Audi Melges 20 Winter Series Event No. 1 Kicks Off In Miami

10 December 2009

10 December 2009 (Miami, Fla.) - The 2010 Audi Melges 20 USA Sailing Series officially gets underway this weekend in Miami, Fla. with the first of three Miami Winter regattas. Hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC), supported by Shake-A-Leg Miami and Melges Performance Sailboats, the International Audi Melges 20 Class Association is thrilled to be welcoming 13 teams to the crystal-clear blue waters of Biscayne Bay.

"Coconut Grove Sailing Club extends a very warm welcome to all Audi Melges 20 sailors. It is going to be a great weekend filled with a lot of fun and exciting racing." said Ron Rostorfer, Regatta Chair. "The social activities will be quite enjoyable as well. On the water, expect nothing but the very best from legendary PRO Bruce Golison. This will be a first class event."

"When Harry Melges asked me to run the Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, I jumped at the opportunity. Having been the big boat circle PRO at Key West for 9 years, I was excited to run the series. As a top level competitor myself, I full understand the expectations — lots of boats, great competition and loads of camaraderie, backed by excellence in race management," stated Golison.

"Running any top level regatta is a challenge I enjoy," continued Golison. "My goal is always to try and run the perfect regatta in the way the competitors want to see it run. Add to that a talented group of race committee members and you have what it takes to end the regatta with happy competitors."

Competitors have traveled from all over the country to usher in the inaugural Audi Melges 20 Winter Series, where ideal, classic Miami breeze-on conditions are anticipated. Eight of the teams call the Midwest home representing Michigan, Illinois and Canada, amongst them reigning U.S. National Champion Erc Wynsma (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) on Superfly and current Charleston Race Week winner Marc Hollerbach (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) on Fu. Traveling the furthest is Seattle NOOD Winner, Joe Williams (Mercer Island, Wash.) on Lift Ticket. Melges regulars, yet brand spanking new to the fleet are Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on his famed STAR, the one and only, masterful lady helm Mary Anne Ward (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) on M&M Sailing Team and Jim Hilgard (Godfrey, Ill.) on Crystal Spirit.

1.) Michael Kiss, Bacio
2.) John Arendhorst, Blink
3.) Erwyn Naidoo, Bohica
4.) Peter Kozicz, CAN-142
5.) Robert Wilber, Cinghiale
6.) Jim Hilgard, Crystal Spirit
7.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu
8.) Joe Williams, Lift Ticket
9.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Sailing Team
10.) David Hammett, Simplified Sophistication
11.) Jeff Ecklund, STAR
12.) Eric Wynsma, Superfly
13.) Erik Post, Vaya Con Dios

Official Event Website

Press releases, race reports and photos will be issued daily. Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web Site, the Official Audi Melges 20 Blog, Melges.com and Melgeseurope.com for all the details. You can also follow the Audi Melges 20 on Twitter. Join, bookmark and subscribe today to stay on top of all things Audi Melges 20.

The Inaugural Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series is hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Shake-A-Leg and supported by Melges Performance Sailboats. The series, comprised of three regattas spanning December through March, offers Audi Melges 20 sailors a great escape from the cold and snow to enjoy the Florida
sunshine, top flight competition, the very best in sportboat sailing conditions and high-level race management.

• SERIES EVENT NO. 1 - December 11-13 (Saturday, Sunday racing)
• SERIES EVENT NO. 2 - February 19-21 (Saturday, Sunday racing)
• SERIES EVENT NO. 3 - Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, March 10-13 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday racing)

The Inaugural Miami Winter Series leads off the eight high-powered events on the 2010 Audi Melges 20 USA Sailing Series schedule.