Freides Wins 2017/18 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Season Opener

Monday, 04 December 2017

Reigning World Champ Freides continues his Melges 20 dominance with another win despite a stacked, deep fleet of Melges 20 teams in Miami


MIAMI, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2017) - There are times when a venue doesn't show its best. When it is cold, rainy, the wind won't cooperate or other adverse weather conditions make for a tough weekend of sailing. There are also times when a venue shines and you feel lucky to experience it. For the first event of the 2017/18 Melges 20 Winter Series, Miami was about as near perfect as a sailor could want with breeze in the 10-13 kt range, smooth water and sunny, warm temps.  Throw in a ultra deep fleet with eight awesome races and it was easy to see why Melges 20 sailors wore satisfied, sunbaked smiles at the awards ceremony.  

After two days and six races, Drew Freides' PACIFIC YANKEE led a deep fleet with several teams ready to pounce on the final day. The wind direction was similar the first two days, however the velocity was in the 6-8kt range and flat water; perfect 'blue groomer' conditions for the last two races. With a stronger northerly gradient fighting a building Northeast seabreeze, it was a toss up as to which side would pay in the first race.

Typical Melges 20 fashion, two-thirds of the fleet split into one direction putting their chips in the right side, while the other third went hard left doing their best to make that side pay. Halfway up the first beat, Alexis Michas on MIDNIGHT SUN, Rob Wilber on CINGHIALE, Vladimir Prosikhin on NIKA and Freides worked the left side and early on it looked like they would have a healthy lead at the top mark. However a vein of right handed pressure caused the left side to cave, and it was Paul Reilly's RED SKY SAILING TEAM and Jason Michas' MIDNIGHT BLUE that positioned themselves well and rounded the mark in the lead.

On the ensuing run, Reilly showed a steady hand and solid patience to extend all the way to the corner and take advantage of breeze filling across the course to build a nice lead and hang on for the race win. Jason Michas battled it out for second place. Third place was decided after Wilber, Freides and Oleg Evdokimenko's KOTYARA all shot the finish line. Wilber edged out Freides and Evdokimenko to win.

With a fourth place finish, Freides locked up the regatta win, however the top ten were still to be decided. Once again the fleet split hard left and right, and the right side paid, just barely this time over the left. Wilber did a great job of balancing both sides in the middle of the course to lead around the top mark with 2017 Melges 20 World League leader Igor Rytov on RUSSIAN BOGATYRS and Achille Onorato's MASCALZONE LATINO, JR. just behind.

On the ensuing run Wilber maintained his lead, however a gaffe at the bottom mark cost them dearly allowing Onorato to sneak by. Wilber and Onorato would battle the final lap with ultimately Onorato grabbing the win.

A huge thank you goes to
Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami sailing center for their huge effort to get their facilities up and running after Hurricane Irma swept through the area just over a month ago. The Melges 20 Winter Series has been going on for just under ten years, and it would not be possible without the support of these two great organizations.

Complete 2017/2018 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series scrollable stories are available here, with top photos, videos, and reporting from each day:

Thursday, November 29 and Friday, December 1 : Preview/Day 1


TOP FIVE RESULTS (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE; 5-1-13-2-2-1-4-[19/DNS] = 28
2.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS; 8-3-2-1-6-[13]-9-3 = 33
3.) (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA; 6-[12]-6-3-9-2-8-7 = 41
4.) (RUS) Yurri Morozov, RUSSOTRANS; 7-6-11-4-3-8-[14]-5 = 44
5.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR.; 4-5-9-8-8-[12]-10-1 = 45
View Full Results
Official Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 1 Yachtscoring Website
View Current List of Entries

(After 15 Events Complete)
1.) (RUS) Igor Rytov, RUSSIAN BOGATYRS = 158 pts.
2.) (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin, NIKA = 102 pts.
3.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE = 97 pts.
4.) (ITA) Achille Onorato, MASCALZONE LATINO JR. = 85 pts.
5.) (USA) Jason Michas, MIDNIGHT BLUE
View The Full 2017 Melges 20 World League Ranking

(After 6 Events Complete)
1.) (USA) Drew Freides, PACIFIC YANKEE
3.) (USA) Jason Michas, MIDNIGHT BLUE
4). (USA) Rob Wilber, CINGHIALE
5). (
USA) Alexis Michas, MIDNIGHT SUN

The Melges 20 fulfills the need for a more compact, yet spacious, fast, well-built sportboat. With its introduction, Melges Performance Sailboats delivered the next generation of sailboat racing and competition. An exclusive
Reichel/Pugh keelboat design, it is advanced in every respect. Seriously fun, simple to sail, made with high-quality materials and easy to rig, the Melges 20 enjoys a well-established and ever-growing worldwide fleet and fan base. For more information, visit the International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) at

The Melges World League is the ultimate one-design competition, uniting the Melges owners across the globe into one streamlined championship system. It is a season-long series that includes regattas hosted at the world's most desirable venues, featuring sailing's best owner/drivers and Corinthian sailors throughout North America, Europe and Asia. News, results and other info will be published online as it becomes available at



For media photos (web and/or high resolution) or class specific information about the 2016-17 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series, please contact:

Sam Rogers

North American Melges 20 Fleet Press Officer

Mobile: (952) 426-2330

Skype: sam.rogers42


Joy Dunigan

International Melges 20 Class Press Coordinator

Mobile: +1 (912) 398-5776

Skype: joysavannah

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Last Updated ( Monday, 04 December 2017 )