Mikey Likes It
31 May 2014
Article courtesy of Sam Rogers — With Indycar engines revving in the distance from the Detroit Grand Prix, Melges 24 sailors started their own engines for an on-time harbor start. Regatta organizer and longtime Melges 24 owner Paul Hulsey of Hoodlum Racing had confidence in a building breeze despite the glassy water, and like clockwork at 10am the breeze filled out of the Northeast just enough to get a race started.
With slight adverse current flowing from Lake St. Claire to the Detroit River, the first start saw the majority of the fleet late to the starting line. While the left side of the course looked promising, the middle right ended up paying the most, as Kevin Welch's team on Mikey found pressure in the middle to round in first, and Bruce Ayres' Monsoon recovered after a bad start and managed to carve out a nice lane to stay on the heels of Welch.
As the fleet struggled to get around the weather mark in a dying breeze, the current went to work and slowly helped the leaders get to the bottom of the course. The Race Committee shortened the course to finish at the gates, and after a few close battles, Welch hung on for the win, followed by Ayres, and Melges aficionado and Detroit local Tom Ritter on Tramp.
After a brief delay, the fleeting thermal that had vanished earlier, pulsed back enough to resume racing. Again with a heavy pin favor and adverse current, the fleet struggled to get off the line, this time with a pile of boats getting hung up on the pin and unable to free themselves for several moments. Meanwhile the fleet made its way to the weather mark with Monsoon leading, Mikey close behind and Charlevoix, Michigan native Marty Jensen and his Zig Zag team using superior boat speed to tangle at the top. Mikey would snatch the win, followed by Monsoon and Zig Zag in a photo finish.
For the final race of the day, it would be déjà vu as Mikey and Monsoon again traded blows at the front of the fleet, but this time Roger Counihan’s Just Add Water got into the mix and held onto the lead for the majority of the race, only to relinquish it at the bottom of the last run to Mikey, who posted a perfect day.
With a slightly better forecast for Saturday, racing will again get started at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day. After racing today, the fleet will gather for a debrief at Bayview Yacht Club to talk about the days racing and take some helpful tips into future race days.
TOP FIVE RESULTS (After Three Races)
1.) Kevin Welch, Mikey; 1-1-1 = 3
2.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 2-2-3 = 7
3.) Tom Ritter, Tramp; 3-9-5 = 17
4.) Richard Reid, Zingara; 7-4-9 = 20
5.) Marty Jensen, ZigZag; 6-3-14 = 23
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