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22 September 2014

Toronto, Canada - As if on cue, overnight storms and rain clouds parted as Audi Melges 20 teams pulled into the Port Credit Yacht Club (PCYC) parking lot allowing for crystal clear, sunny conditions for the final day of racing at the 2014 Canadian National Championship. Using her connections “up above”, Batteries Not Required owner and helm Rhonda Joyce happily took credit for the outstanding wind and perfect Audi Melges 20 racing throughout the weekend. Sunshine, solid wind and fun surfing conditions made for an epic event.

Heading into the final day, Cesar Gomez Neto and his team on Portobello only needed to finish third or better to secure the regatta win. With a quickly building southerly wind, the fleet got off again perfectly on time with nice 16-19 knots and developing rollers for some great downwind action. Using the speed that allowed him to stretch his lead on Day 2, Gomez Neto started at the pin, legged out and was able to sail over the fleet on a long port tack to lead at the mark. John Taylor on Ninkasi did his best to close the gap downwind, but ran out of race course and could not reel in Portobello. With a quick round of high fives, Gomez added another title to his 2014 campaign.

In other action, John Messenger on Black Sheep had his hands full trying to stave off Justin Quigg’s Character 2.0 for third place, while also trying to hang onto his Corinthian title, and first Canadian boat. After a seesaw battle in both races with puffy, shifty and at times nuclear windy, Messenger locked in third and the Corinthian Canadian National Champion title.

On top of the unbelievable weather, it was fun to see the improvement of the fleet throughout the weekend, with most teams getting their shot at the top, and showing flashes of top level Audi Melges 20 sailing. Paul Currie’s Wild Deuces made a late charge in the final race to grab the lead at the last windward mark, only to fall victim to a tricky downwind run, but a great race for Paul and his team.

Once back at the dock, the fleet was again treated to another dose of PCYC hospitality with post race beverages and food while hauling out, then to a solid spread during the trophies. The racing conditions and social activities were first class, and it seems Toronto is a perfect fit for Audi Melges 20 racing.

The Audi Melges 20s are back at it again this weekend in San Francisco with the Pacific Coast Champs (September 27-28), followed by the North Americans on October 3-5. Cesar Gomez Neto had his boat packed up and ready to hit the road en route to San Francisco to compete in both events and see if he can continue his North American reign against some tough competition on the west coast.

TOP FIVE RESULTS (FINAL - After Nine Races, One Discard)
1.) Cesar Gomes Neto, Portobello; 2-1-2-1-2-1-1-1-[13/DNF] = 11
2.) John Taylor, Ninkasi; [6]-2-1-4-1-2-2-2-1 = 15
3.) Jon Messenger, Black Sheep; 3-[5]-3-5-3-3-3-3-3 = 26
4.) Justin Quigg, Character 2.0; 4-3-5-3-4-4-6-[13/DNF]-2 = 31
5.) Rhonda Joyce, Batteries Not Required; 7-7-4-2-6-[9]-2-5-8 = 43
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