August 16, 2019 – Traverse City, Michigan, USA – Opening day at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship (NAC) produced three great races leaving Canada’s Richard Reid at the helm of Zingara with a significant 11-point lead over Mike ‘Flow Master’ Dow’s Flying Toaster in second place. Jack Jenning’s Pied Piper/National Marine Melges 24 got a warm welcomed back from the fleet ending the day in third.
After a very patriotic opening ceremony first thing this morning (which included a very cool Coast Guard flyover), the Championship got underway on time and with as-expected conditions – flat water and light, to moderate breezes.
Top teams came on strong quick with Reid winning the first race of the day. “It was a little shifty out there, but we really liked it,” said Victor Diaz DeLeon, Zingara crew member. “It was a great day. We don’t mind it being tricky at all.”
A tenacious Reid raced hard, rounded the last mark of the first race in the lead, right in front of Travis Weisleder’s Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team by one boat length. The two went on to battle it out downwind with Reid eventually getting the win, Weisleder was second, followed by local favorite Peter Schumacher sailing Marianne for third.
Before starting Race Two, the Race Committee made a slight course adjustment to compensate for the shifty breeze. Kevin Welch’s MiKEY with Jeff Madrigali at the helm had a great start, almost immediately taking the lead and never looking back. He extended with each beat and run to take the win. Reid proved again that speed in the puffs was key, and found his way back to the front of the fleet to finish second. Canadian Corinthian player Dan Berezin on Surprise had a terrific race to finish third. Jennings and Dow rounded out the top five respectively in fourth and fifth.
As the fleet prepared to race the third and final race of the day, it was obvious the race conditions were continuing to change. The breeze at times would drop off significantly, then fill back in. Once back racing, local knowledge became a real thing when Dow took the lead, followed by Marty ‘Big Rock’ Jensen’s Zig Zag, Christopher Lamb’s Padawan 3, John Shockey’s Wombmates Racing, then Jeff ‘Buried Bodies’ Bodie’s Esperanza.
“It was all about getting around the course as fast as you could, and you needed to be fast in the puffs. The breeze was shifty too, but with teams out there like MiKEY, you need to be fast. The good news is we did not sail a throwout today, which is always a goal,” said Dow post racing.
It was a fantastically competitive day of racing in the Corinthian division. Consistency clearly paid off big for division leader Dow, but the same is true for second overall Corinthian Frasier McMillian’s Sunnyvale, and Scot ‘The Butcher’ Zimmerman’s Bad Idea running not too far behind in third.
Post racing, teams gathered back at the Grand Traverse Yacht Club for Quantum Racing’s daily debrief with Scott Nixon. A ton of swag was given way from sponsors such as Melges Performance Sailboats, Boston Whaler, Quantum, Costa, and many, many more!
Racing continues tomorrow, Saturday with a first warning at 11.00. More of the same conditions seen today are expected.
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 Three Races)
1.) CAN Richard Reid, Zingara; 1-2-2 = 5
2.) USA (C) Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 7-6-1 = 14
3.) USA Jack Jennings, Pied Piper/National Marine; 4-5-8 = 17
4.) USA John Shockey, Wombmates Racing; 5-12-3 = 20
5.) USA Travis Weisleder, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 2-4-16 = 22
6.) CAN (C) Frasier McMillian, Sunnyvale; 9-7-10 = 26
7.) USA Kevin Welch/Jeff Madrigali, MiKEY; 13-1-14 = 28
8.) USA Ken Gray, The Djinn; 8-8-18 = 34
9.) USA (C) Scot Zimmerman, Bad Idea; 10-14-12 = 36
10.) USA Christopher Lamb, Padawan 3; 11-25-4 = 40
TOP FIVE CORINTHIAN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY, After Three Races)
1.) USA Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 7-6-1 = 14
2.) CAN Frasier McMillian, Sunnyvale; 9-7-10 = 26
3.) USA Scot Zimmerman, Bad Idea; 10-14-12 = 36
4.) USA Marty Jensen, Zig Zag; 21-16-5 = 42
5.) USA Steve Piriem RUMbuncious; 15-9-19 = 43
Full Corinthian Results
Day One photos by © Bill Crawford – Harbor Pictures Company