In One Design news, the second event of the 2013 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series took place last weekend at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Marc Hollerbach and his 'Fu' team, which featured Ben Allen serving as forward hand and Seattle’s own Jonathan McKee calling shots as tactician, claimed top honors. I recently caught up with McKee to get his thoughts on the event and the Melges 20 class.
2013 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series
S-W: How would you compare the competition in the Melges 20 class with other OD keelboats?
Marc Hollerbach, Fu
McKee: 'The Melges 20 has become one of the most competitive classes in the U.S. It’s an owner-driver class, so you don’t have the pro drivers like in the Melges 24 Class. The boats are strict One Design-and the sails nearly identical-so there are essentially no equipment edges to be had. And with 47 boats at this Midwinter Regatta, the racing is very high-level.'
S-W: What are the three most important factors that helped you guys win?
McKee: 'To win a regatta like this, first you need some reasonable upwind speed. We have worked pretty hard at this, and we’re improving. Secondly, we had really good downwind speed, and pretty good downwind tactics. Lastly, we did a good job of managing our comebacks through the fleet. We generally made gains on each leg, and, sometimes, big comebacks downwind, so that allowed us to shave a lot of points off, in the end just enough to win!'
Meanwhile, n the other side of the globe, the J. J. Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2013 is set to begin in a couple of days on Sydney Harbor in Sydney, Australia. Inside, be sure to check out all the cool media surrounding this high-octane, high-performance event, and stay tuned to our website for more news, as it unfurls.
Also inside, check out the latest news from the upcoming Congressional Cup (April 9-13) and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2013, and learn more about the new mandatory qualification event that sailors who are hoping to make the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team had best add to their 2013 racing schedule.
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May the four winds blow you safely home,