Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Boasts 40 Teams To Make Largest Event Ever

10 December 2011

December 7, 2011 (Miami, FL) - The Audi Melges 20 Class Association is proud to usher in the second running of the international class' prestigious Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Forty entries, spanning four countries — British Virgin Islands, Canada, Italy and the USA, will take to the waters of Miami, Florida's famous Biscayne Bay in full anticipation of four days of spectacular sportboat racing.

Some of the most intense competition is set to take place and the number of teams that have significant potential to win are vast in numbers. Reigning Gold Cup Champion Francesco Farnetti aboard Reggini Sailing Team along with tactician Branko Brcin has traveled all the way from Italy to defend his title. Farnetti brings with him the exact same team as last, but this time with his expectations set even higher. "Fantastic. This is such a great place," said Farnetti after only having been in Miami for one day prior to event registration. "I think that this championship will be just as difficult as the last one was. In 2010, there were many great teams in Italy to contend with. Now, there are many teams in the USA that look to be as good and will be very hard to beat. We have kept the same team throughout the 2011 season. We hope for good breeze as we do better in breezier conditions." 

Michael Kiss and tactician Chris Rast on Bacio is among the top U.S. teams, and perhaps considered the team to beat. Kiss has experienced great success in Miami over the past year. He was crowned 2011 Miami Winter Series Champion, and most recently acquired his second consecutive U.S. National Championship title. "The competition is so much better in the fleet than in year's past." said Kiss. "We've got our work cut out for us, that is for sure." 

Naturally, the winner's circle is not limited to just Farnetti and Kiss. Anything can happen and unexpected events can unfold ultimately changing the face of the championship in the blink of an eye. Brand new Audi Melges 20 owner, and former Melges 32 World Champion, 27-year old Luca Lalli's B-Lin Sailing will feature the extraordinary talents of Lorenzo Bressani, Paul Reilly's Red Sky and tactician Andy Burdick look to do well, and Jonathan McKee has climbed aboard Alessandro Rombelli's STIG. Other teams that possess the strength to come out on top include Ryan DeVos'Volpe with tactician Ed Baird making his official debut in the Audi Melges 20 class, Russell Lucas on Shimmer with Harry Melges serving as tactician, Bacardi Champion Mary Anne Ward with Sam Rogers on tactics sailing M&M Racingand Tony Tabb's Elevation Racing program has been on a progressive upswing.

Racing begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday, December 11.

Race reports and press releases will be issued each day, in addition to a massive number of photos online atmelges20.com. While racing, there are a couple of news portals to tune into to stay on top of the latest developments in Miami — Sailing Updates and the IAM20CA Blog. Highlight videos and interviews with the day's actors will also be available online apres racing.

1.) Federico Albano, 3Menda
2.) Brian Hill, Atlas
3.) Michael Kiss, Bacio
4.) Rhonda Joyce, Batteries Not Required
5.) Pat Eudy, Big Booty
6.) Thomas Bowen, Bill's Disco Party
7.) Luca Lalli, B-Lin Sailing
8.) John Arendshorst, Blink 20/20
9.) Erwyn Naidoo, Bohica
10.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
11.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale
12.) Lance Smotherman, Details
13.) Tate Russack, Diesel
14.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing
15.) Dario Levi, Fremito D'Arja
16.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu
17.) Sid Gorham, Funner
18.) John Hamilton, Hip Shooter
19.) Mark Plaxton, INTAC
20.) Stefano Sacchi, Jingle 3
21.) Bill Griffin, Kill Bill
22.) Daniel Theilman, Kuai
23.) Travis Weisleder, Layline/Gill Race Team
24.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Racing team
25.) Kent Haeger, Mach Schnell
26.) Manfredi Vianini Tolomei, Maolca
27.) Chip Till, Murder Incorporated
28.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team
29.) Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team
30.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer
31.) Geoffery Pierini, Sicktrix 20
32.) Wes Whitmyer, Jr., Slingshot
33.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG
34.) Scott Weakley, Stir It Up
35.) Rob Butler, Touch2Play
36.) Tom Ritter, Tramp
37.) Renato Vallivero, Turnover
38.) Erik Post, Vaya Con Dios
39.) Bruce Broussard, Velocity
40.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe

Official Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship Event Website
View Photo Gallery - IAM20CA

Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing. Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web SiteMelges.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.