Melges 17 US National Champion Crowned, Larry Brand Memorial Trophy Awarded

31 August 2009

The temperature was cool but the racing was HOT today. Absolutely picture perfect Melges 17 race conditions on Glen Lake today. Crystal Blue water, white caps, sunshine and Melges 17’s lined up for some fast sailing on this beautiful Sunday morning. The fleet was eager to get on the water for the 10am start. Jamie Jones the event PRO announced that it would be a 3 race day completing the championship with 10 overall races in the event. Lots of racing, great parties and a ton of fun was had by this fleet over the weekend!

Proven to be fast at this years ILYA Championship on Minnetonka in big breeze, Derek Packard from Minnesota jumped on the opportunity today scoring a bullet in the first race. He was never really challenged as he escaped every time downwind with exceptional technique and speed. Coye Harrett and Mike Dow fought for second and 3rd at the end. Brian McMurray was in the hunt with Harrett and Dow but fouled a boat on his final jibe, then tipped in a big blast. This put the McMurray team back in the standings after a stellar day on Saturday.

The PRO rattled off a 2nd heat right away. Rob Terry from Crystal Lake, Michigan had to fend off Derek Packard and Sean Fidler in this race. All three exchanged positions upwind on the final beat but Terry did a nice job of picking lifts, tacking on the competition when he had to and then extending on the downwind run. Good teamwork put this team in place for the bullet at the finish line.

Sean Fidler had a good first race today and then followed it up with a solid second race ensuring that he and his wife Tiffany would be the 2009 Melges 17 National Champions. They sailed smooth, consistent and smart through the entire series never really getting to an edge of the race course the entire regatta. They stayed close to the competition in every race and most times passed boats at the end of races in order to ensure a good result. They certainly showed off their sailing skills in this regatta. Congratulations Sean and Tiffany!

Race 3 kicked off right away and it was a mix bag of leaders. Not one boat really hung on for very long in the lead. Fidler was leading for a while, Harrett for a while, the two Toms (Munroe) were winning but it was USA-8 – Tom Paine and his brother that held on to win – they sailed fantastic and it was great to see them win. Great going!

Brad and Jandy Sprouse put on an exceptional National Championship for this class. All of the competitors thanked them at the awards presentation. It was not just them but an entire yacht club that assisted in organizing and running this years Melges 17 National Championship. Thank you Brad and Jandy and thank you Glen Lake Yacht Club - incredible event!

Brad and Jandy passed out beautiful Waterford Crystal awards to the top 6 in this years Nationals. Congratulations to the winners and congratulations to the new National Champions: Sean and Tiffany Fidler. They were so psyched to win but most important, they were so excited about the boat and this new one-design class. The Melges 17 is a growing sportboat class and with people like Sean, Mike Dow, Coye Harrett, Mary Anne Ward and countless of others we can assure you this boat will be around for a long time with a lot of exciting sailing.

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FULL RESULTS (After 10 Races)

1.) Sean Fidler : 1-1-[7]-4-1-1-4-4-2-3 = 21
2.) Coye Harrett : 3-10-5-3-[11]-3-1-2-11-2 = 40
3.) Mike Dow : 4-2-1-7-3-7-[14]-3-7-6 = 40
4.) Rob Terry : 6-9-3-[10]-6-2-9-10-1-7 = 53
5.) Mary Anne Ward : 2-5-4-6-5-8-10-5-8-[19] = 53
6.) Tom Munroe : 5-[11]-9-8-9-6-6-6-5-4 = 58
7.) Brian McMurray : 8-4-[16]-1-4-9-3-16-13-5 = 63
8.) Lesa Gutenkunst : 12-3-2-[19]-10-5-7-7-12-9 = 67
9.) Derek Packard : 10-[16]-10-2-16-11-2-1-4-14 = 70
10.) Jim Hilgard : 11-12-6-12-2-12-8-9-3-13 = 75
11.) Bob Heathcote : 7-6-13-9-13-13-[17]-13-6-10 = 90
12.) Bill Fauntleroy : [15]-13-15-14-8-10-5-8-10-8 = 91
13.) Tom Payne : [19]-8-18-11-7-14-12-14-17-1 = 102
14.) Jack Kerby Miller : 14-14-12-13-12-4-11-15-16-[19] = 111
15.) Brad Sprouse : 9-7-17-5-14-15-[19]-18-14-19 = 118
16.) Bob Clark : 13-18-13-[19]-19-16-16-11-9-11 = 127
17.) Greg McCliment : 16-17-8-[19]-17-17-15-17-15-12 = 134
18.) Andy Wynkoop : 17-15-11-15-15-[19]-13-12-18-19 = 135

Stay tuned to Melges17.com for class updates and the announcement of the 2010 Melges 17 Racing Schedule.