San Francisco, California - The first day of racing at the 2012 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship, hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club was nothing short of spectacular. Three very challenging races were conducted under classic bay conditions. John Kilroy Jr., with tactician Jeremy Wilmot and crew Federico Michetti on Samba Pa Ti has taken control of the event. Kilroy's 1-2-5 scoreline puts him in first, one point ahead of defending champ and second overall Michael Kiss with Chris Rast on tactics and Willie McBride as crew on Bacio. Local favorite and brand new to the fleet, Roland Van Der Meer on BLAST! is currently seated third.
"After doing the Melges 32, which is so intense, the Melges 20 has been very enjoyable, absolutely perfect." commented Kilroy post-racing. "The sailing in this class is really beautiful, really fun, with great people, and truly is a great boat. And then, there is racing in San Francisco. It was just an amazing day on the water. Just glorious. This boat is a lot of fun and very easy to drive."
The day started with a little less breeze than many had expected. The wind quickly filled in around midday and the twenty-plus fleet went racing with a comfortable 8-10 knots of breeze and flat seas, that eventually built to a wonderful 13-15 in the afternoon with a moderate chop. The roar of freedom produced by the Navy's Blue Angels and a variety of other aircraft, all due in part to San Francisco's famous Fleet Week festivities, danced overhead as Kilroy and Kiss fastly became fierce rivals.
Kilroy performed well ultimately winning race one. Kiss followed closely finishing in second place, while Van Der Meer claimed third.
The competition grew more intense in race two as fleet newcomer Richard Davies on Section 16 came on strong mid-race, overtaking the lead at the gate, then maintaining to win. Kilroy was second, while Russell Lucas' Shimmer finished third.
The third and final race of the day proved to be just as challenging as the previous two with Kiss wielding an aggressive attack to take command, then extended for the win. Paul Reilly on Red Sky got in the groove to finish second over Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing in third.
Three additional races are scheduled for Saturday, October 6 with a warning of 11.00 PST.
TOP TEN RESULTS (Preliminary, After 3 Races)
1.) John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 1-2-5 = 8
2.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; 2-6-1 = 9
3.) Roland Van Der Meer, BLAST!; 3-8-4 = 15
4.) Richard Davies, Section 16; 10-1-7 = 18
5.) Russell Lucas, Shimmer; 5-3-10 = 18
6.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky; 11-7-2 = 20
7.) Sid Gorham, Funner; 8-4-9 = 21
8.) Tony Tabb, Elevation Racing; 14-9-3 = 26
9.) Clay Broussard, Velocity; 6-11-11 = 28
10.) Erwyn Naidoo, Bohica; 19-5-6 = 30
View Full Results
Live, as they happen racing updates are posted online at the Official Class Blog. Stay close to the Official Audi Melges 20 Facebook Page for photos and further commentary. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges20.com.