Just One Kiss Will Do

8 February 2015

Miami, FL - After two days of windy, shifty, competitive Audi Melges 20 sailing, Biscayne Bay saved the best for last and tee’d up a picture perfect 8-11 knot easterly breeze that settled the score in both the overall and Corinthian standings. With gulfstream clouds and Stiltsville serving as the backdrop, two races were completed on the final day of racing and regardless of finishing place, every Audi Melges 20 sailor experienced three powder days of sailing.

On fire since Race One of the event, Michael Kiss’s Bacio again used his pin-end prowess and boat speed to launch his team into the top group in Race 7. Despite a shaky moment or two downwind, Kiss made a late pass on two boats to salvage a fifth place finish, but with Alessandro Rombelli’s STIG lurking and grabbing second, Kiss still needed to sail the last race and with only a 5 point advantage headed into the final race.

Locked in a grudge match for the Corinthian title, veteran helm Brian Hill on Atlas turned it on and mixed it up in the front of the fleet doing his best to erase a two point gap behind Audi Melges 20 newcomer Julian Plante on Shimmer. Like an unwelcome dinner guest, Plante managed to hang just a few places behind the entire race and put a up a 12th to Hill’s 8th. Trailing by two points entering the day, Hill now had a 2-point lead heading into the final race. With an eager fleet, several general recalls ensued in the last race resulting in a Z-Flag start from PRO Bruce Golison. Using an aggressive approach and unable to finish the regatta worse than second, Kiss went after Rombelli in the pre-start and with several circles, dial ups and hard luffs, Kiss was able to force Rombelli into a compromised starting position and headed to the unfavored right side of the race course.

Once free, Rombelli was able to make a heroic comeback from the mid-twenties into the top ten by the bottom gate, but the front group was too out of touch to pull off the miracle win. Trailing a few boats behind was Kiss and after seeing the first two boats finish, realized they had sealed the regatta win with an impressively consistent scoreline in this tough fleet. Once again near the top of the fleet, Corinthians Hill and Plante simply refused to give in, and the table once again turned as Plante was now just a few points ahead of Hill all the way around the track. Unable to jump Plante on the final run, Hill had a tough final run and lost touch with Plante, and ultimately the Corinthian title. With several new Corinthian teams coming out of the frozen North, including the all-Porter team from Chicago who had several moments of brilliance, the all-amatuer series is going down to the wire.

In just over a months time, the Audi Melges 20 fleet will be back in the paradise of Biscayne Bay with the first inaugural, stand alone Melges Rocks Regatta. Recovering from a painful first day, and posting an unreal scoreline from Race 4, Marc Hollerbach and his Fu team salvaged an improbable fifth place and have a solid lead on the 2015 Audi Melges 20 Winter Series. Trailing behind is board member Richard Davies on Section 16 with Winter Regatta Champion Michael Kiss in third. The only thing more exciting than the sailing is the drama and which hard working team will show up to play at the next event.

On the other side of the globe the prestigious Primo Cup concluded in Monaco with first-time Audi Melges 20 regatta champion Corrado Agusta on Customly alongside of tactician Gabrio Zandona. Agusta has only been in the class for one year and has claimed an impressive victory in Monaco. View The Full Results. This is just the beginning to a very exciting racing season in Europe as the 2015 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series cranks up full blast in April.

As with almost every regatta, many people unite to make the experience out of this world. The Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series is no exception. The International Audi Melges 20 Class Association wishes to extend a very special thanks to the Coconut Grove Sailing Club and it’s league of volunteers and race committee members. Their dedication and unwavering support for the Winter Series continues to be immense. Bruce Golison and his race management team did an outstanding job this weekend. And lastly, a very special thanks to all the teams who traveled near and far to be with the fleet as for many, it’s back to the snow and winter cold.

As with all Audi Melges 20 events around the world, racing updates were 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 OVERALL RESULTS (FINAL - After 8 Races, 1 Discard)
1.) Michael Kiss/Mike Buckley, Bacio; 7-3-2-2-5-3-5-[14] = 27
2.) Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; 4-8-1-[14]-8-2-2-11 = 36
3.) John Kilroy/Bill Hardesty, Samba Pa Ti; 1-2-13-1-18-[21]-1-4 = 40
4.) Liam Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Wildman; 8-4-4-10-1-5-[20]-09 = 41
5.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 18-[23]-17-3-3-1-4-1 = 47
6.) Paul Reilly/Andy Burdick, Red Sky; 5-10-7-4-10-9-9-[15] = 54
7.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 3-6-6-5-[22]-13-22-7 = 62
8.) Jim Wilson/Jeremy Wilmot, Oleander; [24]-24-5-9-9-4-10-6 = 67
9.) Cesar Gomes Neto/Scott Nixon, Portobello; [22]-1-20-20-17-6-3-16 = 83
10.) Julian Plante/Justin Quigg, Shimmer;9-20-12-[23]-11-11-12-8 = 83

1.) Julian Plante, Shimmer; 83 pts.
2.) Brian Hill, Atlas; 86 pts.
3.) Vincent Porter, Windhover; 128 pts.

View Full Results
Official Yachtscoring Event Website
Miami Winter Series Ranking (After 2 Events)

View Full Photo Gallery - JOY (Miami)
View Full Photo Gallery - Marina Semenova (Monaco)
View Full Photo Gallery - Borlenghi Studio (Monaco)

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