by Joy Dunigan
Bacardi Miami Sailing Week - It was blatantly obvious today that Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 2 Champion Paul Reilly on Red Sky Sailing Team hasn't missed a beat. His starts were strong and his tactics were spot on, the end result, a very rewarding first place overall.
Audi Melges 20 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Fleet Action - Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
The opening day of racing started out beautifully under gorgeous conditions. Sunshine and a pleasant 10-12 knots of breeze enabled 26 Audi Melges 20 teams to saddle up for a very heated start. Tony Tabb’s Elevation Racing punched the pin end hard then, took it all the way to the top to round the windward mark in the lead. A cluster of teams fought for second place. Among those jostling for position were Reilly, Mary Anne Ward on M&M Sailing and Kent Haegar on Mach Schnell. Reilly gained valuable positions downwind. He was full steam ahead through the gate, first at the final mark and across the finish line. Dario Levi on Fremito D’Arjia mixed things up by putting on his best speed to finish second. Ward finished third.
Three-quarters of the way through the race, reports of severe weather closing in fast were received containing news of heavy rain and possible 50+ mph gusts. PRO Bruce Golison made the call to send the fleet to shore. The rain turned clear visibility into sheets of white as teams struggled to get their boats moored properly and docked safely at Coconut Grove Sailing Club.
'Big breeze and big pressure were scheduled to arrive in the early afternoon with little spots of rain. Instead, the front accelerated and we ended up with some pretty torrential weather,' said Golison. 'We're going to try for four races tomorrow. Commander's is calling for 12-20 knots, so it should be perfect Biscayne Bay conditions.'
Top Ten Results (After 1 Race)
1.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team = 1
2.) Dario Levi, Fremito D’Arjia = 2
3.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Sailing Team = 3
4.) Anthony Tabb/Eric Wynsma, Elevation Racing = 4
5.) Kent Haegar, Mach Schnell = 5
6.) Jon Messenger, Black Sheep = 6
7.) Alessandro Rombelli, Stig = 7
8.) Chuck Holzman, Flyer = 8
9.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu = 9
10.) Pat Eudy, Big Booty = 10
Dario Levi, Fremito D'Arjia - Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team & Kent Haegar, Mach Schnell - Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team - Bacardi Miami Sailing Week