Outrageous! CSR Marine Melges 24 U.S. National Championship - Part 1

Outrageous! CSR Marine Melges 24 U.S. National Championship - Part 1 ©2015 Petey Crawford Related topics:

21 August 2015

The largest one-design keelboat regatta on record for the Columbia Gorge Racing Association (CGRA) out of Cascade Locks, Oregon was last week’s CSR Marine Melges 24 US National Championship. Boats traveled from over 3000 miles (4800 kilometers) away to experience The Gorge. They were treated to what many consider one of the most memorable and exhilarating sailing events of their lives.

David Collignon’s M1 Steered by “the next Santa Cruz Phenom”, 17-year old Ian Collignon with crew David Collignon (62), Josselyn Perutti (16), Mike Scott (24) and Olivia Beers (16). They are planning the road trip to Miami for a strong showing at the 2016 Worlds. Photo by Jan’s Photography 

This has been an interesting week for hundreds of Melges 24 sailors after having spent the previous 5-10 days blazing up and down the Columbia River at Cascade Locks, Oregon. Such an overwhelmingly pleasurable experience tends to sidetrack otherwise productive people in their first week back to the “real world”. This is a good thing, however. Co-workers are finding Melges 24 sailors with permanent smiles as they address new projects at work. “Work challenges have become opportunities. Stress wrinkles have been replaced with the smiles (This is the result of the Gorge “Cool-Aide” which is the 15-35 knot warm wind, barefoot and bathing suit conditions that sailors live for. Behind most of those smiles are thoughts of getting back onto the Melges 24 and The Gorge for more fun.)

2015 US National Champion (6th time) Brian Porter’s Full Throttle sneaking up the Oregon shore Photo Petey Crawford peter@penaltyboxproductions.com

A blazing Full Throttle steered by 2013 Melges 24 World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the year and Six-time Melges 24 National Champion, Brian Porter with crew Andy Burdick, Sam Rogers and Matt Wagstaff. Photo by Jan Anderson of JanPix

Met with great enthusiasm, the idea of holding the Melges 24 US Nationals and MELGES 24 SPEED CAMP at The Gorge, is now considered the perfect answer and the model for future events. New US Melges 24 class president, Steve Boho, says that we need more of these.

The championship racing was preceded by a day long MELGES 24 SPEED CAMP that finished with live music and barbecue in the Cascade Locks Marine Park, and well-attended video analysis and Q & A session. It was run by class veteran Brian Hutchinson-Melges 24 World Champion and multi-class champion sailor with help from the following sailing greats and enthusiastic Melges 24 sailors: Jeff Madrigali- Olympic Sailing medalist and multi-class champion, Dan Kaseler- World Speed Record sail designer, Raptor Deck producer and top Melges 24 sailor/Quantum sail loft owner; Andy Burdick- Melges 24 World Champion, six-time national champion and multi-scow-class champion, Chris Snow- J24 National champion and North Sails manager. These top-level sailors helped each team during the chalk talk, from the coach boat, and by climbing on-board with teams. This resulted in teams receiving another bonus for racing their Melges 24s: higher fleet-wide performance, tighter racing, and more exhilaration from sailing an even faster boat.

This is what 25.8 Knots looks like-

Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon winning the Velocitek Challenge @ 25.8 knots over the bottom (against the 1.5 knot Columbia current!) Photo [#52] by Petey Crawford, peter@penaltyboxproductions.com

25.8 KNOTS!
Speaking of faster boats, Velocitek offered new instruments to the winners of the Melges 24 Speed Challenge on what many consider a perfect racetrack. The buzz around the fleet had been over Kevin Welch’s Mikey which had recorded 24.4 knots in a 35- knot gust at the Pre-Nationals on the previous weekend. In that same weekend Steve Boho, new USMCA class president, got THE 300 to hit 23.7 knots and Canada’s Duncan Stamper, IM24CA Ex Comm member, clocked 22. 1 knots on hull #011, Goes To Eleven. But, by the end of the National Championships these teams had to bow to class veteran and former US national champion, Bruce Ayres on Monsoon, who snatched the prize with a sensational 25.8 knots, against a 1.5-knot Columbia River current!

The future looks bright for the Melges 24 fleet. After a week of sailing in 25-35 knot wind and experiencing the boat’s great stability at boatspeeds in the mid-20’s this Melges 24 fleet is poised to take on anything. Next month’s Rolex Big Boat Series, next year’s Lake Garda blow-out (the “other Gorge”) and the always windy European Championships in Hyeres, France are on the radar for US boats along with the 2016 Melges 24 Miami Worlds.

After the racing was over the teams headed to the launch ramps where they showed off another Melges 24 attribute. No boat took more than 150 seconds to pull their boat out on the ramp. In fact, at the Stevenson ramp the first 5 boats were pulled in 9.5 minutes.

TOP TEN CORINTHIAN RESULTS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Matt McGregor, Good Enough; 9-5-7-8-[11]-6-6/RDG-10 = 51 pts
2.) Mike Bond, Honey Badger; 12-7-[15]-11-7-11-5-5 = 58 pts
3.) Duncan Stamper, Goes To Eleven; 7-14-11-13-[16]-14-11-13 = 83 pts
4.) Gord Galbraith, Lekker; 14-9-12-[20]-12-10-15-11 = 83 pts
5.) Fraser McMillian, Swish; 13-12-10-16-15-7-12-[40/RET] = 85 pts
6.) Kevin Clark, Smokin’; 10-19-14-15-8-[40/DSQ]-10-14 = 90 pts
7.) John Rahn, Pickled Beets; 8-13-9-14-[23]-16-14-17 = 91 pts
8.) Manfred Schmiedl, Brio; [27]-11-17-10-22-13-13-22 = 108 pts
9.) Sallie Lang, Posse; 26-[31]-13-12-13-15-22-16 = 117 pts
10.) Duane Yoslov, Looper; [24]-24-19-9-18-24-20-19 = 133 pts

TOP TEN OVERALL RESULTS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 1-[3]-1-2-1-1-1-3 = 10 pts
2.) Jeff Madrigali/Kevin Welch, Mikey; 17-1-2-1-2-2-2-8 = 18 pts
3.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; [6]-2-3-3-5-4-4-2 = 23 pts
4.) Dan Kaseler, Raptor Deck; 2-[6]-6-4-3-5-3-1 = 24 pts 
5.) Doug Wilhelm, Wilco; 4-4-5-5-[9]-3-8-4 = 32 pts
6.) Matt MacGregor, Good Enough; 9-5-7-8-[11]-6-6/RDG-10 = 51 pts
7.) Herb Cole, Judo Chop; 3-15-4-6-6-12-[40/DSQ]-9 = 55 pts
8.) Mike Bond, Honey Badger; 12-7-[15]-11-7-11-5-5 = 58 pts
9.) Steve Boho, The 300; [18]-17-18-7-14-9-8-7 = 80 pts
10.) Richard Reid, Zingara; 5-10-8-[40/DNS]-4-8-7-40/RET = 81 pts
View Full Overall Results

Official 2015 CSR Marine U.S. National Championship Website
View Entry/Crew List
View Corinthian Entry/Crew List 
View Photo Gallery - Official Photographer: Jan’s Marine Photography
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Sept 17-20, 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series- StFYC
Oct 3-4, 2015 Fall Championship- Lake Geneva, WI 
Nov 20-22 2015 MIAMI Invitational- Miami Beach, FL
Register for the Miami Invitational
Nov 26-Dec 3, 2016 Melges 24 Miami World Championship, MYC, Miami, Florida