MELGES 20 – The 2012 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship, hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club concluded on Sunday with Michael Kiss on Bacio, alongside of tactician Chris Rast and crew Willie McBride winning for a third consecutive time. In second overall, was John Kilroy Jr.’s Samba Pa Ti with Jeremy Wilmot on tactics and Federico Michetti on the bow. Moth sailor Richard Davies with Charlie McKee as tactician and Matt Pistay as crew on Section 16 finished third, Paul Reilly’s Red Sky was fourth with Andy Burdick and Sam Rogers, and Russell Lucas on Shimmer with brothers Harry and Hans Melges rounded out the top five.
With the fog hanging heavy over the San Francisco skyline, the fleet was met with another short, onland postponement before kicking off race seven in a full series of eight under light and shifty conditions. Teams were on edge as the first start resulted in a general recall. Despite a mediocre start and a semi-deep weathermark rounding, Kiss fired up his Audi Melges 20 blasting downwind to round through the left gate fourth, viciously fighting neck-and-neck with Davies for position. Tony Tabb with Steve Sisson on Elevation Racing had a stellar race rounding second at the top, holding on to lead right up until the line. Kiss put heavy pressure on Tabb as the two jibed into the finish, with Kiss getting the win. Tabb claimed second, while Erywn Naidoo on Bohica came third.
While Kiss optioned to retire for the final race of the day, Reilly rallied at the top mark in first, followed by Tom Ritter on Tramp, then Tabb. The top three held their own amidst the increasing breeze and rough wave action of San Fran’s famous Berkeley circle. Reilly went on to win by a comfortable margin. Local sailor Sid Gorham on Funner improved throughout the race to take second. Russell Lucas’ Shimmer worked hard all race long to finish a strong third. For full results CLICK HERE