston, South Carolina and Sagamy Bay, Japan have awarded major trophies. Posted on 24 May
Michas wins Melges 20 U.S. Nationals
Midnight Blue team win at Charleston After three grueling days of competition and eight Championship races on Charleston Harbor, Jason Michas' Midnight Blue with Brian Ledbetter as tactician and Keiran Searle as crew are the new reigning Melges 20 U.S. National Champions Posted on 22 May