Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Audi Melges 20 action and the big breeze made for some fun as three additional races were completed.
Paul Reilly on Red Sky is still atop the standings, five points ahead of Mary Anne Ward on M and M Racing Team in second. Italy’s Dario Levi on Fremito D’Arjia is now seated in third. Six points total separate the top three.
A steady 15-20 knots of breeze, slightly cooler temps, crystal clear blue skies and lots of Florida sunshine ushered in the first race of the day with Reilly having another great race. He led three-quarters of the race with confidence. 'We like the big breeze a lot,' said Reilly post racing. Reilly’s crew consists of Andy Burdick on tactics and Olympic 49er hopeful Mike Kuschner. 'Both Andy and Mike really know what to do when we have breeze like we had today. Tomorrow should be a little bit tougher because we won't have quite as much.'
Race winner Levi, ripped the finish right out from under Reilly’s boat with a fast final downwind run, placing him well ahead for the win. 'Today was beautiful. We are really enjoying ourselves here,' said Levi. 'We certainly look forward to racing the Gold Cup next December. You can be sure, we will be encouraging this event, over the course of the year in Europe.' Macatawa Bay Yacht Club’s Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing came third.
For race two, the breeze shifted a little more, affording Michael Kiss on Bacio the opportunity to get ahead quick, but also, take full advantage of clean air and water out front of the highly competitive 26-strong Audi Melges 20 fleet. 'We were very lucky,' said a humble Kiss, sailing with his National Championship team of tactician Chris Rast and son, Mitchell. 'We just went the right way. The racing downwind was just great today.' Reilly held his own for second. Early race leader Ward finished in third.
The breeze settled down a bit for the last race of the day, a Course 5. Chuck Holzman on Flyer shot out front taking an early lead and sustaining up until the final gate rounding. Simply put, Holzman selected the wrong gate mark allowing Kiss to overtake the lead upwind for the win. 'The shift went one way, Michael went the other way, then he just sat on us all the way to the finish,' said Holzman. 'It’s been a long time since Flyer has been up front. It's nice to know that we can still go fast when we need to.'
Apres racing, teams gathered at host club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club for afternoon beer, cocktails and munchies on the lawn.
Saturday is the final day of competition. Races will start on time again at 1100. At least two races are scheduled. Top Ten Results (after four races)
1.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 1-4-2-3 = 10
2.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Sailing Team; 3-5-3-4 = 15
3.) Dario Levi, Fremito D’Arjia; 2-1-7-6 = 16
4.) Chuck Holzman, Flyer; 8-8-5-2 = 23
5.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 18-7-1-1 = 27
6.) Anthony Tabb/Eric Wynsma, Elevation Racing; 4-3-8-13 = 28
7.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu; 9-12-12-5 = 38
8.) Sid Gorham, Funner; 13-6-4-18 = 41
9.) Kent Haegar, Mach Schnell; 5-9-20-8 = 42
10.) Jon Messenger, Black Sheep; 6-15-16-9 = 46
Full results Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Event website click here
Class Association http://melges20.com/