by Joy Dunigan
For the second consecutive day of the Audi Melges 20 US National Championship, light winds dominated the Lake Michigan coast allowing just a single race for the 26 teams vying for the title of 2013 U.S. National Champion. 'We know the teams are here to race, but it's important to make sure the wind is steady enough for a fair race,' said PRO and longtime one-design racer Bruce Golison. Once again Golison's judgment proved sound, with the wind finally stabilized from the Southwest around 2:30 p.m. at 5-6 knots, and Race 4 of the Championship was soon underway.
2013 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship
Ryan DeVos had barely gotten off the plane from New York when he took the helm of Volpe, and the young Holland native took over where father Dick DeVos left off yesterday; nipping at the heels of 4-time National Champion Michael Kiss aboard Bacio. 'I'm so glad to be out here sailing, but I really do feel lucky to be sitting in second place with so little practice,' said DeVos. DeVos and Kiss battled around the 5-mile course, trading positions at each mark, though Kiss' experience proved too much to overcome. 'It's never easy to stay out in front and Ryan didn't make it any easier.'
Recent transplant to Chicago, Richard Davies' Section 16 hurdled through the standings to fifth place overall after a strong third-place finish in today's race. Perennial podium finisher Marc Hollerbach on Fu also had a breakthrough day after a tough start to the regatta, battling from 13th place at the top mark to fifth at the finish, moving him up to sixth overall. 'We finally put together a good race,' Hollerbach said. 'It's incredibly hard to stay focused with such tough conditions, but we did it - for one race, at least!'
Sunday's conditions remain a mystery, though race officials will attempt to start three more races. After six total races, each team discards their worst result, making the next three races crucial.
Tonight the Audi Melges 20 Class descended upon on Regatta Co-Chairman Michael and Tovi Kiss's house for a sunset party, live music, and the world premiere of Penalty Box Productions' Tribute to Pat Eudy.
Tomorrow's forecast calls for winds up to 18 knots from the South, providing spectacular racing along Michigan's striking dunes. Racing begins at 10.00 a.m.
Friday night, six Audi Melges 20 racers got together with SailingAnarchy.com's Alan Block for a live, 30 minute talk show about tuning the Melges 20, the winter schedule and Worlds, the new mast, just how open the class is with information and tips, tips for newbie helmspersons, and much more.
Top Ten Results (After Four Races)
1.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 1-4-7-1 = 13
2.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 3-6-6-2 = 17
3.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 7-1-8-4 = 20
4.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; 2-13-4-6 = 25
5.) Richard Davies, Section 16; 15-8-5-3 = 31
6.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu; 8-10-12-5 = 35
7.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 18-3-2-15 = 38
8.) John Arendshorst, 20/20 Racing; 4-12-18-7 = 41
9.) Brian Hill, Atlas (Corinthian); 6-11-13-12 = 42
10.) Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 23-7-3-10 = 43
Melges 20 website