Congratulations are in full order for Ryan DeVos’ Volpe with tactician Mark Mendelblatt, and crew members Mike Hill, Peter Kinney, Scott Nixon, Erika Reineke, Sam Rogers and Drew Weirda as they are the 2016 Melges 32 World Champions.
‘We have competed in four World Championships and it feels so good to finally pull one off,’ said a very ecstatic DeVos just after racing. ‘Going into today we had a nice cushion, but we knew, especially in this fleet, it’s never over until it’s over. We knew we needed to go out and sail our very best. When I think about the fact that we are racing against some of the best sailing teams in the world, it makes today’s victory even more rewarding.’
In a dramatic last day of competition, two final races were completed with DeVos’ cool, calm and very collected efforts winning him the prestigious overall trophy. In what seemed like a last ditch effort to defend his World title, Alessandro Rombelli’s STIG with Terry Hutchinson serving as tactician, hammered out a four – one scoreline to finish second overall, bumping Jason Carroll on Argo to finish out the podium in third.
‘We knew defending back-to-back World Championship titles would be a big challenge,’ commented Rombelli. ‘It was our first time sailing in Newport. Apart from the weather, the sailing has been incredible.’
Although Carroll (Race Nine) and Rombelli (Race Ten) took home the big race wins, some other teams also shined bright on the course. Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina finished second in Race Nine which enabled him to close the event in the top five, while Morgan Kiss and the ‘kids’ on Hydra further secured their top Corinthian position with a third place finish.
Ed Tillinghast and his Dark N’Stormy team had a great final race of the series finishing second to Rombelli in Race Ten, followed by Christian Schwoerer on La Pericolosa in third and Chris Wientjes’ Stormvogel in fourth.
Youth Conquers All
The last two days here in Newport were virtually a flashback to Team Hydra’s success at the 2016 Blue Water Series which concluded last Spring. All that know-how, time and experience under their belts Morgan Kiss at the helm for Project Sail with crew members Ty Baird, Noah Blacker, Austin Colpaert, Henry Fernberger, Liam Harr, Lexi Petter, Alex Post (tactician) and Marty Kullman are the first ever Melges 32 Corinthian World Champions.
‘It was really great to get a full series of races in,’ said Post. ‘We managed to find a few great puffs in the first race today and we were actually in second at one point. But to finish that heat in third, then win the overall Corinthian title is a great way to end it.’
Runner-up Chris Wientjes and his Stormvogel team can’t say they didn’t give it their all. The 2016 Melges 32 U.S. National Champions rallied through the first half of the event in stride, but then lost their grip as the Hydra Team warmed up and took home the trophy during the final two days of competition.
A Very Special Thank You
Despite the grey, cloudy and winter-like conditions that prevailed throughout the event, the IM32CA would like to thank all the amazing Race Committee volunteers from the incredible Sail Newport organization, and most especially to PRO Anderson Reggio. Thanks to all folks at the Newport Shipyard who made the fleet stay the best. An extra special thanks to all the teams that participated – this event would not have been possible without your support and dedication to the Melges 32 Class!
Top Five Overall Results (Final – After Ten Races)
1.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 2-7-1-1-6-1--1-6-6 = 31
2.) Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; 4-2-6--7-3-7-3-4-1 = 37
3.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo Team; 1-6-5-5-4-6-2-8-1- = 38
4.) Andrea LaCorte/Gabriele Benussi, Vitamina; 6-4--4-5-10-1-4-2-5 = 41
5.) Rick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; -5-3-3-3-4-3-5-8-8 = 42
Full Corinthian Results (Final – After Eight Races)
1.) Morgan Kiss, Hydra = 79 pts.
2.) Chris Wientjes, Stormvogel = 87 pts.
3.) Jeremy Alexis, Lucy = 122 pts.
by Melges 32