by Joy Dunigan
The Audi Melges 20 World Championship 2013, hosted by Ocean Reef Club, concluded today in Key Largo, Florida. Congratulations to 2013 Audi Melges 20 World Champions John Taylor, owner of Ninkasi, tactician Bill Hardesty and Joey Mello on bow. After ten races, against 52 of the world's greatest Audi Melges 20 teams, Taylor cashed in big at the finish line on Saturday to win the Class' first World title.
Ninkasi - Audi Melges 20 World Championship 2013
Taylor has never won an Audi Melges 20 regatta, nor any other regatta for that fact. 'I guess if I'm going to win one, this was the one to win.' said an elated and very happy Taylor at the daily awards. 'I am honored to be in the presence of so many great owners and fellow sailboat racers. This is by far the best class, with the best owners in the world.'
Finishing second overall, 2013 Audi Melges 20 Corinthian World Champion Marcus Eagan on Cajun Underwriting along with his dad Marc and brother Andrew swept the awards. They are the only team to place in the overalls as well as the Corinthian Division.
Falling further from grace, was third place finisher Travis Weisleder on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team. It was do or die on the final day of racing as he stood only a few points out of first place. A second place finish in Race Nine gave way to a glimmer of hope, but an OCS in Race 10 left little that he could win the event.
Alessandro Rombelli's STIG claimed fourth, while fleet first-timer Jason Michas on Midnight Blue took fifth.
To close out the event, a huge dinner gala was held at Ocean Reef's Town Hall to celebrate the championship. Congratulations were given to all winners including Top Master, which went to John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti and best boat with female crew was collected by Leo van denThillart's Team True Racing.
To know one's shock and surprise, the Eagans claimed first, followed by John Brown on Blind Squirrel in second and Olli Luebker on Miss Betty in third. Paul Currie's Wild Deuces came fourth, Frank McLaughlin's CAN-254 was fifth, and Bo Boje Pedersen on UpUpUp finished out the division in sixth.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After ten races, one discard - FINAL)
1.) John Taylor/Bill Hardesty, Ninkasi; 1-11--4-14-1-5-1-1-10 = 48
2.) Marcus Eagan/Marc Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 6--13-2-7-5-11-3-4-5 = 56
3.) Travis Weisleder/Scott Nixon, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 2-9-4-5-1-12-13-21-2-[38/ZFP] = 68
4.) Alessandro Rombelli/Paul Goodison, STIG; -4-6-3-20-3-6-6-25-9 = 76
5.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendelblatt, Midnight Blue; 4-1--13-13-11-4-8-17-8 = 79
6.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 20-15-2-17-8-9-1-5-7-[53/DNF] = 84
7.) Jeff Ecklund/John Kostecki, STAR; 17-7--7-3-26-3-4-5-12 = 84
8.) John Kilroy/Jeremy Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 9-2--1-27-13-10-12-6-14 = 94
9.) Jim Richardson/Terry Hutchinson, Barking Mad, 15-5-19-9-5-22-7--3-9 = 94
10.) Michael Kiss/Chris Rast, Bacio; 11-14-17-12--10-8-10-11-6 = 99
TOP THREE CORINTHIAN RESULTS (After eight races, one discard)
1.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel
3.) Paul Currie, Wild Deuces