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Kiss Takes The Audi Melges 20 National Championship Lead In Miami

13 November 2011

November 11, 2011 (Miami, FL) - It was an amazing first day of racing at the 2011 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, with defending titleholder Michael Kiss on Bacio taking the early lead. Kiss put his best speed forward finishing third in race one, then earning a bullet each in race two and three. Trailing by four points, seated second overall, is newcomer Marcus Eagan on Cajun Underwriting. Russell Lucas'Shimmer rounds out the top three.

Three races were completed under spectacular conditions - sunny, warm and plenty of civilized breeze. The 30-boat fleet enjoyed 12-15 knots with periodic gusts of 16 or more, for the initial start on a slightly, choppy Biscayne Bay. Eagan got off the line fast inching his way up the right side to round first, ahead of Steve Sisson at the helm of Tony Tabb's Elevation Racing in second. Lucas' Shimmer was third followed by a host of boats fighting for top ten position. Lucas was quick to fired it up downwind, advancing ahead of Tabb to overtake for second place. Toward the end of the race the breeze softened slightly, but that was no deterrent for Eagan. It seemed as though he just got faster and faster, taking the win with Lucas chasing to finish second. Kiss settled for third.

In the last two races of the day, Kiss offered up nothing but total domination. "Today was a lot of fun," said a smiling Kiss post racing. "We've sailed a lot of regattas this year and most of them have been in light air. It was really fun to have some breeze." 

The breeze pumped out of the North, but as the day progressed it ever so slowly shifted right with the Race Committee working hard to keep up. By the start of race three, it had shifted some 50 degrees and the Course 4 configuration was lengthened, accommodating some of the best downwind runs with lots of opportunities for great planing. In both races, Kiss took a substantial lead almost immediately. He was continuously being challenged by the likes of John Taylor's Ninkasi, who experienced a great second race, Travis Weisleder's Layline.com/Gill Race Teamand Eagan. In the end, Kiss held onto the lead extending for the win in both races.

Saturday is day two at the National Championship, where three more races are anticipated.

TOP TEN RESULTS (Preliminary, After 3 Races)
1.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 3-1-1 = 5
2.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 1-5-3 = 9
3.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 2-8-2 = 12
4.) Travis Weisleder, Layline.com/Gill Racing Team; 5-3-5 = 13
5.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 6-7-6.5/RDG = 19.5
6.) Claudio Recchi, Let's Roll; 11-6-4 = 21
7.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 13-2-14 = 29
8.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 7-11-12 = 30
9.) Chuck Holzman, Flyer; 4-19-8 = 31
10.) Mary Anne Ward, M & M Racing; 10-12-9 = 31
View Full Results
View Photo Gallery - JOY

Official Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship Event Website

Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing. Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web SiteMelges.com and Melgeseurope.com for all the latest details. You can also friend the Audi Melges 20 on Facebook, follow on Twitter and/or subscribe to the Official Audi Melges 20 You Tube Channel.