The 2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship, hosted by Sail Newport takes place this weekend - 21-23 August with guarantee of great racing, supreme competition and outstanding sailing conditions. Fifteen teams of the highest quality from all over the continent have arrived in Newport with all sights set on the National Championship title and trophy.
The fleet is jam packed with talent. With reigning National Champion John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti absent, the title is up for solid grabs. Three-time National Champion Michael Kiss on Bacio with tactician Chris Rast is on hand hoping for a fourth success. Marc Hollerbach on Fu has steady tactician Jonathan McKee aboard. McKee is fresh off a big win this past weekend at the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship, so clearly he is warmed up and ready to go. Charleston Champion Jason Michas on Midnight Blue has returned with his winning combination of Mark Mendelblatt and Trevor Moore.
Rob Wilber on Cinghiale, Jim Wilson on Oleander, Daniel Thielman on Kuai, Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee, Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello and Drew Weirda on W are all more than capable of winning this championship, and for some, a big win is long overdue. Anthony Kotoun and Olympic hopeful David Hughes, Sam Rogers, Seadon Wijsen and Skip Baxter, Chad Corning, Charlie Smythe, Scott Nixon and John Bowden are amongst the crew of these fast and experienced teams.
Morgan Kiss on Baciami, daughter of Michael Kiss and 2013 National Championship Top Performing Female Skipper, is back racing in the fleet after a sensational crew debut at the Melges 32 Nationals last weekend. She was one of two ladies sailing the event, and her team - it was the first time they had ever sailed together and took an awesome fifth place finish.
Joining the fleet from the grand country of Canada with intention of bringing on some real heat is Corinthian player Paul Currie on Wild Deuces, and Frank McLaughlin's TBD.
The class is always excited to welcome new teams to the fleet - in particular in Newport are Jonas Kjellberg who has chartered USA-202 and Cary Siegler will sail Heathen.
Thursday, 21 August will mark the first day of competition in Newport. Although early forecasts are calling for light air, three races are scheduled with an 11.00 a.m. first warning. Full Entry List:
1.) Morgan Kiss/Mike Buckley, Baciami
2.) Michael Kiss/Chris Rast, Bacio
3.) Rob Wilber/Anthony Kotoun, Cinghiale
4.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu
5.) Cary Siegler/Jeff Gentzen, Heathen
6.) Daniel Thielman/Seadon Wijsen, Kuai
7.) Bob Hayward/Philip Toth, Manatea 20
8.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendleblatt, Midnight Blue
9.) Jim Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander
10.) Drew Friedes/Chad Corning, Pacific Yankee
11.) Cesar Gomez Neto/Andre Fonseca, Portobello
12.) Frank McLaughlin/Martin Tenhove, TBD
13.) Jonas Kjellberg/Johannes Lind Widestram, USA-202
14.) Andrew Weirda/Scott Nixon, W
15.) Paul Currie/Mateo Vargas, Wild Deuces