The region’s premiere distance races, Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac and BYC’s Bayview Mackinac Race, showcased the light-air talent and experience of Michigan’s Melges 24 fleet, the fastest growing in the country. Sailors aboard many of the winning Mackinac yachts were Melges 24 competitors, and they brought a clear advantage to their teams as they took a break from preparing for the upcoming 2007 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship.
Flyer Crew Wins Back to Back
Bora Gulari helms USA-660 Flyer to consistent top finishes in Melges 24 events, and his tactical skills helped Phil O’Neil’s Nelson/Marek 46 Natalie J win her class for both of these tough distance races, along with Flyer regular Mike Firestone. “When you can’t go fast, you just have to minimize the distance sailed, and when VMG is important you’ve got to work those angles. We did just that,” said Gulari of the slow Chicago race.
Port Huron Race Dominated By Melges Sailors
The Bayview-Mackinac saw fluky winds and massive holes on Lake Huron, and nobody played the weather better than the BYC-based J/120 Carinthia. Fred Rozelle, owner of USA 510 Rustler, navigated the big J/boat through the tough conditions to a startling result, beating much larger yachts boat-for-boat and arriving at Mackinac Island in front of most of the multihull fleet.
More Notable Finishes For Midwestern Melges 24 Sailors
Bayview Mackinac Race:
Rob Bunn, Co-owner, USA-202: First place, IRC E, Wind Toy IV
Karl Trost, Crew, USA-615: First place, IRC C, Pendragon
Tim Prophit, Tactician, USA-570: Second, IRC B, Bounder
Peter Wenzler, Owner, USA-12: Second, IRC B, Bounder
Todd Jones, Tactician, USA-202: Third, IRC B, Burden IV
Tyler Black, Crew, USA-12: Third, IRC B, Burden IV
Chicago to Mackinac Race
Brian Torreson, Owner, USA-217: First, GL-70, Nitemare
Bill “Popeye” Henderson, Co-owner, USA-202: First, Beneteau 36.7: Grizzly
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