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Big Rides, Great Sailing At Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2009, Supported By Official Footwear Sponsor Sebago

22 August 2009

Pieter Taselaar aboard Bliksem with Michael Coxon and Williem Van Waay have the overall lead at the Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2009. Trailing by three points, in second place is Marc Hollerbach on Blackjack with his sons Ian and Adam as crew. In third is Eric Wynsma on Superfly with Wally Cross and JP de Solar.

Saturday delivered beautiful racing conditions at the Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship, hosted by theMacatawa Bay Yacht Club. Unlike Friday, there was just the right amount of breeze, big waves and perfect planing conditions - especially downwind on beautiful Lake Michigan as it served up some great surfing opportunities!

After three high-powered races, comments such as "Melges hit a home run with this boat" specifically commented by Chuck Holzman sailing Flyer could be heard up and down the dock. Today's racing was, no doubt, a grand slam as this all-new Melges sportboat is expected to grow and flourish over the coming years. The more it sails in the U.S.A. and Europe, the Audi Melges 20 will be a really hot ticket.

Who was hot today? Hollerbach battled the very Italian team and current Audi European Sailing Series leader Benedetto Giallongo on Value Team. Hollerbach rounded the first mark of the championship with a massive lead. He never looked back as he stretched his advantage, across the finish line for the first bullet of the day. Taselaar was second, Dave Hammett from Annapolis on Simplified Sophistication was third. Comeback of the race goes to Wynsma. His difficult start put his team to the test only to work their way back up to finish fourth.

A full recovery was made by Wynsma in race two as he grabbed the bullet ahead of Taselaar right at the finish. John Arendshorst on Blink had a nice race placing third.

Another all American finish was the result of race three - Taselaar finally got a taste of first place as he crossed the line ahead of Hammett in second and Hollerbach in third.

The wind was pumping a healthy 10-20 all day with big waves so it was necessary to vang sheet and keep the boat rolling upwind. The legs in hiking really contributed to everyone's enjoyment. That's right - no hiking in the Audi Melges 20! Post race, teams were still fresh and ready for another fantastic party.

Downwind, the mains were trimmed in and the crew weight shifted aft, perfect for planing in the Audi Melges 20. Some reported speeds of 17 knots!

On Sunday, racing concludes where up to three races will be sailed to decide the championship.

Special thanks to title sponsor Audi and Official Footwear Sponsor Sebago as they helped make the party on Friday night as well as the entire event great fun.

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Top Ten Results (After three races)
1.) Pieter Taselaar - 2-2-1 = 5
2.) Marc Hollerbach - 1-4-3 = 8
3.) Eric Wynsma - 4-1-5 = 10
4.) Dave Hammett - 3-9-2 = 14
5.) Chuck Holzman - 7-5-6 = 18
6.) Benedetto Giallongo - 5-10-4 = 19
7.) Michael Kiss - 6-6-7 = 19
8.) John Arendshorst - 12-3-9 = 24
9.) Joe Williams - 9-7-8 = 24
10.) Marco Morina - 8-8-15/DNF = 31

View Full Results