Tis’ the season for Melges 20 Sportboat action to be cranking up on Biscayne Bay! This coming weekend, December 1-3, the fifteenth and final event of the 2017 Melges 20 World League racing season, and the first of the Class’ celebrated 2018 Miami Winter Series (MWS) hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC) will take place.
Teams from all over the country and around the world will race the inaugural 2018 event. The predominantly American-based fleet will also feature highly competitive teams from Russia, Italy, Monaco and Denmark.
Specifically, still riding high and with good reason is 2017 World Champion Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee. To say the least, it’s been a banner year for Freides. In additional to his Worlds title, he also earned the 2017 U.S. National Championship and Sail Newport titles, and is the defending Miami Winter Series Champion.
Another outstanding Owner and current overall Melges 20 World League Ranking leader, Igor Rytov at the helm of Russian Bogatyrs has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. He too has celebrated many accomplishments in 2017 – in particular, he captured the European and Russian Championship titles in addition to winning the European division of the Melges World League last September in Riva del Garda, Italy.
These top two competitors, although outstanding in accolades, will not go unchallenged in Miami. In second and fourth overall respectively on the World League stage, Vladimir Prosikhin’s NIKA and Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, JR. will be both looking for the perfect moment to strike and advance on the overall ranking.
And, the list of potential event winners goes on. Rob Wilber’s Cinghiale, Daniel Thielman’s Kuai, Jason Michas’ Midnight Blue, John Brown’s Blind Squirrel and Paul Reilly’s Red Sky Sailing Team are among those expected to revel in the warm Miami breeze, and ready to bask in the Melges 20 limelight.
The International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) is always delighted to see new faces. A very special welcome to fleet newcomer Steve Boho from Woodstock, Illinois sailing THE 300, and to David Eggleton from Whitehall, Maryland racing Blowin Smoke.
Practice racing and registration takes place on Thursday, with official Miami Winter Series racing to commence on Friday.
Top five 2017 Melges World League results: (after 14 events complete)
1.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS = 158 pts
2.) (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA = 102 pts
3.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 97 pts
4.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR. = 85 pts
5.) (USA) Liam Kilroy, WILDMAN = 81 pts.
Top five 2017 North American Melges World League results: (after five events complete)
1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 97 pts
2.) (USA) Liam Kilroy, WILDMAN = 81 pts
3.) (USA) John Kilroy, SAMBA PA TI = 79 pts
4.) (USA) Jim Wilson, OLEANDER = 74 pts
5.) (USA) Jason Michas, MIDNIGHT BLUE = 72 pts