Brazilian Dance Party

23 August 2014

Newport, RI - After an overcast, light and tough Day Two, the skies cleared allowing for a sunny, 10-15 knots of breeze from the Northeast for the final two races of the 2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. The team on Portobello consisting of owner/helm Cesar Gomes Neto, tactician Andre Forseca and John Bowden wasted no time in putting a stamp on this event to become the first non-U.S. team to claim the prestigious Audi Melges 20 National title. "I only got into the fleet about a year-and-a-half ago and it has been amazing to be a part of," said the Miami-based Gomes Neto at the awards ceremony. "Many thanks to everyone who has helped us and supported us, most especially my crew."

Making the long trek for the third and final day of racing north of the Newport Bridge to Halfway Rock, the fleet arrived and made their preparations for Race Seven in a series of Eight. PRO Bill Canfield started on time with the fleet splitting both right and left.

With the shifty Northeast breeze in pay, several teams were able to get in phase and sail fast to take control. Morgan Kiss on Baciami showed her college sailing prowess by leading at the top mark followed closely Gomes Neto and Jason Michas’ Midnight Blue. While the Kiss did her best to hold off Gomes Neto, it was to no avail as they quickly overtook the lead on the first run and going on to win the race. Morgan digressed further with her father Michael catching up only to challenge her at the finish line. The Baciami team never let up taking second ahead of Bacio in third.

For the final race of the championship, the breeze ticked up slightly in the 11-15 range. Once again the fleet split left and right, and immediately after the start, it looked like the unthinkable might happen with Gomes Neto called OCS and having to re-round. With the fleet darting to the windward mark, Gomes Neto was deep, but just as he did throughout the Series, his consistent speed and solid tactics enabled him to claw back into the race passing boats at will to put the nail in the coffin with yet another bullet.

Once teams got their boats ‘trailer ready’, Sail Newport hosted a great awards presentation with yet another solid spread of food and beverages. The Audi Melges 20 fleet and Sail Newport is proud to have hosted such a high-level, quality National Championship. Newly crowned National Champion Cesar Gomes Neto and his Portobello team were all smiles, and their title will be put to the test as they are planning on attending all North American events this fall in Toronto and San Francisco. Viva Brazilia!!!

Regattas don’t just happen on their own. A wide range of individuals, partners and teams are involved on so many levels. The International Audi Melges 20 Class wishes to extend thanks to every team that participated at the 2014 Nationals, Melges USA, our championship venue host Sail Newport — specifically Kim Cooper and Chris Jensen who never stopped the hustle, PRO Bill Canfield and his race management team, and beer sponsor Heineken for quenching the thirst of many Audi Melges 20 sailors over the weekend. A very, very special thank you goes to Sam Rogers who provided a unique insider’s comment for press and media releases each day. This insight enabled the Audi Melges 20 Class to bring you not only the overall perspective of racing each day, but also what it was like looking from the inside out — invaluable information. Thank you Sam!

And lastly, but certainly not least — a very special thanks to Tovi Kiss on Lip Service, who shuttled us around the course bringing you amazing images of racing in the Audi Melges 20 and enabled us to bring you real time reporting via Facebook and Instagram.

Beginning August 25, racing commences for the second running of the 2014 World Championship, hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in Riva Del Garda, Italy. A record-breaking fifty-seven teams have enrolled for the event of their life! The action runs from Wednesday through Saturday, August 30.

Substantial media coverage will be provided, so if you were unable to join the fleet in person, there will be an opportunity for you to follow the action. Complete racing updates will be posted online at the Official Audi Melges 20 Facebook Page as it happens. Be sure to also follow the fleet on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges20.com.

And, it doesn’t stop there. The Audi Melges 20 fleet is proud to present the Canadian Nationals on September 19-21, the Pacific Coast Championship on September 27-28 and the pinnacle intercontinental event of the season — the 2014 North American Championship on October 3-5 in San Francisco! Registration is open for all events, so teams from across the continent and around the world should plan to race.

TOP FIVE RESULTS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Cesar Gomes Neto/Andre Forseca, Portobello; [13]-2-3-2-2-2-1-1 = 13
2.) Drew Weirda/Scott Nixon, W; 6-4-2-1-3-[8]-6-7 = 29
3.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 1-1-8-6-5-[9]-4-5 = 30
4.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendelblatt, Midnight Blue; 3-[10]-10-3-9-1-5-3 = 34
5.) Jim Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander; 5-3-1-[11]-11-3-8-9 = 40
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