by Joy Dunigan
Melges Miami Winter Series. More than 30 Melges teams raced on a quite cooler than expected Biscayne Bay today, putting four races on the official scoreboard at the 2011 Miami Winter Regatta, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC). Leading the Audi Melges 20 fleet is Paul Reilly on Red Sky Sailing Team cashing in big with a phenomenal 2-1-2-1 performance.
Miami Winter Regatta
In second is Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing. Jason Carroll climbed aboard his Argo charter boat to finish third. In the ultra competitive Melges 24 division, to no one's surprise Riccardo Simoneschi on Audi is in first, the lovely Kristen Lane is second racing Team Brickhouse 812 and in third, Cary Siegler on Rock Steady.
Over relatively flat seas, with a solid 10-15 knots of breeze, teams went racing under overcast skies with crisp temperatures in the low sixties. Despite the cool air, the competition was really hot. Short but sweet, one mile beats, course 4s and the last being a 5, Miami delivered the goods.
Reilly is a long-time Melges owner and just this past August, leaped head first into the heavy duty competition of the Audi Melges 20. His first class event was the U.S. Nationals in Macatawa Bay where he finished fifth overall. By the looks of his streamlined performance in Miami, Red Sky Sailing Team is here to stay and quickly becoming a force to reckon with. At the end of the day, Reilly is in first place, eight points ahead of Tabb in second and Carroll is third both with fourteen points each.
The Melges 24 division pulled out all the stops with impressive, blistering speed sprints that were so cool to watch, and for those that have sailed a Melges 24 know just how much fun the downwind run can be. Simoneschi, K. Lane, Seigler, Guy Mossman on Battle Rhythm, Brian Porter on Full Throttle and Peter Lane on Team Brickhouse 623 aggressively vied for position at the starts and electrified the course with upwind speed in every race. Simoneschi clearly had the stronger day, but Lane improved her score race-by-race, putting her team five points out of the lead. USMCA Northeast District Governor Seigler has had a very nice event thus far winding out the day in third. In fourth and fifth respectively, Kristen's husband, Peter Lane and Mossman separate themselves by one point. Rob Butler on The Beaver is the Corinthian division leader.
More racing is on the way for Sunday. Although the morning hours are going to be cool once more, the warm Florida sun is scheduled to make an appearance.
Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing. Stay tuned to the official class web sites for the Audi Melges 20 and Melges 24 as well as Melges.com for all the latest details. You can also friend the Audi Melges 20 and U.S. Melges 24 on Facebook. Updates from the course will be posted every day.
Top Five Results
Audi Melges 20 (After 1 Miami Winter Series Event)
1.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 2-1-2-1 = 6
2.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 5-5-1-3 = 14
3.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 1-4-5-4 = 14
4.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 6-3-6-2 = 17
5.) kent Haegar, Mach Schnell; 11-2-3-5 = 21
Melges 24 (After 1 Road To Corpus Series Event)
1.) Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi; 1-2-1-2 = 6
2.) Kristen Lane, Team Brickhouse; 812; 2-5-3-1 = 11
3.) Cary Seigler, Rock Steady; 6-3-5-3 = 17
4.) Peter Lane, Team Brickhouse 623; 3-6-4-4 = 18
5.) Guy Mossman, Battle Rhythm; 4-4-6-5 = 19