FESTIVAL OF SAILS – First points in the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals, one of the Festival of Sails’ opening events, went to Harry Melges and his Star crew from the USA. Melges, who founded the class in 1993 with his brother Hans and crewman Andy Burdick, began their Australian foray impressively with a perfect scorecard.
International teams had no trouble reading the local breeze on day one of the class’ national title on Geelong’s Corio Bay. The Americans were first with two bullets, the Swiss second and Japanese team aboard Threebond, skippered by Tetsuya Matsunaga, third.
The best placed Aussie team in fifth overall was Nathan Wilmot and Heath Walters’ Melges Asia – Kaito. Federico Michetti, a five-time Melges 24 world champion, arrived last night to join the rest of the Star crew who are racing a brand new Melges 24 built and shipped to Australia for the nationals and next week’s 2014 Gill Melges 24 World Championship.
“Today was fun in good breeze and having those practice starts was handy,” said Melges. “Now we just have to keep it going. There are a lot of tough crews here.”
The Melges 24 and Sports Boats’ series will continue on Corio Bay tomorrow, isolated showers during the afternoon and the chance of thunderstorms replacing today’s glorious summer conditions. The forecast breeze is westerly 10-15 knots tending south westerly 15-20 knots in the afternoon and increasing to 20-25 knots by the evening.
Full Results & Entry List available at: http://festivalofsails.com.au/sailing-regatta/race-results