Melges 15 Boats Make Big Debut in LEHYC Down Bay Regatta

THE Rookies: A entire bunch of Melges 15 boats, new to this year’s Down Bay Regatta at Tiny Egg Harbor Yacht Club, race towards the mark in the course of the 1st race. (Images by David Biggy)
The Melges 15 boat manufactured its debut in the once-a-year Down Bay Regatta on Aug. 14-15. In actuality, it was the most significant fleet of the invitational race, hosted by Very little Egg Harbor Yacht Club in Beach front Haven.
“It’s truly remarkable,” explained Chris Fretz, one particular of the primary advocates for the new class. “They’re easy boats to sail and they are quickly, which is entertaining. We’re hoping much more persons from other clubs start out checking them out and bringing them to race. With 18 boats, it was a excellent turnout for this class’s first time in the Down Bay.”
Straight out of the gate, the most notable factor of the M15 fleet was its combination of sailors – from teens to combined couples to more mature sailors, some making an attempt the boat in level of competition for the initially time.
“It was exciting to glimpse about and see these kinds of a selection of persons in these boats,” reported Clay Johnson, an exceptionally knowledgeable sailor who teamed with Elizabeth Convey to aboard Awkward Shopper and swiped the fleet’s top rated location with 16 factors. “We had couples in their 60s, fathers and daughters, teens … that’s the seriously amazing section of the sport we’d like to see take off – many mixtures of men and women who want to enjoy sailing with each other – and this boat will allow for that.”
Drew D’Orsi, a 15-calendar year-outdated who’s sailed many classes of boats during the earlier eight years, teamed with Connor McHugh and took Turbo Turtle 2. for its very first spin in a regatta.
BLAZING: Several Lightning course boats, including the just one skippered by Matt Reiser (15197), glide through the second leg of the to start with race on Aug. 14.
“It’s my initially time racing it, and it is genuinely great,” reported D’Orsi, who skippered his boat to an eighth-position finish with 51 factors, which provided a second-position place in the fourth race on Saturday. “The M15 is variety of a mix involving a C420 and a 29er. It is a rather quick boat to figure out I acquired the hold of it proper away. I appreciate how it sails. It is an quick boat to alter to, specifically for any individual who sails a ton.”
Dana Haig, a former Southern Regional Significant School sailor about to enter her senior time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technological innovation, took the opportunity to lover with her father, John. They zipped to a pair of 1st-position finishes for the duration of the 8-race regatta, in the long run getting 3rd with 19 points, a single behind James O’Gwen and Aidan Cunningham.
“I have not sailed it as much as my sister (Emily) or my dad, but it’s a fantastic boat,” Dana mentioned. “I really like the asymmetrical spinnaker. You can really get ripping on the downwind with it. We were pretty light in the boat, so we have been equipped to fly on the downwind. It’s definitely a lot of enjoyable.”
Nevertheless, you just can’t have way too a great deal fun with it, John Haig said.
“It’s normally enjoyable to go speedy,” he mentioned. “But in lighter air, you have to look at on your own since you can get lured into undertaking something you should not, particularly on the downwind. It is even now a exciting boat, and it’s a excellent 1 for the massive-time university sailor who desires to get in there with her defeat-up father.”
SAILING BY: As a pair of parasailors float by in the history, the E-Scow boats of Brendan Gilman (BH-21) and Jeff Bonanni (T-73) sail by means of the second leg of the first race.
Johnson and Explain to crossed the line in next for the duration of the to start with race, then received the second right before swiping a pair of fourths in the third and fourth races. They grabbed second two consecutive instances, then won the seventh race on Sunday. A 13th-spot finish in the past race did not subject. O’Gwen and Cunningham received the 3rd, fourth and fifth races, as properly as the ultimate just one, but finished with 18 points, correct in advance of the Haigs. Scott Barbano and Tyler Amspacher concluded fourth with 33 factors, although Fretz and Sydney Seitz took the fifth placement with 36 points.
In the E-Scow fleet, Jeff Bonanni’s boat Limelight sailed across the finish line in to start with position in a few of the 6 races to tally 10 points, edging Honk, skippered by Kyle Rogachenko, by a place. John Brown positioned third aboard Blind Squirrel, also with 11 factors but dropping on the tiebreaker. Bobby Koar’s Prefontaine was fourth with 24 details, the identical complete as John Maschal’s FudgE.
Peter Maschal skippered Star Bird to the top rated spot in the B Cat fleet, ending with 8 factors from 4 races. Laura Darling’s Macavity scored a pair of wins but concluded second with 11 points, when Megan Maschal’s Sugar Magnolia grabbed the third placement with 15 details. Cheshire Cat, skippered by Kevin Smith, was fourth with 19 points, and William Pilling’s Meander ended up fifth with 21 details.
The Lightning fleet was the smallest of the bunch, with five boats. Matt Reiser and crewmen Rob Rauf and Alex Lehnes finished fourth in the to start with race, then scored a pair of wins sandwiched about a second-area complete to acquire with eight points. Abundant Warren, aboard Touch of Grey, was next with 11 points, whilst George Harrington skippered Bolt to a 3rd-spot location with 12 factors.
— David Biggy
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