Kolius takes championship
It was another spectacular day for the Melges 24 fleet in Tampa, Fla. It's pretty safe to say that the the class raced and sailed every bit of breeze that Davis Island Yacht Club could muster. Sunday started out pretty decent but as the hours passed, racing turned more into torcher than pleasure as by the potential third race of the day, the wind had virtually disappeared not to mention shifted almost 100 degrees. Needless to say the fleet was pleased to return to the docks to haul the boats, pack the kits and travel home rather than sail a daunting third race.
USMCA Southeast District Governor Steve Kopf on USA-773 Blur from Charleston, S.C. would have loved the opportunity to regain the lead from Kolius, but the wind gods refused to cooperate. The old saying 'it ain't over, until it's over' certainly applied to the two, intense, light air races conducted under beautiful blue skies and calm seas. They made yesterday's four look like total no-brainers. For Kopf and his talented team of Michael Miller, John Milligan and Chuck Coyer it spelled grave disappointment. Kopf was clearly winning the regatta right up until the second race. A poor start resulted in an eighth place finish. "That's sailboat racing," said Kopf. "We had really good line position on that start. We pulled up alongside of Jeff Duval, who was just bookin' and then he dipped back and he took off. That's when I realized that we may have made a mistake."
Travis Weisleder from Richmond, Va. on USA-605 Carloan.com landed third overall with Ed Furry, Skip Dieball and John Wake acting as crew. "I'm coming back." said Weisleder on Friday night as he addressed the fleet during the skippers meeting. "George (Haynie) said this place was wonderful and he was right. I am very much looking forward to returning to race here. You can be sure that I will pass the word around how really cool DIYC is."
For those of you who opted not to come to the 2008 ACC - it is suggested that you should think twice about this next year. The Davis Island Yacht Club is a really great place. The sailing, facilities and race committee are one of the most hospitable and inviting you'll ever visit. We can truly say 'they get it' when it comes to the Melges 24. PRO Eric Robbins and his team delivered six solid races. They were professional and were organized from start to finish, made solid decisions and this regatta one of the brightest events of 2008!
Another very special thank you also goes out to Melges 24 Owner George Haynie. At the 2008 Nationals, after receiving the devastating news that the class would be unable to return to Florida Yacht Club for the King's Day Regatta, George came forward and volunteered. With a unanimous vote at the USMCA AGM (also held at Nationals) the event was voted in, and the rest is history. Regattas are a great deal of work and George promised, and he delivered!
The 2008 ACC was also the last event on the Southeast Championship Circuit. This year, the award goes to Steve Kopf. He is also the 2008 Northeast District Champion as well. "This is such a great class," said Kopf. "I plan to go home, and hope everyone else does the same, is tell your friends what a great club this is, how much fun they missed."
The 2008 Melges 24 Corinthian Atlantic Coast Championship title goes to Joe Blouin from Tampa, Fla. on USA-719 Wicked Witch. Blouin has only been in the class for a year, and already he and his team of Nick Bradford, Mark and Gabe Rodgers have witnessed success. "We feel like we are kind of getting the hang of this. There are still many things we need to work on but, overall we are really having fun and enjoying the fleet," said Blouin who finished fourth overall. In sixth overall and second in the Corinthian standings is Bob Kroetsch on USA-457 Rogue. Rob Butler on CAN-177 Eager Beaver from Ontario, Canada took seventh overall and third in Corinthian.
Top ten overall results (final)
1.) John Kolius, KO Sailing - 2-1-2-(4)-1-1 = 7
2.) Steve Kopf, Blur - 1-2-1-1-2-(8) = 7
3.) Travis Weisleder, Carloan.com - 3-6-3-5-(RAF)-7 = 24
4.) Joe Blouin, Wicked Witch - 8-8-7-7-5-(14) = 35
5.) Doug Fisher, USA-515 - 4-4-DNS-(DNS)-6-2 = 37
6.) Bob Kroetsch, Rogue - 13-7-12-2-4-(17) = 38
7.) Rob Butler, Eager Beaver - 6-3-4-12-(18)-13 = 38
8.) Gary Schwarting, Obsession - 7-5-(14)-10-9-10 = 41
9.) Shane Vowels, I'm With Stupid - 11-(13)-10-8-7-6 = 42
10.) J.A. Booker, Carmelita - 12-10-13-6-(16)-4 = 45
Top ten corinthians (final)
1.) Joe Blouin, Wicked Witch
2.) Bob Kroetsch, Rogu e
3.) Rob Butler, Eager Beaver
4.) Gary Schwarting, Obsession
5.) J.A. Booker, Carmelita
6.) Bob McElwain, Scooter
7.) James Whatmore, Goux Get Moma
8.) George Haynie, Firewater
9.) Tommy Clough/Jim Gunderson, BIG SKY
10.) Tony Stanley, Hermes