Simoneschi and Reilly on top
The final day of racing for the 23-strong Audi Melges 20 class and 11-boat Melges 24 fleet contingent concluded revealing two division winners. Paul Reilly on Red Sky Sailing won the progressive Audi Melges 20 fleet and Riccardo Simoneschi aboard Audi celebrated top honours in the hotly contested Melges 24 class.
Conditions in Miami could not have been more perfect for the last day of racing at the 2011 Miami Winter Regatta hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club. All six races scheduled were conducted - four on Saturday and Sunday delivered two longer courses. Spectators were glued to the action with a steady 12-15 knots of breeze pumping in from the North-Northeast, gorgeous sunshine and flat seas for the start.
The Audi Melges 20 fleet enjoyed one of the best days of racing on Biscayne Bay ever! Jason Carroll aboard Argo put his best moves forward for a satisfying 1-2 Sunday score line. Carroll, also a Melges 32 owner, raced the Audi Melges 20 for the first time this weekend. Carroll had a fine first race, challenging Class Chairman Marc Hollerbach on Fu right at the finish. He strategically slid in from the right with less than a boat length of space, cruising across the line for first. The Fu crew were terribly disappointed, almost in complete disbelief settling for second. One, of two lady helmsman in the fleet, Mary Anne Ward on M&M Sailing Team placed third.
Event champion Paul Reilly had a less than fantastic ninth place result in the first race, but made up for it in race two with the ultimate win. He held off the likes of 2011 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series leader Michael Kiss on Bacio, Hollerbach and Carroll. At one point Kiss led the race, as did Carroll. On the final upwind finish beat, Reilly found the all right gears putting him across the finish in first, Carroll and Kiss finished respectively.
Riccardo Simoneschi stole the show in the Melges 24 class. His best opposition came from Cary Seigler on Rock Steady, Kristen Lane on Team Brickhouse 812, Guy Mossman on Battle Rhythm and Brian Porter on Full Throttle. It was a constant dogfight between these teams, each trying to reign in Simoneschi's lead. The final race of the day found Simoneschi launched with a massive lead taking the win and the regatta title.
Top five results:
Audi Melges 20 (after six races)
1.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 2-1-2-1--1= 7
2.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 1-4--4-1-2 = 12
3.) kent Haegar, Mach Schnell; -2-3-5-4-5 = 19
4.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 5-5-1-3-6- = 20
5.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 6-3-6-2--3 = 20
Melges 24 (after six Races)
1.) Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi; 1-2-1-2--1 = 7
2.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle; [DNS/17]-1-2-7-3-2 = 15
3.) Kristen Lane, Team Brickhouse; 812; 2-5-3-1-5- = 16
4.) Cary Seigler, Rock Steady; 6-3-5-3-1- = 16
5.) Guy Mossman, Battle Rhythm; 4-4--5-4-5 = 22