Flattening The Curve — Audi Melges 20 Fleet Rumbles In Miami

13 December 2014

Miami, FL - After a tricky second day at the 2014 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 1 hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, the fleet anticipated three quality races with a forecast calling for a brisk, more straightforward northerly wind. Once to the racing area however, the light northerly quickly began to die forcing the fleet pulled out their dice to help decide where to head on the first beat.

With just enough wind to stay above class minimums, the third race of the event got underway with Marc Hollerbach on Fu starting at the boat and tacking to get to the right side. This would prove to be smart as the breeze filtered in from both sides of the course, and along with his counterparts leading out of the hard left, Hollerbach rounded in a strong position. This would preclude a consistent theme of the day scoring a 4-2-4, vaulting them into second overall. For Hollerbach, it was a solid day long over due for he and his veteran team of Jonathan McKee and Benny Allen.

Hollerbach explained the keys to their success, “Starts today were key — not only having a clean start, but being in the correct part of the line to be set up for pressure. Along with having the boat tuned well, we were able to put the boat where we wanted and it worked out well.”

After the wind all but faded to glass at the conclusion of race one, a brisk northerly filled in from the Miami skyline. Finally the breeze looked to be steady and consistent. Recovering from a mediocre first race, Jason Michas’ Midnight Blue with tactician Mark Mendalblatt was able to find their swagger in Races Four and Five, landing them in third overall. “We started at the pin in all three races the first race was a disaster, but it worked well for us in the final two races when the left paid nicely,” explained Michas.

With a 9-12 knot northerly, the key to success was solid boatspeed upwind, and being able to find the correct mode downwind between marginal planing and vmg soaking which is always a fine line. Those that could keep their boat in an optimum mode downwind, especially on port gybe were able to make some nice gains downwind. Michas continued, “Downwind today was very difficult. The transition from marginal planing to soaking was key, we did our best to get it right and felt we really got in a groove downwind.”

Leading overall is Achille Onoranto and his Mascalzone Latino Jr. team. The forecast for the final day of racing should allow for three quality races with the same northerly direction with little flashes of Northeast breeze. With the all important throw out kicking in after Race Six, the standings will get shuffled taking first Audi Melges 20 Winter event down to the wire.

As with other Audi Melges 20 events around the world, racing updates as they are available will be posted online at the Official Audi Melges 20 Facebook Page. Be sure to also follow the fleet on InstagramTwitter and YouTube. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will also be available online each day post racing at melges20.com.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After Five Races)
1.) Achille Onorato/Malcolm Page, Mascalzone Latino, Jr.; 4-1-5-9-9 = 28
2.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 12-10-4-2-4 = 32
3.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendleblatt, Midnight Blue; 15-4-13-1-6 = 39
4.) John Taylor/Bill Hardesty, Ninkasi; 16-5-11-7-1 = 40
5.) Mike Keefe/Kevin Jewett, Flannel; 6-3-2-17-18 = 46
6.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 8-6-6-8-26 = 54
7.) Russ Lucas/Harry Melges, Shimmer; 14-15-14-5-7 = 55
8.) Cesar Gomes Neto/John Bowden; Portobello; 3-16-23-14-2 = 58
9.) Bo Boje Pedersen/Michael Hestbaek, UpUpUp; 2-18-9-22-14 = 65
10.) Drew Weirda/Scott Nixon, Peshmerga; 17-14-27-6-3 = 67

1.) Brian Hill, Atlas = 70 pts.
2.) Tate Russack, Diesel = 86 pts.
3.) Paul Currie, Wild Deuces = 95 pts.
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