Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - NZ

Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti Named champion

by Joy Dunigan on 26 Aug 2013
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship © Meredith Block http://www.blocksail.com/
With a frontal system on its way to the Michigan coast and all the forecast models in agreement, the 26 racing teams from around the U.S. and the world knew before they left the dock that the final day of the 2013 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship presented by Audi Muskegon would feature big waves and white knuckle speeds.

Race Officer Bruce Golison planned for three races to decide the championship, and the battle began at 10 a.m. less than a mile from Holland's famous 'Big Red' lighthouse in 10 knots of breeze.

Race five of the championship, the first of the day, saw the all-amateur team aboard Brian Hill's Atlas punch through the starting line, turning their advantage to a big lead at the top mark. Hill and Argo's Jason Carroll fought tooth and nail for the position down the first run, with Carroll squeezing inside Hill for the lead at the gate. The two worked their way up the right side of the course while Wilmot chose the left, while a shift and gust gave Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti the lead at the final mark that they refused to relinquish. Hill took third, while Kiss finished a distant fourth, still with a slim but solid lead over Carroll, Ryan Devos on Volpe, and Kilroy.

In Race six, the wheels fell off the bus for Bacio; Kiss's first real misstep of the event. While Kilroy took a fourth and Devos a sixth, Kiss finished 12th. After the race, Golison read the scores over VHF radio, the call crackling through the air as it repeated over dozens of speakers. 'Tied For First: Samba Pa Ti and Bacio with 17 points each!.'

A busy spectator fleet crowded the start line as the teams converged for the final and deciding race of the National Championship, and at the top mark, the first and second-placed Kiss and Kilroy were separated by a single boat length.

As the boats jumped up on plane and surged through the waves downwind, a slight misstep from Kiss let Jeff Ecklund's STAR get close enough to affect his wind while Kilroy reveled in the breezy, choppy conditions, and the race was effectively over. 'I misjudged where we needed to be, and let Samba Pa Ti get away,' said Kiss. 'There aren't a lot of second chances when it's all on the line with a team as good as Kilroy's.' The three-time National Champion was disappointed but charged up. 'This definitely motivates us to train harder for Worlds in December,' he said.

Meanwhile, Kilroy was busy tearing through the remaining boats, working his way to a big lead on the final leg. As the team crossed the line, Wilmot, Reynolds and Kilroy pumped their fists with sails flapping around them. Kilroy was overjoyed with the victory, his second major sportboat title in less than a year. It was also payback for Kilroy'ssecond-place against Kiss during last year's Nationals in San Francisco.

'Winning against someone as skilled and gracious as Michael makes this trophy mean a lot more,' said Kilroy, who also won the 'Masters' trophy for best performance by a skipper over 60 years old. 'This was an incredible regatta - one of the best I have ever been to - and we're looking forward to a lot more Melges racing in the months ahead.'

Taking eighth place overall, Toronto's Brian Hill won the Corinthian National Championship for the top all-amateur team. 'We're very happy with our performance, and barring one bad hoist we'd have done even better,' said Hill. 'I think we proved that your profession isn't what gets you results in this Class; All you need are good sailors, a well-prepared boat, and lots of time on the water.'

Twenty-one year old Ian Hollerbach aboard Fuku and 20 year-old Morgan Kiss on Baciami traded places all week long only to find themselves tied on exactly 77 points at the end of the regatta. Kiss won the tiebreaker to get 13th place overall. 'It was awesome to have Morgan out there to use as a barometer for how we were doing,' said Hollerbach.

The younger Kiss plans to compete right through the World Championship, while Hollerbach's plans are less definite. 'I think I'm going to be asking [mom] Karen soon if I can do it,' he said. Kiss also went on to claim the trophy for 'top performance by a female skipper.'

Top ten results (After Seven Races, One Discard)

1.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; 2-[13]-4-6-1-4-1 = 18

2.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 1-4-7-1-4-[12]-3 = 20

3.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 7-1-[8]-4-2-7-2 = 23

4.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 3-6-6-2-6-6-[16] = 29

5.) Richard Davies, Section 16; [15]-8-5-3-10-8-5 = 39

6.) Cesar Gomes Neto, Portobello; 17-9-1-[22]-11-1-6 = 45

7.) Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; [23]-7-3-10-12-3-10 = 45

8.) Brian Hill, Atlas (Corinthian); 6-11-13-12-3-5-[17] = 50

9.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu; 8-10-12-5-8-[14]-8 = 51

10.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 18-3-2-15-[22]-10-7 = 55

For the first time ever, the U.S. National Championship Opening Ceremony was streamed live on the internet. It's available for viewing or embedding at Audi Melges 20 Ustream Channel

Friday night, six Audi Melges 20 racers got together with http://sailinganarchy.com/?utm_source=Kilroy%27s+Samba+Pa+Ti+Named+2013+Audi+Melges+20+U.S.+National+Champion+After+Come&utm_campaign=AM20+NATS+4&utm_medium=email!Sailing_Anarchy.com's Alan Block for a live, 30 minute talk show about tuning the Melges 20, the winter schedule and Worlds, the new mast, just how open the class is with information and tips, tips for newbie helmspersons, and much more. The video can be found at the Audi Melges 20 Ustream Channel.
T Clewring AC72Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr