STAR claims opening event

Jeff Ecklund wins Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series opener

Sunday December 13th 2009, Author: Joy Dunigan, Location: United Kingdom
On close, competitive Biscayne Bay, the first event in the 2010 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series concluded with Fort Lauderdale's Jeff Ecklund on STAR, and crew members Bora Gulari and George ‘Bear’ Peet as champions.

Trying to fill Ecklund’s superstar-size, top-notch helmsman shoes was substitute-helm, good friend and fellow Lauderdale Yacht Club member Tom Lihan. Ecklund won the event on count back after Saturday’s solid performance. Tied for first in points, occupying second place overall is Eric Wynsma on Superfly and in third was fleet newcomer Robert Wilber on Cinghaile.

Two more races were held with the breeze ever so slightly shifting for the first start of the day. Under blue skies, plentiful sunshine and light, but decent breeze two general recalls resulted in resetting the line for a course 4. Once off the line it was Jim Hilgard on Crystal Spirit and Wynsma fighting for the mark, dueling to the gate, back around and to the finish. Wynsma clinched the win by a foot. Dave Hammett on Simplified Sophistication rebounded after a tough Saturday only to burst on the Sunday scene with at third place finish for race one.

The last race of the day and final in the race series brought on more of the light and tricky stuff. Wynsma came on strong again, but just could not pull off the better than needed score to beat the STAR team. Wilber poured on the speed putting him well ahead of the fleet for the win. Wynsma took second. Hammett, again found himself in third.

The second event in this Audi Melges 20 series will take place once again out of Coconut Grove on 19-21 February.

More photos on the following pages...

Results:

Pos
Yacht Name Owner/Skipper
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
Tot
1
STAR Jeff Ecklund
1
1
1
1
6
6
10
2
SuperFly Eric Wynsma
2
3
4
2
1
2
10
3
Cinghiale Robert Wilber
7
2
9
6
5
1
21
4
Fu Marc Hollerbach
6
4
2
4
7
8
23
5
M&M Sailing Team Mary Anne Ward
8
5
5
5
4
4
23
6
Crystal Spirit Jim Hilgard
9
6
7
7
2
5
27
7
CAN 142 Peter Kozicz
5
7
3
3
9
10
27
8
Lift Ticket Joe Williams
4
8
6
9
8
7
33
9
Bohica Erwyn Naidoo
10
9
8
8
12
13
47
10
Simplified Sophistication David Hammett
14/DNF
14/DNC
14/DNC
14/DNC
3
3
48
11
Bacio Michael Kiss
3
14/DNS
14/DNC
14/DNC
10
9
50
12
Vaya Con Dios Erik Post
11
11
10
10
13
11
53
13
Blink John Arendshorst
12
10
11
11
11
12
55

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