M24’S STORM DETROIT AT 2016 BAYVIEW ONE DESIGN
June 3-5, 2016 - Detroit, MI - Detroit is known for good old American high performance, and Melges 24’s delivered. With the sound of Indy Cars roaring from Belle Isle in the background, Bayview One Design kicked off with 14 Melges 24 teams from the US and Canada. Both Charleston Race Week corinthian and open division winners Decorum and Monsoon were present, as well as local Detroit boats Hoodlum, Tramp, Gnarly Ruca, and VooDoo. Team Canada showed up ready to rumble with a strong showing from Zingara, Surprise, Rush, and Spitfire. The talented High Voltage and Slingshot programs rounded out the impressive fleet.
Light airs prevailed on day one. For many teams it was frustrating and shifty. Monsoon and Zingara managed to be the best at dealing with the light air and strong current of Lake St. Clair. The two battled it out, taking all of the bullets for the day. Sydney Semack, of Team VooDoo, was sailing her first ever Melges 24 one design regatta. When asked how she liked sailing in the Melges 24 class, the Grosse Pointe North High School sailor said, “I thought it was such a unique experience because I got to race against much more experienced skippers. It encouraged me to practice more and be able to reach the same ranks one day.”
With most of the pack pretty tight on points, day two was poised to provide some very competitive racing. To add a bit more challenge into the mix, the Melges racing circle had C&C 35’s added to it along with the current pack of Tartan 10’s and Express 27’s. The laylines and speeds are so different, along with the current and light breeze, it made for some very entertaining maneuvers by everyone. Imagine the motorhomes coming out of the infield and joining a Nascar race and you start to get the picture. All of the fleets managed to get through it all, have some fun, and laugh about it at the party.
Speaking of the party, the class celebrities could be seen having a bit of fun in the D. Team Hoodlum had Sailing Anarchy’s Mr. Clean on board, along with a blasting stereo providing entertainment for the fleet on the water. Petey Crawford was in the house getting footage, doing some sailing himself, and promoting the 2016 M24 Worlds in Miami.
Day two was the mid pack moving day. Surprise astonished the fleet by managing to get out in front of the pack a few times, they were able to hold onto their lead and win race 6. When race wins go as deep as ninth place overall out of 14, that just tells you how strong this fleet is. High Voltage managed to be the biggest mover of the day, taking a top 5 position with a bullet in Saturday’s final race.
The forecast for the third and final day of the regatta called for rain and more wind. The race committee did a wonderful job managing to get in two races to salvage the morning and give the Melges class what it wanted, planing conditions. The fleets put up with some rain, but were rewarded with 20kt puffs and exciting downwind runs. The top two positions were pretty sealed up by Monsoon and Zingara, but there was a big battle to fill out the top 5. Almost all of the top 10 boats were in contention for a podium finish. Slingshot, Hoodlum, and High Voltage managed to work their way to the top on the last day.
The skies cleared just as the teams finished racing which made for a relaxing sunny afternoon to haul and pack boats as the fleet enjoyed libations at the awards tent. Bayview did a great job as host, and the Melges 24 class will surely be back again next year.