Mary Anne Ward Crowned Audi Melges 20 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Champion

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13 March 2011

Miami, Fla. - (2011 Mar. 13) - An ecstatic Mary Anne Ward on M&M Racing Team, along with tactician Sam Rogers and crew member Peter Keck, has been awarded the trophy and title of 2011 Audi Melges 20 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Champion. This is the first time ever, that a woman has won a premiere open championship in any of the Melges sportboat classes.

"I can't believe it," said Ward. "I'm in shock actually. I've sailed with Sam and Peter on separate occasions, but never together like we did here. They were some of the first guys that I sailed with in order to become a better sailor. We've worked really hard, and I'm so glad that it was Sam and Peter that I won this with."

It was a spectacular heart-pounding day on the water. There was so much at stake. First and foremost, the prestigious title of Bacardi Sailing Week Champion hung in the balance, but also, the scores needed to be decided in the 2011 Miami Winter Series ranking.

Ward captured the event title by the skin of her teeth. Second place finisher Michael Kiss on Bacio, with Chris Rast on tactics and his son Mitchell as crew, was involved in an altercation with Tate Russack on Diesel at the start of race one. Luckily, redress was given and Kiss was able to hang on as runner-up. Unfortunately, overnight leader Paul Reilly on Red Sky, with Andy Burdick as tactician and crew member Mike Kuschner, suffered a difficult day on the water. He was disqualified from the final race, dropping him back to finish third overall.

Congratulations to 2011 Miami Winter Series Champion Michael Kiss. More than 30 teams competed in the three part series ranking, with Kiss, successfully defending the title. Paul Reilly takes home a very deserving second place trophy. Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing was third, tied in points with Mary Anne Ward in fourth. International Audi Melges 20 Class Chairman Marc Hollerbach on FU rounded out the top five.
View The Full Series Ranking

Special thanks to all Audi Melges 20 teams that have made this Winter Series season such a great success. Over the course of three regattas, more than 30 boats have competed making it the highest attended season yet.

Hopefully, everyone has had an opportunity to view the 150+ photos captured over the last couple of days. In particular, the International Audi Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) would like to recognize Audi Melges 20 owner David Pollack on CAN-142 and the Melges 24 Hedgehog tender for making images and Facebook posts possible. Thank you for your invaluable support.

As always, the class is grateful and appreciative of the collaborative efforts of PRO Bruce Golison and team, as well as Coconut Grove Sailing Club, most especially to Ron Rostorfer. The class is equally thankful for the support of Studio Milano and Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, especially Gabriele and Franco Pedone, and Marc Pincus.

And last, most certainly not least, special thanks to the Melges Team — Andy Burdick, Harry Melges, Jim Gluek, Federico Michetti, Justin Hood and Mike Wolfs were all in Miami servicing teams non-stop. Their passion for the sport of sailing is real and their support of the Audi Melges 20 and Melges 24 fleets is recognized globally.

Put up the main, unfurl the jib and hoist the spinnaker, the 2011 Audi Melges 20 racing season is just getting started. In two weeks time, the Audi Sailing Series gets started in Europe, and Charleston Race Week kicks off on April 14-17. We’re just getting warmed up! View The Full 2011 Audi Melges 20 Events Schedule

TOP TEN RESULTS (After 6 Races)
1.) Mary Anne Ward, M&M Sailing Team; 3-[5]-3-4-1-4 = 15
2.) Michael Kiss, Bacio; [18]-7-1-1-5.6/RDG-1 = 15.6
3.) Paul Reilly, Red Sky Sailing Team; 1-4-2-3-8-[28/DSQ] = 18
4.) Dario Levi, Fremito D’Arjia; 2-1-7-6-[10]-3 = 19
5.) Chuck Holzman, Flyer; 8-8-5-2-[16]-7 = 30
6.) Kent Haegar, Mach Schnell; 5-9-[20]-8-6-5 = 33
7.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 7-[17]-9-14-2-2 = 34
8.) Anthony Tabb/Eric Wynsma, Elevation Racing; 4-3-8-13-[14]-9 = 37
9.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu; 9-[12]-12-5-4-10 = 40
10.) Sid Gorham, Funner; 13-6-4-[18]-12-8 = 43
View Full Results

View 2011 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Photo Gallery