Traverse City – Congratulations are in full order for 2019 Melges 24 North American Champions: Travis Weisleder, tactician Mike Buckley, George Peet, Chewy Sanchez and John Bowden on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team. A big round of congrats is also extended to 2019 Corinthian NAC Champs – Fraser McMillan at the helm of Sunnyvale with crew members Aiden Koster, Alexander Levkovskiy and Keegan Moynihan.
Richard Reid on Zingara had a tough day. After leading the event for the past two days, he finished Race Six in seventh place, putting him one point behind the new NAC Champions with throwouts going into effect. Kevin Welch’s MiKEY with Jeff Madrigali at the helm came third, followed by Jack Jenning’s Pied Piper in fourth, and 2019 NAC Corinthian winner Fraser McMillan completed the top five.
Teams headed out to the racecourse for the third and final day of competition at the 2019 Melges 24 North American Championship, hosted by the Grand Traverse Yacht Club (GTYC) on time and under sunny, yet breezy conditions anticipating two races. The breeze built fast and soon, the sun disappeared and heavy thunderstorms were on the horizon.
About one hour later, the Race Committee finally got a solid race course set and the fleet went racing in a wet and wild 18-20+ knots of breeze with Welch/Madrigali and Jack Jenning’s Pied Piper battling into the first mark side-by-side. Once around, Welch/Madrigali launched into the lead. Jennings followed in second, and Wes Whitmyer’s Slingshot in third. Tom ‘Cash Money’ Roop on Collusion, and Chris Jefferies Perky 2 were chasing in fourth and fifth. With the breeze still pumping, Whitmyer caught Jennings at the gate, then took the upwind lead to round the final top mark in first. Whitmyer took a quick penalty turn after rounding the offset opening up opportunity for Welch/Madrigali to ultimately take back the lead and win. Whitmyer had his best finish yet for the event in second, followed by Jennings in third.
At the completion of the North American Championship, Weisleder is now the current Series leader of the International Melges 24 Class Association’s (IM24CA) North American Championship Series with two events completed. Only one final regatta remains – the Canadian Nationals in Ontario, Canada on September 13-15.
On the U.S. Melges 24 Class’ National Ranking Series, Welch still holds all the coins, seated in first overall, with Weisleder trailing by three points. Whitmyer and Reid had a great event in Traverse City, both moving up the leader board to sit third and fourth respectively. Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon is fifth.