by Joy Dunigan
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2012, which was hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club, concluded yesterday, Sunday October 6th, with Michael Kiss on Bacio, alongside of tactician Chris Rast and crew Willie McBride winning for a third consecutive time. In second overall, was John Kilroy Jr.'s Samba Pa Ti with Jeremy Wilmot on tactics and Federico Michetti on the bow. Moth sailor Richard Davies with Charlie McKee as tactician and Matt Pistay as crew on Section 16 finished third, Paul Reilly's Red Sky was fourth with Andy Burdick and Sam Rogers, and Russell Lucas on Shimmer with brothers Harry and Hans Melges rounded out the top five.
Richard Davies, Section 16 - Audi Melges 20, 2012 U.S. National Championship
With the fog hanging heavy over the San Francisco skyline, the fleet was met with another short, onland postponement before kicking off race seven in a full series of eight under light and shifty conditions. Teams were on edge as the first start resulted in a general recall. Despite a mediocre start and a semi-deep weathermark rounding, Kiss fired up his Audi Melges 20 blasting downwind to round through the left gate fourth, viciously fighting neck-and-neck with Davies for position. Tony Tabb with Steve Sisson on Elevation Racing had a stellar race rounding second at the top, holding on to lead right up until the line. Kiss put heavy pressure on Tabb as the two jibed into the finish, with Kiss getting the win. Tabb claimed second, while Erywn Naidoo on Bohica came third.
While Kiss optioned to retire for the final race of the day, Reilly rallied at the top mark in first, followed by Tom Ritter on Tramp, then Tabb. The top three held their own amidst the increasing breeze and rough wave action of San Fran's famous Berkeley circle. Reilly went on to win by a comfortable margin. Local sailor Sid Gorham on Funner improved throughout the race to take second. Russell Lucas' Shimmer worked hard all race long to finish a strong third.
2012 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champion - Bacio - from left to right, Willie McBride, Michael Kiss, Chris Rast - Audi Melges 20, 2012 U.S. National Championship
Post racing, the 2012 Audi Melges 20 National Championship awards and prize giving took place on the top deck at the Corinthian Yacht Club. In the background, Fleet Week was in full swing on the cityfront, while competitors accepted their awards, and all extended their warmest congratulations to Michael Kiss and his team.
The 2013 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship takes place in Macatawa Bay, Michigan on August 23-25, hosted by the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club. Get ready, because the fleet will reach critical mass at what will be another incredible Melges championship.
The International Audi Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) would like to extend many thanks and gratitude of the Corinthian Yacht Club, and most especially to local fleet owners and members Daniel Thielman and Seadon Wijsen for their hard work and tireless efforts to make this championship the absolute best. The IM20CA would also like to thank PRO Bruce Golison and his awesome Race Committee team for a spectacular, and very professional job on- and off-the-water. From the press team, many special thanks to Samba Pa Ti, Flygfisk and Funner for the escort to and from, and around the racecourse each day. Without you, the blog reports to everyone back home and photos would not have been possible!
Top Ten Results (Final After 8 Races, 1 Discard)
1.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 2-6-1-4-2-2-1-[30/DNF] = 18
2.) John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 1-2-5-3-5-5-4- = 25
3.) Richard Davies, Section 16; -1-7-2-1-1-10-6 = 28
4.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky; -7-2-1-3-3-11-1 = 28
5.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 5-3--5-8-4-7-4 = 36
6.) Sid Gorham, Funner; 8-4--9-6-6-8-2 = 43
7.) Erwyn Naidoo, Bohica; -5-6-8-7-73-11 = 47
8.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 14-9-3-12-9--2-7 = 56
9.) Roland Van Der Meer, BLAST!; 3-8-4-13--11-18-5 = 56
10.) Clay Broussard, Velocity; 6-11-11-10-12-8--10 = 68
Paul Reilly, Red Sky - Audi Melges 20, 2012 U.S. National Championship