Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Shimmer thrives on day 2
by Joy Dunigan on 9 Dec 2012
The racing on the second day of the Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series opened with the same light wind conditions from the previous day. However, competitions were still in full blast throughout the day as Shimmer’s Russell Lucas found himself lording on top of the standings after nailing two second-place and one first-place finish Saturday.
2013 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series USMCA/ Joy Dunigan © http://www.melges24.com/
Day two of the 2013 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (GCSC) was a true test of Audi Melges 20 sailor skills in extremely light air. Although the breeze stayed constant between 6-8 knots throughout the day, the sailors had to concentrate on communicating as a boat to succeed in subpar weather conditions.
Race one of the day and number two in the series, had some trouble at the start including two general recalls as well as a race abandonment called by the Race Committee due to troubles with mark placement. The second start for race one went perfectly with Travis Weisleder on Lucky Dog taking the early lead with a great start heading up the beat and then extending for the win. Russell Lucas on Shimmer also had a wonderful start then battled with Weisleder throughout the race finishing up second. James Wilson on Oleander stayed close to the top with great course positioning then sneaked past Bohica owned by Erwyn Naidoo right at the end to solidify a third place finish.
With an all clear start, the second race of the day went perfectly as sailors began to acclimate themselves to the racing conditions. Several boats had great starts which proved to be crucial including John Kilroy on Samba Pi Ti, Russell Lucas on Shimmer, Tom Ritter on Tramp, and Robert Wilber on Cinghiale giving their boats a clear advantage in the end. Race two was perfect with the entire fleet reaching the first mark simultaneously. Coming into the final mark, Lucas and crew flew past the competition taking a huge lead and extending for the win. Ritter kept his position and finished second. Kilroy and Wilber went head-to-head the entire race but Wilber prevailed by seconds at the finish to take third.
Lucas and his crew on Shimmer had an impeccable day with a 2-1-2 punch. 'We had great starts and that was crucial in our success.' said Lucas. 'We also realized the importance of slow tacking and jibing in light air conditions. We were very calm, had fun, and giggled a lot. Overall it was a great day and we look forward to more sailing tomorrow.'
For the third and final race of the day, and fourth in the series, Alessandro Rombelli on STIG came on strong to capture the win. Lucas on Shimmer continued his dominance and finished second. Marcus Eagan's Cajun Underwriting, a total Corinthian boat, had a great day with a 6-8-3 scoreline to finish with a respectable third.
Eagan sails with his brother and father, and has had a wonderful regatta thus far sitting second overall after two days of racing. 'It is a blast sailing with my family and especially with my dad.' said Eagan. 'It is an honor to go up against the biggest names in the sailing world and is why we come out here to compete. Sailing in the Audi Melges 20 fleet is like having the opportunity to playing against Tiger Woods, and who wouldn't want that opportunity? These guys are great, and you see them in other classes are they are always amazing. I can't wait to get out there tomorrow for one last day of sailing.'
After racing the fleet met for a fun and casual debriefing session led by Andy Burdick with Melges USA. Harry Melges, along with Anthony Kotoun and brothers Jonathan and Charlie McKee also chimed in with excellent sailing advice to the fleet intently looking on. These short, yet informative debriefing sessions are really special. They are designed to add major insight and value to those who are new to the fleet or just want to want hear how the best in the industry handled the day's challenging racing conditions. Thanks Melges USA!
The Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 1 will continue tomorrow with the first start of two races beginning at 10:30am.
Top Ten Results (After Four Races)
1.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 9-2-1-2 = 14
2.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 4-6-8-3 = 21
3.) John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 7-7-4-9 =27
4.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 3-8-18-1 = 30
5.) Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog; 20-1-6-5 = 32
6.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 8-19-3-10 = 40
7.) Richard Davies, Section 16; 1-14-19-11 = 45
8.) John Arendshorst, Blink 20/20; 5-11-17-12 = 45
9.) James Wilson, Oleander; 14-3-24-7 = 48
10.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 6-15-14-13 = Melges 20 website