Melges 20 Miami Winter Series 2016-17 Home Cookin'

8 December 2016

Miami, FL - When the Melges 20 first emerged as a top level one-design boat in 2009, it quickly called Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay its winter home for its great mix of perfect sailing conditions and family friendly surroundings. Eight years later, the Melges 20s are returning for the 2016/2017 Winter Series, and Biscayne Bay will once again serve as the perfect battle ground for the first Winter Series event as the final stop on the 2016 World Series Standings.

With a solid mix of North American and international teams, the fleet for the December event will be a showcase of veteran teams that will be looking to assert their experience, and talented newcomers that will hope to upend the status quo.

New owner Tim Pitts got a taste of Melges 20 sailing last spring, purchased a used boat and is making Miami his home this winter, "My partner Joe Ferra and I joined the M20 class to sail against the great competition that exists and we're happy to be here in Miami. We are enjoying the weather and enjoying the fleet, and hope to just get around the course and stay competitive. We are looking forward to making new friends at the bar and picking up some pointers from the top boats."

Headlining the veteran teams, Drew Friedes and his Pacific Yankee team look to continue their impressive 2016 season with a win in December, while keeping their long term world championship goals on the horizon, "After finishing second in the worlds in Italy we have some unfinished business. This is the beginning of our preparation for the 2017 World Championship taking place in Newport, Rhode Island in October. We hope to improve during each event leading up to the Worlds, so that we can hopefully, finally beat a very talented Pinta team along with a very deep fleet. Our goal is always to learn and to improve at each event and it starts here in Miami."

And with most of North America and Europe headed for a deep freeze, a strong contingent of international teams could not resist the sunshine and crystal blue waters of Biscayne Bay. Longtimer Melges 20 sailor Rhonda Joyce on Grinning Streak continues her Melges 20 odyssey and the Russian teams of Oleg Evdokimenko, Igor Rytov and Vladimir Prosikhin will look to enjoy their first regatta in beautiful Miami. Rounding out the international competition is longtime Melges sailor Edoardo Pavesio from Italy and Bo Boje Pedersen from Denmark.

Racing begins on Friday, December 9th and with a forecast featuring stiff northerly breezes, the Melges 20 fleet will get a hearty welcome from its home waters on Biscayne Bay.

The 2016 World Series Ranking also draws to a close in Miami with Daniel Thielman’s Kuai, Joyce, Rob Wilber Cinghiale and Freides all in contention for potential high honors on the intercontinental stage. View 2016 North American World Series Standings. Check out the big picture for 2016 and View the Overall World Series Ranking.

As the first North American stop, the December Winter Series event will serve as the first event in a long ramp up to the 2017 Worlds in Newport, Rhode Island. Sanctioned events in North America include:
- Miami Winter Series Event #2 - Febraury 3-5, 2017
- Miami Winter Series Event #3 - March 3-5, 2017
- Melges USA Training Regatta - Newport, RI - May 5-7, 2017 (non-sanctioned)
- Sail Newport Regatta - Newport, RI - July 7-9, 2017
- US Nationals - Newport, RI - August 17-19, 2017
- World Championship - Newport, RI - October 2-7, 2017

As with other Melges 20 events around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 20 Facebook Page. Be sure to also follow the fleet on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews and photos at melges20.com.

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