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Brian Porter Wins Three-Way, First Place Tie-Breaker To Take The 2009 Autonet Mobile Melges 24 U.S. National Championship, Ayres Named Top Corinthian

14 June 2009

In an amazing final day of racing on San Francisco Bay, Brian Porter on USA-749 Full Throttle won a three-way tie for first place to win a record-setting fourth U.S. National Championship title, a first in U.S. Melges 24 Class history. Also, tied for first place was Vince Brun on USA-553 Bailout and in third was Dave Ullman on USA-505 Pegasus 505. Each of the top three teams carried 20 points a piece.

Going into today's racing Porter led by a slim, five point margin over Ullman in second and Brun in third. In fourth was Bruce Ayres on USA-747 Monsoon and in fifth was Dan Kaseler on USA-379 pTeron.

The first race of the day found lady helm Kristen Lane on USA-623 Brickhouse 623 on top of her game to take the win over Ayres finishing second and Ullman in third. Brun was fourth and Daniel Wilhelm on USA-540 Wilco! was fifth.

For race eight, the final race of the regatta Porter was still leading, two points ahead of Ullman, and three ahead of Brun. At the gun Porter was called OCS, giving him a dead last start. Brun charged ahead taking full advantage of Porter's misfortune as did Ullman. They both moved to finish in first and second respectively. In third, was Corinthian Matt MacGregor on USA-401 Elwood, ultimately moving him up the leader board to finish in sixth overall.

"We were so far behind, it was unbelievable. It really looked hopeless. We must have been a half-mile behind the guy we needed to beat in order to stay in the race." commented Porter. "All I can say, is that we just didn't give up. We knew we just needed to do the best we could." According to Porter, he and his crew of Harry Melges, brother John Porter and Andy Burdick simply put as much speed on the boat as they could and started passing boats "We cut through the fleet like a hot knife through butter." said Porter.

On the last run of the race, he was even surprised to find himself in fourth position to finish with a total of 20 points. With Brun's bullet and Ullman's second place finish, the challengers shared a three-way tie for first overall.

TOP TEN RESULTS (Final)

  1. Brian Porter, Full Throttle
  2. Vince Brun, Bailout 
  3. Dave Ullman, Pegasus 505 
  4. Bruce Ayres, Monsoon 
  5. Dan Kaseler, pTeron
  6. Matt MacGregor, Elwood 
  7. Kristen Lane, Brickhouse 623 
  8. Loren Colehan, Lounge Act 
  9. Guy Mossman, Battle Rhythm 
  10. Daniel Wilhelm, Wilco! 

CORINTHIAN HEAT
Seven teams of the 21 competitors qualified as Corinthians. Bruce Ayres and his crew of Jon Pinckney, Dave Shelton and Don Smith are 2009 Autonet Mobile Melges 24 Corinthian U.S. National Champions. Their first place finish in race three of a series of eight set the pace for the regatta as they led the event after the first day of racing. Ayres placed fourth overall.

In second place is Matt MacGregor and crew of Jim Caputo, Keith Hammer, Kati Belden and Matt Pistay racing their best on the final day. They took third in race 8 moving them up in the overalls from eighth to sixth.

Third Corinthian is Loren Colehan on USA-556 Lounge Act with his team of Jeff Grange, Jeff Otis and Tedd White. They finished eight overall, with their best race also being on the final day in race 8, they finished fifth.

TOP FIVE RESULTS (Final)

  1. Bruce Ayres
  2. Matt MacGregor
  3. Loren Colehan
  4. Kevin Clark
  5. Dan Hauserman

The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association would like to extend a sincere thanks to title sponsor Autonet Mobile; official Nationals apparel sponsor and title sponsor for the U.S. National Championship Series SLAM; Melges Performance Sailboats as they fully supported the fleet with service onsite; the St. Francis Yacht Club, in particular John Craig, PRO John Seigel and especially Melanie Roberts. The USMCA is extremely grateful to all the competitors who were able to compete in San Francisco, most especially the organizational efforts and enthusiasm of USMCA West Coast District Governor Neal Ruxton and Kristen Lane.

Special thanks to Serge Zavarin, San Francisco based photographer for providing some great shots from the regatta. View Photo Gallery

Full results are available at the Official Event Website for the 2009 Autonet Mobile Melges 24 U.S. National Championship.

LIVE REGATTA COVERAGE OF AUTONET MOBILE NATIONALS
If you missed any of the action, visit http://www.autonetmobile.com/webcam/ to view some clips of racing on the bay at the 2009 Autonet Mobile Melges 24 U.S. Nationals.

The official apparel sponsor for the 2009 Autonet Mobile Melges 24 U.S. National Championship isSLAMLatis Yachting Solutions is the official transportation and logistics supplier. Other sponsors supporting the Autonet Mobile Nationals are, based in San Francisco, BPM — Burr, Pilger and Mayer— the largest non-national accounting and business-consulting firm in the Bay Area, VelocitekK&L GatesKRT Marketing and Hutchinson Sports. Also supporting the event is the U.S. Melges 24 Class AssociationSan Francisco Melges 24 Fleet and the St. Francis Yacht Club.

Visit the official class websites of the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA) and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA). Also bookmark the Official Blog of the Melges 24. The Melges 24 can also be followed on Twitter at Melges24 and USMelges24.