Melges 14 / Sailing News

Woodworth Wins First Melges 14 Midwinter Championship

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 19, 2017) – Congratulations to Matthew Woodworth, the winner of the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship. Charlie Buckingham placed second overall and Mitchell Rogers took third. In the first sanctioned regatta for the Melges 14s, Woodworth held a commanding lead throughout and took home the very first Melges 14 Champion title.

The regatta drew 25 sailors of all ages who enjoyed three days of warm, sunny Florida weather with wind varying from light to very heavy. With great sailing conditions in every wind range, everyone got a chance to see how fun the Melges 14 is.

One race was sailed on the final day of the three-day event. The race started in wavy 11-14 mph conditions, built to 17-20 mph and gusted to 23. PRO Irene McNeill and the race committee team set a square starting line and a triangle windward leeward. Rogers punched out at the starboard end while Woodworth, Buckingham and Sean Fidler played the middle, and Bob Little won the pin end. Around the first windward mark, Woodworth held a 16 second lead on Buckingham. Behind them Fidler, Little, Rogers, and Dan Guildinger rounded within seconds. Chapman Peterson had an impressive downwind leg, picking off boats while sailing the Blue mid-range rig. Woodworth’s downwind maneuvering paid off again, and he extended his lead to one full minute by the time he reached the second windward mark rounding. Woodworth won the race, followed by Buckingham, Rogers, David Hillmyer, and Little. Breeze continued to build, so the race committee team called off racing for the day. On the way back to shore, Buckingham, Woodworth and Rogers lined up for speed testing. A few Melges 14 sailors sailed over to the Open Bic racecourse to cheer on their kids.

Charlie Buckingham shared his thoughts on the Melges 14: 
“The controls are very accessible; the cunningham, the outhaul and the vang are all right there. The boat really responds. When you hit a puff and you sheet in and hike, the boat jumps. The other boats I’ve sailed really don’t do that. It’s my first time feeling that sensation,” said Buckingham, “The boat is really fast. I would love to see the class grow.”

The regatta saw a wide-range of ages and skillsets, from 13-year-old Peterson to seventy-something Dave Ellis who hopped into the Melges 14 for a race. The average age on the race course was forty. Peterson said, “There are some really good guys here. A couple of them are just getting into the boat and still learning a lot, but then there’s guys that are super competitive at the top.”

Special thank you to Sarasota Sailing Squadron, the race committee team and Melges 14 dealers.

Nels Curnow said it best: “Let’s do this again!”


2017 One Design Midwinter Regatta
Sarasota Sailing Squadron | March 17-19, 2017


Melges 14 (25 boats)
Series Standing – 6 races scored

Position, Bow/Sail, Boat, Skipper, Yacht Club, Results, Total Points
1. 6, , Matt Woodworth, Cyc, [2]-1-1-1-1-1- ; 5
2. 5, , Charlie Buckingham, NHYC/LYC, 1-3-[5]-2-2-2- ; 10
3. 512, , Mitchell Rogers, St Petersburg Yacht Club, 3-2-2-[8]-3-3- ; 13
4. 523, Kick Ass Blaster, Sean Fidler, Lansing Sailing Club, 5-4-4-3-4-[8]- ; 20
5. 580, , Bob Little, Cal YC, 6-5-[7]-4-5-5- ; 25
6. 518, Guiddyup, Dan Guidinger, White Bear Yacht Club, 7-7-3-6-7-[13]- ; 30
7. 511, , Roger Link, SSA, 4-9-9-7-13-[26/DNC]- ; 42
8. 567, , David Hillmyer, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, [26/DNC]-26/DNC-6-5-6-4- ; 47
9. 534, , Michael Gillian, garage, [26/RET-AF]-11-8-9-8-16- ; 52T
10. 527, , James Gillian, Lake Michigan, 9-12-10-[13]-12-9- ; 52T
11. 531, Kuai, Daniel Thielman, Corinthian, 12-[13]-11-10-9-10- ; 52T
12. 520, , Christian Oertel, White Lake Yacht Club, 10-8-14-11-10-[26/DNC]- ; 53
13. 568, , Carson Hillier, Lake Geneva Yacht Club, 8-14-[19]-17-11-6- ; 56
14. 25, USA 25, Chapman Petersen, Lake Geneva Yacht Club, 14-15-[26/OCS]-12-17-7- ; 65
15. 552, 5 of 5, Steve Cameron, Richmond Yacht Club, 16-10-15-15-[19]-15- ; 71T
16. 538, DemoOne, David Drushler, Sodus Bay Yacht Club, 15-[17]-17-14-14-11- ; 71T
17. 566, USA 566, Owen Szafran, Lake Geneva Yacht Club, 13-16-18-18-[20]-12- ; 77
18. 579, , Tony Prizzi, Hyannis Yacht Club, 11-6-12-[26/DNC]-26/DNC-26/DNC- ; 81
19. 528, , Jon Mann, Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, 17-19-16-20-15-[26/DNC]- ; 87
20. N41, , Nels Curnow, Pikes Bay, 19-[21]-20-16-16-17- ; 88
21. 551, , Angie Liebert, Berkeley Yacht Club, 20-20-13-19-18-[26/DNF]- ; 90
22. 51, Sailfast, Matthias Busch, HKBC, 21-[22]-21-22-22-14- ; 100T
23. 23, Abhaya, Sean Wagner, White Bear Yacht Club, 18-18-22-21-21-[26/DNF]- ; 100T
24. 000, Pied Piper, Jack Jennings, CMRC, [26/DNC]-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC- ; 130T
25. 41, , Coye Harrett, Lake Geneva Yacht Club, [26/DNC]-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC-26/DNC- ; 130T   


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