2019 Melges 24 North American Championship Gets Serious on Day Two

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Richard Reid' s  Zingara  (CAN811) had great starts and solid racing to maintain the overnight lead once again at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship.- ©Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Richard Reid' s Zingara (CAN811) had great starts and solid racing to maintain the overnight lead once again at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship.- ©Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Article By International Melges 24 Class Association - August 17, 2019 - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - Day Two at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship (NAC) got off to a slightly slower start. An initial general recall on the first attempt to start Race Four resulted in a two hour, on-the-water postponement. During that time, PRO Jeff Maier and his dedicated GTYC Race Committee picked up shop and moved further south. Teams waited for the breeze to build.

Going into Day Two, Richard Reid on Zingara had a substantial lead over Mike 'Flow Master' Dow on Flying Toaster in second place, and Jack Jennings' Pied Piper in third. Dow also dominated in the Corinthian category, followed by Fraser McMillan's Sunnyvale and Scot Zimmerman's Bad Idea. With much of the same conditions forecasted for the second day of competition, it was critical to do well and stay consistent in the scoring.

Richard Reid' s  Zingara  (CAN811) had great starts and solid racing to maintain the overnight lead once again at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship.- ©Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Richard Reid' s Zingara (CAN811) had great starts and solid racing to maintain the overnight lead once again at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship.- ©Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Racing got underway around 1 o'clock and it didn't take long for Travis Weisleder and his Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team to show they were determined to win. He raced Kevin Welch's MiKEY with Jeff Madrigali at the helm through the first mark and lead the entire race around the buoys. Weisleder extended at every turn and won the race with a huge lead. Welch/Madrigali placed second. It was a photo finish for third and fourth, as McMillan got across the line just ahead of Reid. Jennings was fifth.

Corinthian power rules - Fraser McMillan (Green Spinnaker) beat Kevin Welch's  MiKEY  to the finish line in Race Four. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Corinthian power rules - Fraser McMillan (Green Spinnaker) beat Kevin Welch's MiKEY to the finish line in Race Four. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

With a nice breeze in place, the Race Committee fired off Race Five, the final race of the day in carbon copy conditions. Despite an early, strong lead by Corinthian McMillan, Wes Whitmyer's Slingshot, John Shockey's Wombmates Racing, Reid, Weisleder, Welch/Madigali and Jennings wasted no time in challenging for the lead. They fiercely set the spinnakers at the offset, settling in and turning on the boat speed. Weisleder and Welch/Madrigali eventually took control as McMillian slid back to third. Weisleder successfully got the win, with Welch/Madrigali settling for second.

"Today was very difficult, but our tactician Mike Buckley is always attacking the shifts," said Weisleder. "That was key. We stayed in the middle and we were fast. Mike keeps us in line. It's a simple formula - either we want to get serious and win, or we don't. We've got a great crew. John Bowden and George Peet are awesome to have on the boat, and our secret weapon is Chewy Sanchez. That guy hikes harder than anyone I know."

Fraser McMillan's  Sunnyvale  leads the Corinthian Division after two days of racing. - © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Fraser McMillan's Sunnyvale leads the Corinthian Division after two days of racing. - © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

McMillan had a spectacular day moving into the first place Corinthian position, and Marty 'Big Rock' Jensen on Zig Zag is now seated second. Dow's Flying Toaster had a difficult day, no thanks a broken forestay in Race Four which resulted in him retiring. Canada's Dan Berezin sailing Surprise continues to hang tough in fourth, with Scot Zimmerman's Bad Idea in fifth.

The Melges 24 Sprint Series Championship that lives in the Melges 24 corner of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club in Traverse City, Michigan. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

The Melges 24 Sprint Series Championship that lives in the Melges 24 corner of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club in Traverse City, Michigan. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

"We did not have such a good start on the first race today, so we had to fight hard for that third place finish," said McMillan. "We had a great start in the second race and lead for the majority of the time. Today was light, but we prefer a little bit more breeze. We just came from the Gorge last week, so we are a little spoiled. We're happy that we came out, it's such a beautiful town."

