2011 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Promises Big Fleet Racing

10 December 2010

December 10, 2010 (Miami, Fla.) — A record-breaking twenty-six Audi Melges 20 teams have gathered in Miami, Fla. for a great weekend of competitive, fun, one design racing at the 2011 Miami Winter Series, Event No. 1, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC). This number doubles the inaugural Series attendance level in 2009. "Coconut Grove would like to extend a very warm welcome to the Audi Melges 20 Class." said Richard Etkin, regatta co-chair. "Last year this event was spectacular. It lived up to every competitor's expectation and ours too. This year, with a fleet doubled in size, expect a lot of the same and more."

The entry list is dominated by teams from the U.S. - Florida, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Washington D.C., California, Washington State, New Jersey and South Carolina are all well-represented. 2010 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National and USA Sailing Series Champion Michael Kiss on Bacio looks to be the boat to beat. Significant wins in Charleston and Lake Geneva qualify him as a top player. Others to watch include John Arendshorst on Blink 20/20, Mary Anne Ward on M&M Sailing and Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing. Traveling from Canada, an aggressive posse from the famed Port Credit Yacht Club includes new-to-the-fleet Rhonda Joyce at the helm of Batteries Not Required, new boat owner David Pollack on CAN-142, Jon Messenger on CAN-666 and Erwyn Naidoo on Bohica.

The Audi Melges 20 is a growing and flourishing worldwide fleet. It is not unusual to see new faces at each event. Tate Russack on Diesel and David Pollack on CAN-142 are both brand new racers. Trying out the fun, simple-to-sail Audi Melges 20 are charter boats helmed by Russell Lucas on Shimmer, Chris Hamilton on PBR Street Gang and Ryan DeVos on Volpe

"Florida is an amazing place to sail during the winter months. Melges USA, in full coordination with the International Audi Melges 20 Class Association (IAM20CA), have worked very hard to configure the Series to be easy, really fun and most importantly, affordable. We're not the least bit surprised that there are more than 20 boats ready to race." said Melges Performance Sailboats President, Andy Burdick.

The experienced hand and eye of PRO Bruce Golison and team will guide two days of scheduled racing - Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12. Registration takes place at the CGSC on Friday, December 10 from 1500-1730 with a skipper's meeting to follow immediately.

1.) George Gamble, A Little Wicked
2.) Michael Kiss, Bacio
3.) Jeff Jones, Bad Nemo
4.) Rhonda Joyce, Batteries Not Included
5.) Chris Hamilton, PBR Street Gang
6.) John Arendshorst, Blink 20/20
7.) Erwyn Naidoo, Bohica
8.) Jon Messenger, CAN-666
9.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale
10.) Lance Smotherman, Details
11.) Tate Russack, Diesel
12.) Anthony Tabb, Elevation Racing
13.) Erik Wulff, Endorphin
14.) Marc Hollerbach,Fu
15.) Sid Gorham, Funner
16.) Daniel Thielman, Kuai
17.) Joe Williams, Lift Ticket
18.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Racing
19.) Ken Haegar, Mach Schnell
20.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky
21.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer
22.) Tom Ritter, Tramp
23.) Erik Post, Vaya Con Dios
24.) David Pollack, CAN-142
25.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe
26.) John Lucas, USA-14
Official Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, Event No. 1 Website

The second Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series event happens on February 12-13, 2011. Event No. 3, will be held in conjunction with the famous Bacardi Miami Sailing Week on March 10-12, 2011. More than 20+ boats are expected at each event so, save the dates and be there!

The Audi Melges 20 is red-hot in Europe. A ton of boats have been sold as the International fleet looks to usher in another great year of racing on the Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series circuit. Four fantastic events will take place throughout the spring, summer and fall months, culminating at the first European Championship on September 29-October 2. View The Entire 2011 European Schedule

Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing. Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web Site, the Official Audi Melges 20 Blog, Melges.com and Melgeseurope.com for all the latest details. You can also friend the Audi Melges 20 on Facebook, follow on Twitter and/or subscribe to the Official Audi Melges 20 You Tube Channel.