Taking his grandfather’s advice, Harry Melges IV started first and increased his lead — and ultimately won the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship.
Adam Ankers of Privateer Yacht Club (Chattanooga, TN) sailed an extremely consistent series earning a strong second. Daniel Thielman from Corinthian Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA) put his stamp on the final day, earning third place.
Day three saw a building 12-20 knot breeze. Melges, Lars Osell and Ankers stepped out to an early lead in Race Nine. Melges extended his lead on the final upwind to earn the W. Ankers sailed a strong final downwind to secure a second place.
Race Ten of the event saw more tight action with Sergey Bolotin, Melges, Ankers and Thielman all coming into the finish seemingly at once. The final race of the series saw the biggest breeze yet. A steady 15 knots gusting upwards of 20 filled across the race course.
A pin-skewed starting line and a backing breeze put Thielman out to an early lead. Melges, Bolotin and Ankers kept the burners on — not willing to give Thielman an easy time. The race order remained largely unchanged until the last half of the last run.
Attempting to lock in one final bullet, Melges pressed Thielman high and off of the rum line. Seeing this, Bolotin dove low and gained speed.
Before Thielman and Melges had a chance to react, Bolotin surged into the lead and took the final race of the series. Thielman finished in second, securing his spot on the podium.
The battle for the top female sailor saw Peyton Ankers and Jennifer Canestra face off, with Ankers taking the title after neck-and-neck racing all weekend long.
Local Sarasota sailor Lars Osell missed the podium by one position, placing fourth overall. Todd Wilson of Lake Lanier Sailing Club had an extremely consistent series placing fifth.
Next up on the Melges 14 circuit is the Melges 14 U.S. National Championship at Lake Geneva Yacht Club 15 17 June.