Bora Gulari newly crowned US National Champion
Ex-foiling Moth World Champion Bora Gulari and his New England Ropes crew comprising tactician Jeremy Wilmot, George Peet, Dan Kaseler and Chris Fortine earned a well deserved and long overdue victory at the Melges 24 US National Champions.
"This feels pretty good. Not often does it come down to the last gybe as to whether or not you win a championship or not," said a very happy Gulari. "Needless to say, there was a lot of tension in the one and only race today. The last time I was this close was in 2008 when Brian Porter stole the win on the last leg of the last race, so it feels really good to have held on to win."
Nathan Wilmot at the helm of Conor Clarke's Embarr proudly took second overall. Brian Porter's Full Throttle finished third. Rounding out the top five was Harry Melges III at the helm of Henry Colie's Babs in fourth. This was the first time since 2003 (when he made an attempt to defend his 2002 World Championship title) that Melges has helmed a Melges 24. Kristen Lane on Brickhouse 812 placed fifth.
Additional congratulations are in order for Lake Geneva's Tom Freytag on Wicked Feet as he is 2011 Corinthian US Melges 24 National Champion. Heating it up as crew was Patrick Doran, Chris Impens and Rob Rowe. 12th overall, Freytag's local knowledge about the lake kept him one step ahead of Corinthian division runner-up August Hernandez on High Voltage who finished 13th. Fred Rozelle on Rustler claimed third Corinthian overall.
Spectators were in abundance for the final showdown on Lake Geneva, not to mention on the edge of their seats for what was going to be an exciting final race.
Tension hung heavy in the air as the fleet went into sequence. Gorgeous sunshine was on tap along with some very light, shifty breeze to commence the start.
Gulari shot off the line, as did Lane, Alan Field on WTF and Philip Werhiem at the helm of Peter Cucci's Matador. At the top, Lane pulled into the lead, followed by Werhiem and Gulari in third. Porter took fourth and Wilmot was fifth. Downwind, multiple lead changes occurred with Gulari moving to the front of the pack, Werhiem now in second both heading left. Porter moved up to pass through the right-side gate in third. With a shortened, change of course, Porter cashed in big with his gate choice as the breeze filled in nicely off of Cedar Point, Wilmot tagging along on his transom.
Werhiem was quick to see the same breeze that Porter was enjoying, moved across the course and maintained the lead position. Porter looked as though he had the upper hand, but Werhiem rounded in sync fending off Porter one final time. Downwind the two battled to the finish with Werhiem taking the win. Further back the excitement continued as Gulari watched Wilmot move ahead of him at the mark, yet out sailed him at the finish with a final gybe to port and across the line less than a boat length ahead of Wilmot. It was an epic, right-down-to-the-wire finish as Gulari's team celebrated when they made the gybe for the finish.
|1||NEW ENGLAND ROPES||BORA GULARI||1||5||2||4||-7||3||1||3||26||19|
|3||FULL THROTTLE||BRIAN PORTER||3||-17||5||1||1||7||9||2||45||28|
|5||BRICK HOUSE||KRISTEN LANE||-14||9||6||3||8||5||6||5||56||42|
|10||ROCK N ROLL||ARGYLE CAMPBELL||19||7||14||(ZFP-26)||5||11||21||7||110||84|
|12||WICKED FEET||TOM FREYTAG||12||12||9||(ZFP-30)||18||1||26||11||119||89|
|13||HIGH VOLTAGE||AUGUST HERNANDEZ||21||8||17||5||-24||17||12||9||113||89|
|14||BATTLE RHYTHM||GUY MOSSMAN||9||6||11||11||23||18||11||-25||114||89|
|15||FLYING TOASTER||MIKE DOW||11||15||-24||10||22||4||16||15||117||93|
|18||TOM SLICK||JEFF WITTENBERG||20||20||20||(ZFP-37)||14||10||18||14||153||116|
|19||SWEET AS BRO!||EDWARD MASSEY||-32||13||16||13||16||29||10||28||156||124|
|21||FUNTECH RACING||CHARLIE HESS||13||19||-27||26||26||16||7||20||152||125|
|22||HOT MESS||ROB BRITTS||18||18||-29||23||17||21||17||16||156||127|
|23||USA 626||WARREN KEULL||16||14||7||ZFP-27||29||22||-30||22||167||137|
|24||BLUFFTON BAY SAILS||JON LEDSWORTH||17||21||28||(ZFP-38)||27||25||31||12||199||161|
|25||THE DJINN||KEN GRAY||23||11||30||ZFP-20||-34||26||25||31||200||166|
|26||KNOT 2 SCALE||BRET NEWCOMB||(DNF)||24||23||27||15||19||36||24||206||167|
|27||ABORDAGE||ERWAN LE GALL||29||23||19||ZFP-22||20||-35||28||27||203||168|
|28||I'M WITH STUPID||KYLE VOWELS||25||-37||13||ZFP-24||30||27||20||33||209||172|
|29||CHAOS 24/7||JOHN SIMMS JR||24||28||33||15||28||15||33||-36||210||174|
|30||DIMINISHED FIFTH||JAMES BEEBE||26||31||34||28||21||14||-37||34||225||188|
|31||JUST ADD WATER||ROGER COUNIHAN||28||36||35||24||25||-38||29||21||233||195|
|33||PHOTO FINISH||DAVID WEINBERG||(DNF)||34||32||32||37||37||14||26||251||212|
|34||ENTSCHULDIGEN SIE||DON HOLST||30||30||36||34||-38||33||22||29||252||214|
|36||DAS KLEINE BOOT||CATE MULLER||35||35||31||31||31||28||-38||30||259||221|
|37||BLIND SQUIRREL||MARY LASATA-SPIEGEL||33||29||(ZFP-39)||DNC||32||36||32||35||275||236|
|38||NARLEY MELGESON||CURTIS JAZWIECKI||(DNF)||DNC||DNC||DNC||35||34||35||37||297||258|