by Joy Dunigan
On the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2013 final day, weather forecasts had predicted some pretty substantial breeze, and with a wind speed rule in full effect for the Audi Melges 20 Class, everyone could only be hopeful that racing would happen.
Melges 20 Audi Sailing Series 2013
Cautiously teams ventured out onto the course on Sunday morning with a steady 15-20 knots. Within a short 10-20 minutes (if that) and a building steep chop, the breeze blew a solid 25-30 with no sign of letting up. PRO Hank Stuart and his incredible race committee team hoisted November over Alpha, cancelling all racing for the day.
Saturday's results stand as final. Congratulations to Michael Kiss on Bacio as he is the 2013 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Champion, a title he has carried now three times. Kiss was accompanied by tactician Chris Rast and crew Jamie Kimball.
In second overall was Robert Hughes' Heartbreaker with Morgan Reeser as tactician and bowman Brian Janney. James Wilson aboard Oleander with Sam Rogers on tactics and Dan Morris on bow rallied to third. Rob Wilber's Cinghiale and Jeff Ecklund on STAR rounded out the top five respectively fourth and fifth.
The real story of the event was fleet newcomer Mark Bremer on TRUE winning the 2013 Audi Melges 20 Corinthian Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week title. Charleston was his very first time racing an Audi Melges 20. 'Really nice people, really fast, and I loved the downwind. Racing with Mitchell Kiss and Dani Rast was just amazing. They coached me a lot and gave me a lot of confidence.' said Bremer prior to the awards ceremony. 'This was super fun. Oh yeah, I want to do this again. I can't wait until the next event!'
John Brown on Blind Squirrel came second, Andy Rasdal on Valkyrie took third.
As with every event, there are so many people, organizers and supportes that come together to make it all great. The International Audi Melges 20 Class Association (IAM20CA) would specifically like to thank Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Event Director Randy Draftz for a spectacular regatta. The event was well organized and all-around phenomenal. PRO Hank Stuart and his Race Committee team did an incredible job making the right calls on and off the water. Melges USA offered up the absolute best five-star customer service and support to all our racers.
A very special thanks to Audi Melges 20 Hooligan owner Trey Sheehan and his team for enabling the IAM20CA to get out to the course each day to bring everyone racing updates and hundreds of pictures.You guys are THE BEST!
Top ten results (After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Michael Kiss/Chris Rast, Bacio; 4-5-2-3--1-1-1 = 17
2.) Robert Hughes/Morgan Reeser, Heartbreaker; 5-2-1-[34/DNF]-5-5-6-3 = 27
3.) James Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander; 1-8--1-3-9-3-6 = 31
4.) Robert Wilber/Anthony Kotoun, Cinghiale; 6-3-8-7-8-4-7- = 43
5.) Jeff Ecklund/Ed Baird, STAR; 2--3-2-9-7-8-22 = 53
6.) Mark Bremer/Mitchell Kiss, TRUE; 10-11-12-9--3-10-2 = 57
7.) Travis Weisleder/Scott Nixon, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 3--4-12-14-8-9-7 = 57
8.) Tony Tabb/Seadon Wiesjen, Elevation Racing; 7--11-10-12-10-4-4 = 58
9.) Jim Richardson/Terry Hutchinson, Barking Mad; 12-6-9-4--11-12-9 = 63
10.) Russell Lucas/Harry Melges, Shimmer; -1-13-14-15-14-2-8 = 67
Top five all-corinthian results (After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Mark Bremer, TRUE
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel
3.) Andy Rasdal, Valkyrie
4.) Lance Smotherman, Details
5.) Jim Pearson, Slippery
Full results here