The International Audi Melges 20 Class Association is thrilled to welcome 41 world-class teams to Bacardi Miami Sailing Week 2014 (BMSW) celebrating the event as the second largest fleet in attendance.
Representing six nations - Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan and the United States, the fleet is fully loaded with the greatest amateur drivers in the world and some of the brightest superstars in the sport of sailing.
One of the coolest stories to emerge this week is the arrival of the youngest helmsman to ever compete in the IAM20CA's open division, and quite possibly the youngest helm present at BMSW as a whole - 10 year-old Liam Kilroy on Wildman. This kid could not possibly be in better hands as multiple world champion Steve Hunt will assist with tactics, while the number one women's match racer in the U.S. and Wisconsin native Stephanie Roble will work the bow. When asked if he was nervous about competing this week, after all it is his very first Audi Melges 20 regatta, the junior Kilroy casually replied 'no, not really.' Roble on the other hand, smiled and was quick to add comment, 'Liam's pretty natural and comfortable at the helm, so it should be a really fun weekend.'
Liam Kilroy is in good company as he is not the only newbie. Dave Daveport will take the helm of Mach Schnell with Annie Haegar and team mate Briana Provancha. Legendary Melges 24 Corinthian Champion Bruce Ayres on Monsoon is reported to be having a blast, Jay Golison is all set to steer It's All Good, and sailing his Audi Melges 20 for the first time ever in U.S. waters is Andrea Pozzi on Bombarda.
In addition to the very chic Bacardi hospitality tent and free flowing rum each afternoon after racing, social events galore are planned for the Melges fleets that include a premium race debrief session and review of the day's racing on Thursday afternoon. To top the whole thing off, Melges USA revs up the party machine on Friday with their famous Melges Rocks party!
After two events Richard Davies' Section 16 aims to defend his 2013 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series (MWS) Champion title. According to the 2014 MWS Ranking after two events, Tony Tabb's Yolo and Russ Lucas' Shimmer are sitting second and third with 195 points each. Lucas is back to play, but Tabb has opted to charter his boat to Ayres.
Three points separate positions two thru six occupied by John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti, Michael Kiss' Bacio and Alessandro Rombelli's Stig. Bacardi marks the final round of racing on the Winter Series circuit. This weekend's racing shall make it all the more interesting.
Racing commences on 6 March, the first of three days. Three races are scheduled.
The 2014 Audi Melges 20 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week event is hosted and proudly supported by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Melges USA.
Event website: Click here