2009 Melges 17 Racing Season Kicks Off — Zenda University Sailing

13 March 2009

Melges 17 sailors traveled to Florida from the great white north. It has been a long, cold winter so the Florida sunshine was a beautiful thing to all yesterday. The Melges 17 fleet is in Lake Eustis, Florida for the Annual Midwinter Championship. Before official championship racing begins though a day of training was conducted with the fleet.

View The Official Photo Gallery For The 2009 Melges 17 Midwinter Championship 

Andy Burdick from Melges came in to put the Melges 17 and C Scow fleet through the paces. 85 degrees, sun, 5-12 mph of breeze – perfect sailing. Would they listen to Andy? "The majority just wanted to be on the water, sailing, enjoying the warm sun. It was a perfect day for sailing and training and the fleet did improve." says Burdick.

The Zenda University course conducted roughly 11 races, over 15 practice starts and lots of maneuvers making the fleet prime for racing in the Midwinter Championship. "Friendly" reminders were given out on the water as the fleet raced all afternoon. Most common reminders are: Don’t overturn/tack your boat. Get the kite down a lot sooner than you think so you can do a proper leeward mark rounding, hints on having good sets at the top mark, angle of heel for ultimate boat speed and then of course tuning and set up reminders. Many topics were covered and put into action on this day.

The biggest improvements were shown in the starting line area. By the end of the day the fleet was aggressive on the line, up on the line with speed showing good control and technique. This was very encouraging to see. It was a perfect day of practice! The fleet raced until 6:30 at night so they had to be into it!

Post racing the fleet went to a favorite hot spot in Eustis – Crazy Gators. The C Scow group and Melges 17 sailors were there. The regatta is well attended as we have sailors from Minnesota, Indiana, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut, Florida and South Carolina.

Midwinter Championship Racing kicks off today. Conditions are 83, sunny, winds 8-12 – PERFECT Melges Racing.

Next week the MC Midwinter Championship begins here at Eustis and already there are over 75 MC’s registered for this fantastic event!