Kiss Wins Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 1

12 December 2010

Miami, Fla. — 2010 Audi Melges 20 USA Sailing Series Champion Michael Kiss, from Holland, Mich. and crew comprised of Chris Rast and Jamie Kimball on Bacio took the 25-strong Miami Winter Series fleet by storm winning all three of Sunday's races and the event by a substantial 8 points. "It's great to be here in Coconut Grove. The breeze was much better today than yesterday. We just had a great time sailing the Audi Melges 20." said Kiss post racing. In second overall was California's Sid Gorham on Funner, and in third was Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing.

Stunning conditions greeted the fleet with light and variable winds for a start scheduled one hour earlier than originally planned. There were no complaints as plentiful sunshine and breeze were on hand for race two. Kiss got off to a rough start, being called over at the one minute, clawing his way back to battle for first against Ryan DeVos on Volpe and Russell Lucas on Shimmer. Kiss rounded second behind DeVos at the final weathermark, hugging the right side for pressure pulling away from the fleet and taking the win. Lucas followed suit to take second place, DeVos settled for third.

With the breeze on the increase (13-15 knots), an aggressive start of the second race gave way to another stellar performance by Kiss being challenged by Mary Anne Ward on M&M Sailing, Gorham and Paul Reilly on Red Sky Sailing. Kiss won the finish, leaving Ward, Gorham, Reilly and Tabb to round out the top five slots.

The third and final race of the day sealed the deal for Kiss as a dynamic pin end start led to a huge port tack lead. Kiss commanded the race at the top mark with Marc Hollerbach on Fu in second and Tabb in third. The top tier held their positions through the gate, back upwind. For the final downwind run, Kiss blistered the course with Hollerbach and Tabb desperately trying to catch up.

Afterwards, teams piled into Miami's famous Shake-A-Leg for haul-out and an awards presentation to each of the winning competitors by Melges' Andy Burdick. Burdick thanked all the competitors who participated, recognized the incredibly organized efforts of event host Coconut Grove Sailing Club, as well as Bruce Golison and his phenomenal race committee team. He also thanked Joy Dunigan for her contributions made to the class thus far as International Administrator. Each took home a token of appreciation from the International Audi Melges 20 Class Association.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After 1 Race)
1.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 9-1-1-1 = 12
2.) Sid Gorham, Funner; 8-7-3-2 = 20
3.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 4-6-5-5 = 20
4.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu; 5-4-9-4 = 22
5.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 6-2-6- 10 = 24
6.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Racing; 2-11-2-11 = 26
7.) Tom Ritter, Tramp; 7-5-11-6 = 29
8.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 3-3-8-16 = 30
9.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing; 21-10-4-3 = 38
10.) John Arendshorst, Blink 20/20; 1-15-16-8 = 40
Full Results

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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 theOfficial Audi Melges 20 Web Site, the Official Audi Melges 20 BlogMelges.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 theOfficial Audi Melges 20 You Tube Channel.