MIAMI, Fla. (Mar. 3, 2017) - Rob Wilber’s Cinghiale answered the call of the wild with the breeze-on conditions, cashing in nicely with a 1-7-1 scoreline to win the day and lead the overnight standings. Double Melges 20 World Champion John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti is in second, while Series front-runner Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee is in third place.
After a general recall and a brief delay for a squall induced right shift, the Melges 20 fleet got Race One underway in 18-22 knots of breeze. Leaving no doubt about his intentions, Wilber and his Cinghiale Team started at the boat, tacked immediately and legged it out to the right corner, found a honey hole to take a commanding lead at the first top mark. With another squall descending from the left side of the course, Wilber was able to hold off a strong pack of Melges 20s ripping on the final downwind for the bullet, followed by Liam Kilroy on Wildman and Igor Rytov on Russian Bogatyrs.
An ecstatic Wilber commented, "Knowing it was going to be windy, we had a discussion on the way out to the racecourse to keep things simple tactically, let our speed go to work and sail clean. Fortunately, we were able to stick to our game plan and have a great day."
With a still settling breeze that hung just under class maximums, the second race started with only a few individual recalls. Jason Michas on Midnight Blue and Freides made the left side work to lead around the top mark followed by Daniel Thielman on Kuai and the elder Kilroy. Freides would show superior downwind speed and lead at the gate to eventually take the bullet, followed by Michas and Drew Weirda on Merga.
The final race of the day started without delay and gunning hard for the right side again was Wilber who started late at the boat, tacked and turned on the afterburners to have a nice lead at the top mark. What looked like a NASCAR race with the fleet going to the right corner upwind, and the right corner downwind, there were few tactical gains to be made... boat speed was king. Wilber went on to win the final race of the day, followed by Igor Rytov on Russian Bogatyrs and Samba Pa Ti. Jim Wilson’s Oleander followed in fourth and Paul Reilly’s Red Sky Sailing Team rounded out the top five.
"Our focus on the boat was keeping the appropriate angle of heel and to not over steer, it was tough driving in the chop," commented Reilly post racing. "The sailing today was great — really close with hairy rides downwind, I said to my crew on the last upwind beat 'life is good!"
With a fresh forecast for the remainder of the regatta, Melges 20 teams will get a solid opportunity to correct their mistakes from Day One and apply them going forward. With the Melges Rocks Party and Cinghiale Pig Roast on the horizon, the fleet is looking ahead to another fun day of racing.
Representing Canada, and the only woman at the helm of a Melges 20 in Miami, Rhonda Joyce’s Grinning Streak reveled in the breeze today beating out John Brown’s Blind Squirrel for the overnight lead by one point. With two more days of racing still yet to come, this will be one of the most exciting and well-fought battles of the weekend.
MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
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.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Three Races)
1.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 1-7-1 = 9
2.) John Kilroy, Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 7-5-3 = 15
3.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 8-1-7 = 16
4.) Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs; 3-13-2 = 18
5.) Liam Kilroy, Wildman; 2-8-8 = 18
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TOP FIVE 2016/17 MIAMI WINTER SERIES RESULTS (After Two Events, Three Races)
1.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee = 6 pts.
2.) Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs = 13 pts.
3.) Jim Wilson, Oleander = 16 pts.
4.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale = 18 pts.
5.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team = 19 pts.
2016/17 Miami Winter Series Ranking (Overall & Corinthian - After Two Events, Three Races)