FOLLOW THE STORY
Melges Performance Sailboats is taking over Sailing World Magazine's Instagram Story all week long. Follow @SailingWorldMag on the app and tap the profile picture to experience the action.
Change of Pace at Melges 20 Worlds
Seven different races. Seven different race winners.
A lengthy morning postponement gave way to one light air Melges 20 World Championship race, again shuffling the standings with one final day to go
After two days of perfect Southwest Newport breeze, Day Three of the Melges 20 World Championship dawned sunny skies and warm temps, but no wind. As sailors arrived at Sail Newport to begin their preparations, the glassy water was tempting for water skiing. At 09.00, PRO Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio announced that the AP would be hoisted and the next announcement would be at 11:30, giving Melges 20 sailors a relaxing morning to check out Newport’s best coffee shops.
With the best chance for fair racing being on the outside course due to the light-filling seabreeze and a strong ebb tide, the fleet once again congregated at Course Alpha for a 2:00 p.m. start. The light air was a big change of pace with the World Championship title hanging in the balance, and Day Three proved pivotal in the overall standings. Drew Freides’ PACIFIC YANKEE entered the day with a 9-point lead over two-time World Champion John Kilroy on SAMBA PA TI, while several other contenders remained ready to pounce on the smallest opportunity to advance. In essence, Freides and his Pacific Yankees were marked men.
Once to the racing area, Reggio took advantage of the wind on the race course, dropped marks and got the sequence under way. With a port favored line, the pin end was crowded and those that were able to get off the line clean and tack onto port found solid pressure in the middle of the course and made some nice gains. The left looked promising early, but it turned out to be fool’s gold as the left side eventually caved hard and the boats on the middle right led at the top mark.
Jason Michas and his MIDNIGHT BLUE team nailed the start close to the pin, flopped onto port and never looked back leading wire-to-wire in challenging, light conditions. Race Six winner Alessandro Rombelli on STIG challenged for the lead and took second, while Vladimir Prosikhin at the helm of NIKA sailed well to grab third in his brand new Melges 20. Michas’ win marked the seventh different race winner, showing the depth and balance of the fleet at this World Championship.
With the win, Michas moved from eleventh overall to seventh, and the fight for the top ten is intense with just 30 points separating fifth from fifteenth. The forecast for the final day is looking raceable and with a 2:00 p.m. final race cut off it will be important to start on time to get in three races for a full series.
"In light conditions you never exactly know what is going to happen so we tried to keep our eyes up and pounce on the opportunities as they presented themselves. There’s a lot of pressure on all of us. Everyone has to move with finesse. It’s a hard day for all involved. Jason did a great job of keeping the boat at full speed in the right mode, and that makes the tactician’s job a lot easier.”
– Stu McNay, Midnight Blue tactician
CANADIAN CORINTHIAN DOMINATION - Continuing his strong performance in the Corinthian division and overall, Justin Quigg’s CHARACTER 2.0 collected another bottle of champagne and looks to close out his Corinthian World title on Saturday. A great Thanksgiving indeed for these Canadian Sailors.
Thank you to the New York Yacht Club for serving as hosts, and our chief sponsors Melges Performance Sailboats and North Sails.
MELGES 20 WORLD LEAGUE GLOBAL RANKINGS
Top Five – After 12 Events so far
1.) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS (RUS) = 136 pts.
2.) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA (RUS) = 95 pts.
3.) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR. (ITA) = 82 pts.
4.) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE (USA) = 77 pts.
5.) Alexander Ezhkov, PIROGOVO (RUS) = 73 pts.
About North Sails 3Di
3Di™ is a unique, patented sailmaking technology that produces the world's fastest and most durable sails. 3Di sails mirror the balanced load bearing and shape holding of a rigid airfoil wing. They are composed of ultra-thin unidirectional spread filament tapes, pre-impregnated with thermoset adhesive, arranged in a multiple-axis array, and three-dimensionally molded into a one-piece, flexible composite membrane. A spread filament tape is an individual yarn that has been spread out until the individual filaments lie side-by-side; forming an ultra-thin "tape." This exclusive technology enables 3Di sails to be made from fiber and adhesive only—without the need for Mylar film. North's proprietary automated tape laying system allows designers precise control over the placement and orientation of material within each sail. This unitary, monolithic construction produces an airfoil that has balanced resistance to distortion in all directions.