SARASOTA, Fla. (March 19, 2017) – Congratulations to Matthew Woodworth, the winner of the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship. Charlie Buckingham placed second overall and Mitchell Rogers took third. In the first sanctioned regatta for the Melges 14s, Woodworth held a commanding lead throughout and took home the very first Melges 14 Champion title.
The regatta drew 25 sailors of all ages who enjoyed three days of warm, sunny Florida weather with wind varying from light to very heavy. With great sailing conditions in every wind range, everyone got a chance to see how fun the Melges 14 is.
One race was sailed on the final day of the three-day event. The race started in wavy 11-14 mph conditions, built to 17-20 mph and gusted to 23. PRO Irene McNeill and the race committee team set a square starting line and a triangle windward leeward. Rogers punched out at the starboard end while Woodworth, Buckingham and Sean Fidler played the middle, and Bob Little won the pin end. Around the first windward mark, Woodworth held a 16 second lead on Buckingham. Behind them Fidler, Little, Rogers, and Dan Guildinger rounded within seconds. Chapman Peterson had an impressive downwind leg, picking off boats while sailing the Blue mid-range rig. Woodworth’s downwind maneuvering paid off again, and he extended his lead to one full minute by the time he reached the second windward mark rounding. Woodworth won the race, followed by Buckingham, Rogers, David Hillmyer, and Little. Breeze continued to build, so the race committee team called off racing for the day. On the way back to shore, Buckingham, Woodworth and Rogers lined up for speed testing. A few Melges 14 sailors sailed over to the Open Bic racecourse to cheer on their kids.
Charlie Buckingham shared his thoughts on the Melges 14:
“The controls are very accessible; the cunningham, the outhaul and the vang are all right there. The boat really responds. When you hit a puff and you sheet in and hike, the boat jumps. The other boats I’ve sailed really don’t do that. It’s my first time feeling that sensation,” said Buckingham, “The boat is really fast. I would love to see the class grow.”
The regatta saw a wide-range of ages and skillsets, from 13-year-old Peterson to seventy-something Dave Ellis who hopped into the Melges 14 for a race. The average age on the race course was forty. Peterson said, “There are some really good guys here. A couple of them are just getting into the boat and still learning a lot, but then there’s guys that are super competitive at the top.”
Special thank you to Sarasota Sailing Squadron, the race committee team and Melges 14 dealers.
Nels Curnow said it best: “Let’s do this again!”
Top Fifteen out of 24
1.) Matthew Woodworth:  · 1 · 1 · 1 · 1 · 1 = 5
2.) Charlie Buckingham: 1 · 3 ·  · 2 · 2 · 2 = 10
3.) Mitchell Rogers: 3 · 2 · 2 ·  · 3 · 3 = 13
4.) Sean Fidler: 5 · 4 · 4 ·3 · 4 ·  = 20
5.) Bob Little: 6 · 5 ·  · 4 · 5 · 5 = 25
6.) Dan Guidinger: 7 · 7 · 3 · 6 · 7 ·  = 30
7.) Roger Link: 4 · 9 · 9 · 7 · 13 · [DNC] = 42
8.) David Hillmyer: [DNC] · DNC · 6 · 5 · 6 · 4 = 47
9.) Michael Gillian:  · 11 · 8 · 9 · 8 · 16 = 52T
10.) James Gillian: 9 · 12 · 10 ·  · 12 · 9 = 52T
11.) Daniel Thielman: 12 ·  · 11 · 10 · 9 · 10 = 52T
12.) Christian Oertel: 10 · 8 · 14 · 11 · 10 · [DNC] = 53
13.) Carson Hillier: 8 · 14 ·  · 17 · 11 · 6 = 56
14.) Chapman Peterson: 14 · 15 · [OCS] · 12 · 17 · 7 = 65
15.) Steve Cameron: 16 · 10 · 15 · 15 ·  · 15 = 71T
View Full Results: bit.ly/Melges14Midwinters2017
View the Regatta Highlight Video: bit.ly/Melges14MidwintersHighlightReel
Race a Melges 14 this summer: bit.ly/Melges14Tour
Register for the Melges 14 Lake Geneva Challenge: bit.ly/Melges14LakeGenevaChallenge
Come to Norfolk’s Melges 14 Mid-Atlantic Regatta: bit.ly/Melges14Norfolk
ABOUT THE MELGES 14
Designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Melges in Zenda, Wisconsin, USA, the Melges 14 is a modern one-design racing boat that also has the ability to sail with two people. The boat is 14 feet and features a large, open cockpit so no bailing is required. A carbon mast and boom complements its modern, flexible sail plan with three rigs: Gold (98 sq. ft.), Blue (85 sq. ft.), and Red (58 sq. ft.). Sailors can order a custom Melges 14 dolly, car top it or tow it behind any vehicle. Used as a beach boat, a family-style sailboat or a one-design racing platform, the Melges 14 was honored as Sailing World’s 2016 Boat of the Year – Best Dinghy. With fleets in North America, Europe, and Asia, the Melges 14 is emerging as a true high performance one-design racing boat, just two years after its introduction.
ABOUT MELGES PERFORMANCE SAILBOATS
For more than 70 years, Melges has proudly delivered superior-built scows and sportboats around the world and now offers the Melges 14 and Melges 40. Melges Performance Sailboats provides continuous customer service and product support unlike anyone else. Every Melges boat is signed, sealed, endorsed and delivered race ready by the best, for the best. For more information about Melges Performance Sailboats, visit melges.com.
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