Youth of a Nation - Liam Kilroy Takes Miami Winter Series Event 1 Win, The Golison's Claim Corinthian Title

13 December 2015

Miami, FL - The first Melges 20 Miami Winter Series (MWS) event is complete and after a truly great weekend of racing with epic conditions, sailors are headed home for the holidays with satisfactory grins, always thankful for such an awesome sailing experience. From the amazing hosts at Coconut Grove Sailing Club's (CGSC) , to the near perfect sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay and camaraderie contained within this fleet, this event was very much over the top with the fleet fully primed for more great racing to come in the new year.

With only a one point gap between overnight leader Liam Kilroy on Wildman and fleet veteran Jim Wilson's Oleander , the stage was set for a showdown on Sunday in big-breeze, squally conditions. Just behind Wilson was a strong arsenal of experienced teams including Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee, World Championship second-place runner up Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello and the always relentless, double World Champion John Kilroy Jr. on Samba Pa Ti.

As PRO Blake Middleton confirmed the conditions were under class maximums of sustained 23 knots and gusts to 25, the fleet headed to south portion of Biscayne bay for the final two races.

Shaking off a tough start near the pin, the elder Kilroy found his mojo upwind, carving his way up the first beat to grab the lead at the top mark. He never looked back. Dealing with a sizable squall on the second upwind beat that reeled in some fresh pressure, the fleet handled it in stride. Charging hard throughout the race was longtime Melges sailor Paul Reilly and his Red Sky Team finishing second, the blazing Brazilian Gomes Neto took third.

In the overall standings, Liam Kilroy and Wilson did some shadow boxing around the course with Liam finishing in front of Wilson, the two placing fifth and sixth respectively.

Heading into the final race, Liam had a two lead over Wilson, with his father looming only four points back.

For the first time this weekend, those who dug deep into the left corner were finally rewarded with a sizable shift containing fresh pressure. Showing great patience and leading the pack from the left, was Jason Michas on Midnight Blue . But it was young Liam who stole the show (with his crew of tactician Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain and 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble), as he worked the right middle eventually holding off his dad finishing first and second. Coming in third with his hair on fire was outgoing Melges 20 Class Pres Rob Wilber on the mighty Cinghiale.

It was a truly impressive performance by the young Kilroy. He maintained an amazing steady hand throughout the event and earned a well deserved victory.

Getting off to an impressive start with a 1-1-2, brothers Bruce and Jay Golison on Midlife Crisis, along with teammate Riley Gibbs came tenth overall. Their top ten finish was well enough to take the 2015 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, Act 1 Corinthian title. With a strong showing, the Melges 20 fleet is the perfect fleet for any amateurs looking for a great challenge in one of the best one design classes on the planet.

Like getting extended family together for the holidays, everyone gathered for the awards ceremony at Shake-A-Leg-Miami — sailors, volunteers, friends and family members were present making it a special send off until everyone reconvenes on February 4-6, 2016 for the Miami Winter Regatta, Act 2 of the 2015/16 Miami Winter Series .

The International Melges 20 Class Association wishes to send along a very special thanks to Ron Rostorfer and Coconut Grove Sailing Club's (CGSC) legion of volunteers, most especially to Sandrine Quenee. Thanks as again to PRO Blake Middleton, Photographer Steve Bernstein and all the competitors for making it happen.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Liam Kilroy, Wildman; [8]-2-6-4-1-1-5-1 = 20
2.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti; [15]-8-7-2-2-3-1-2 = 25
3.) James Wilson, Oleander; 2-4-1-3-[9]-5-6-7 = 28
4.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 7-3-[10]-1-7-4-7-6 = 35
5.) Cesar Gomes Neto, Portobello; 3-[14]-9-5-3-6-3-12 = 41
6.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing; 9-5-[11]-6-4-8-2-8 = 42
7.) Jason Michas, Midnight Blue; 5-7-[14]-8-14-7-4-4 = 49
8.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 6-9-4-10-[16]-10-8-3 = 50
9.) Daniel Thielman, Kuai; 10-10-[13]-11-6-2-13-10 = 62
10.) Jay Golison, Midlife Crisis; 1-1-2-13-12-[18]-18-18 = 65

TOP THREE CORINTHIANS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Jay Golison, Midlife Crisis; 1-1-2-13-12-[18]-18-18 = 65
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel; 11-13-[18]-14-18-15- 15-15-15 = 101
3.) Justin Quigg, Character 2.0; 14-[19]-16-19-19-11-16-9 = 104
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