The first ever Melges 20 Miami Winter Series regatta is complete and after a really great days of racing with epic conditions, the speedsters are headed home for coming holidays with satisfactory smiles. All of them were happy after having an awesome sailing experience.
From the great hosts at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, to the almost perfect sailing conditions on the Biscayne Bay as well as camaraderie contained within this fleet, the regatta was very much over the top event with the fleet totally primed for greater racing to come in the coming year.
With just 1 point break between overnight leader Liam Kilroy on Wildman as well as veteran Jim Wilson’s yachtOleander, the stage was all fixed for a battle on Sunday in squally, big-breeze conditions. Just behind Jim was a strong line of experienced teams including World Championship runner up Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello, Drew Freides’ Pacific Yankee, along with the always relentless, two-time World Champion John Kilroy Jr. on his yacht Samba Pa Ti.
Blake Middleton told Yacht Rental Croatia that the conditions were under class utmosts of sustained twenty-three knots along with gusts to twenty-five, the fleet went to south portion of Biscayne Bay for the final 2 races. Shedding a tough beginning near the pin, the elder Kilroy saw his mojo upwind, cutting his way up the 1st beat to hold the lead. He did not look back for a single time.
Covering with a tidy squall on the 2nd upwind beat which spun in some new pressure, the pack handled it in step by step. Charging very hard along the race was Paul Reilly, a longtime Melges sailor, and his Red Sky Team ending 2nd, the blazing Brazilian Gomes Neto took 3rd spot.