The set-up for Sunday is this - down to the wire racing for the top seeds and the forecast is calling for more breeze. With the completion of a sixth race, each team will throw out her worst score. This puts Reid and Weisleder in a head-to-head competition that will be very intense, and positions can change rapidly for the Corinthians.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BELT

The Melges 24 fleet is deeply rooted within the Grand Traverse Yacht Club far more than one can imagine. It is what made it so appropriate that it host the North American Championship. It goes far beyond a group of boat owners that are crazy passionate about their Melges 24s, but they love the sport and their sailing family.

The fleet wanted to add a new spin on their Wednesday night club races, so the local fleet implemented the Melges 24 Sprint Race Series, that follows a 'short track' racing approach. The point of the whole thing is that this fleet loves to give things to each other, and that is exactly what the Sprint Races do. It gives each owner a chance to wear a custom Wrestle-Mania style belt (courtesy of Tom 'Cash Money' Roop), encrusted with all the proper pageantry and pomp demanded of a Melges 24 Sprint Race Champion. Adding extra fun to the mix, as the participants are scored, they are given a 'name', by which some have become GTYC celebrities in their own right.

As with the Melges 24, have belt - will travel. The winner of the belt has the ability to take it places, for example it has been spotted alongside sailing's most elite celebrities such as Buddy Melges, and to places like the Pink Pony. Needless to say, this belt gets around.

All for the sake of just good, clean, American Midwest fun.

Have belt, will travel. The Melges 24 Sprint Series Championship belt has traveled and felt the power of the Wizard of Zenda - Buddy Melges himself. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

Have belt, will travel. The Melges 24 Sprint Series Championship belt has traveled and felt the power of the Wizard of Zenda - Buddy Melges himself. © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company

LIVE RACE TRACKING WITH TRAC TRAC
Live tracking of all NAC racing in Traverse City, Michigan at the North Americans will be available and viewable at this link: https://www.tractrac.com/event-page/event_20190815_MelgesNort/1648

BE THE BEST SOCIAL BUTTERFLY YOU CAN BE
Be sure to follow, like and love the Melges 24 on all of its social media channels this weekend: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tag your experience with @WorldofMelges24, @Melges24, @Melges24Canada and use #melges24, #2019nac.

TOP TEN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY, After Five Races)
1.) CAN Richard Reid, Zingara; 1-2-2-4-4 = 13
2.) USA Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 2-4-16-1-1 = 24
3.) USA Kevin Welch/Jeff Madrigali, MiKEY; 13-1-14-2-2 = 32
4.) CAN (C) Fraser McMillan, Sunnyvale; 9-7-10-3-3 = 32
5.) USA Jack Jennings, Pied Piper/National Marine; 4-5-8-22-5 = 44
6.) USA John Shockey, Wombmates Racing; 5-12-3-26-12 = 58
7.) USA Wes Whitmyer, Slingshot; 16-23-6-9-7 = 61
8.) USA Peter Schumacher, Marianne; 3-20-27-8-10 = 68
9.) USA (C) Marty Jensen, Zig Zag; 21-16-5-20-6 = 68
10.) USA (C) Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 7-6-1-42/RET-13 = 69
Full Results

TOP FIVE CORINTHIAN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY, After Five Races)
1.) CAN Fraser McMillan, Sunnyvale; 9-7-10-3-3 = 32
2.) USA Marty Jensen, Zig Zag; 21-16-5-20-6 = 68
3.) USA Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 7-6-1-42/RET-13 = 69
4.) CAN Dan Berezin, Surprise; 23-3-28-7-20 = 81
5.) USA Scot Zimmerman, Bad Idea; 10-14-12 = 36
Full Corinthian Results

Day Two photos by © Bill Crawford - Harbor Pictures Company Visit the 2019 Melges 24 NAC YachtScoring Site
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The Melges 24 North American Championship is supported by Hagerty Insurance, Quantum Sails, Boston Whaler, Mercedes-Benz, Melges Performance Sailboats, Costa, Baird Wealth Management, Irish Boat Shop, TruNorth Financial Group, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Bevanda Products, Sail22, Good & Ugly, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel (CRSA), Folgarelli's, The Center Plastic Surgery and Skin Care, Crew Facility Services, Snowden Commercial, West Bay Boatworks, Off Grid Food Co., Third Coast Insurance Agency, Ellibee Irrigation and Prestige Worldwide.