16 November 2014
Legendary sailor/coach Gordy Bowers from Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota proclaims that when a high pressure system is parked over a region and the land cools in the evening, there is a drainage breeze that fills. This breeze remains throughout the morning until the sun heats the land and squashes what is left of…the Moon Wind. Yes, Moon Wind. That is what the Melges 24 fleet had as they left the dock for the second day of racing at the 2014 Melges 24 U.S. Nationals hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club (DIYC). The Moon Wind stuck around long enough for one race (Race Six) to be completed, with another race attempted but later abandoned.
With a hot battle in the only race of the day, Marty Kullman and his team on New Wave stealthily passed Brian Porter’s Full Throttle on the first run to take the lead and defend it until the finish. Despite losing the race, Porter was able to grab the overall lead on a tiebreaker with Bora Gulari’s New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging, just one point ahead of Kullman.
Meanwhile, Corinthian leader Kevin Nixon and his family aboard Accru+, edged out Gulari at the finish to grab a fourth place and secure a two point lead in the hotly contested all-amatuer Division. As the lone Australian entry, Nixon is enjoying Davis Island, along with racing his Melges 24 with his family on holiday. Nixon explains, "This is our first time racing in Davis Island and we made it a family holiday to come race Melges 24s in America. We are sailing with all family, my wife Glenda, daughter Bonnie, my son Daniel and his girlfriend Christine. With a clean start in the first race today, we managed to go left on the first beat, recover from an early gybe on the last downwind to have a close finish and grab fourth."
Nixon holds a slim 2 pt lead over Ryan Glaze’s Gringo. While the Melges 24s are known for their bow up prowess, the teams that do well can also show finesse in the light conditions. Bruce Ayres on Monsoon, a longtime Melges 24 veteran battled back from a tough start to have a respectable finish. "We had a bad start and were twentieth at the top mark. We battled hard around the course, and finished a respectable eighth which we were happy with." Ayres continues on the longevity of Melges 24 racing, "The Melges 24 Nationals with 31 boats is absolutely fantastic. There is a great group of sailors with new teams and we get to meet new people, and that is what it is all about."
While the forecast is bleak for the final scheduled day of racing, PRO Eric Robbins has bumped up the start time to 9:30 am to take advantage of what might remain of the Moon Wind. With the overall title currently being decided on a tie breaker, and the Corinthian title up for grabs, there are some who will quietly vote for staying on the dock, while others will push to get racing.
FOLLOW THE RACING
Sunday will mark the final day of competition at the 2014 U.S. National Championship. Plenty of great action on- and off-the-water can be expected — and the class will capture it all! Be sure to bookmark the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Website and watch for the latest racing updates at the USMCA’s Official Facebook Page.
TOP TEN RESULTS - OPEN (After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 3--1-5-1-2 = 12
2.) Bora Gulari, New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging; 1-1-2-4-4- = 12
3.) Marty Kullman, New Wave; 2-3-4-3--1 = 13
4.) Jeff Madrigali/Kevin Welch, Mikey; 6--6-2-2-3- = 19
5.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 7--3-1-6-8 = 25
6.) Kevin Nixon, Accru+; 10-2-16--9-4 = 41
7.) Steve Rhyne, mojo; -7-5-6-6-3-21 = 42
8.) Bent Dietrich, Kleine Rainbow; 8-4--17-10-6 = 45
9.) Ryan Glaze, Gringo; 9-18-8--7-7 = 49
10.) Steve Boho, The 300; -12-14-8-8-10 = 52
TOP THREE RESULTS - CORINTHIAN (After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) Kevin Nixon, Accru+; 10-2-16--9-4 = 41
2.) Ryan Glaze, Gringo; 9-18-8--7-7 = 49
3.) Roger Counihan, Just Add Water; 5-25-9-14-11- = 64