Adam Burns & Team Presto Claim Overall & Corinthian Titles At 2010 Melges 24 North American Championship

Adam Burns from Youngstown Yacht Club, sailing USA378 Presto with co-owner and wife Lori Burns and crew James Barnash, John Goller and Jason Suitor wins the 2010 Melges 24 North American Championship, from Alan Field of Los Angeles, sailing USA811 WTF with Steve Hunt, John Hayes, Erik Shampain and Sarah Curran, while Henry Filter of Annapolis, sailing USA721 Wild Child with Ben Cesare, Ian Coleman and Todd Hiller took third place.  Burns also claims the 2010 Melges 24 North American Corinthian Championship title making him the first sailor ever to win both Corinthian and Overall Trophies at an International Melges 24 continental championship.


Melges 24 North Americans 2010 Day 4

A perfect fall day closed the 2010 Melges 24 North American Championship on Lake Ontario.  Clear blue skies, warm sunshine, light winds and three more great races were the perfect recipe for a standout finale to the fourteen race series.  Going into the day Adam Burns led the regatta by six points from Henry Filter and Alan Field who were tied on points for second.

Race twelve was the lightest of the day with winds hovering around 5 knots.  The shifty and at times patchy breeze meant lots of hard work for the tacticians, but it wasn't long before Alan Field and his team clearly had the measure of the situation and they went on to win confidently.  Nick Amendola, sailing USA566 Entourage Racing, took second with John Koten of New York sailing USA774 Planet Clair third and Adam Burns fourth.  Henry Filter had a disastrous race finishing twelfth which threw him out of the running for the overall title.  Field had now pulled up to three points behind Burns and the spectators were edging forward in their seats.

There was a short postponement before the start of race thirteen as the wind swung right but as soon as the new breeze had settled at around 7 knots PRO Hank Stuart and his race committee got the fleet underway again.  Field took his second race of the day and was followed across the line by Burns with Henry Filter third.  Burns now counted 26 points, Field 28 points and Filter 35.

Melges 24 North Americans 2010 Day 4

Burns is to all intent a local boy as he has sailed from Rochester regularly since high school and with Rochester Yacht Club member James Barnash as tactician the large local spectator fleet was enthusiastically rooting for them going in to the final race.   From the warning signal Burns and Field were locked on and fencing for position.  Field need to get two boats between them to claim the title and Burns was equally determined not to let that happen. 

From the opening gun they were fencing for position and their antics up the first beat had everyone on the edge of their seats.  Burns takes up the story, "We noticed there were a lot of boats up at the committee boat and I think that the team call was just to get off the line clean and we were able to actually cover him [Field] for a little bit..  We had some right shifts come in and then he was able to come up on us for a little while and take possession of us.  Three quarters of the way up the beat Jimmy called for a nice tack and actually we were able to duck some port tackers and we had to give Alan some room but in the process of ducking we were able to get bow out on him and then it kind of freed up where we were, so in the process of actually tacking simultaneously we were bow ahead and then we kind of put it into sixth gear and - see you later!"  The pair rounded the first mark mid fleet but Burns took advantage of the outstanding boat speed he has been showing all year to climb rapidly through the fleet leaving Field in his wake.  On the line Ken Gray of East Grand Rapids sailing USA175 The Djinn took the race closely followed by Koten with Burns third and August Hernandez of Chicago sailing USA533 High Voltage fourth.  Filter crossed the line eighth and Field twelfth giving Field the second podium position.  Whilst Filter had to be content with third overall he also took second Corinthian behind Burns with Hernandez claiming the third Corinthian.

One of the most exciting things about this regatta has been the way the Corinthian teams have kicked butt against the pros.  Adam and Lori Burns only joined the class earlier this year and for them the strong Corinthian tradition in the fleet was a major draw.  Certainly the Corinthians have now come firmly of age in the Melges 24 Class and we look forward to seeing even bigger and stronger Corinthian contingents are future international regattas. 

Melges 24 North Americans 2010 Day 4

 Rochester Yacht Club has been a wonderful host, their race management has been exceptional and nothing has been too much trouble for the club members and staff.  From hosting visiting sailors in their homes to providing an outstanding race committee, administrative and media team the Rochester Yacht Club team has gone the extra mile every time! Thank you Rochester Yacht Club - we can't recommend you highly enough to other classes for their future championships.

We would also like to thank the Jury of Chairman Leo Reise, Elspeth Brewin, Lynn Beal, Joe Krolak, Rick Sullivan, Steve Wrigley, Larry Sill and George Hock.  At Melges 24 World and Continental events we operate on the water judging so not only do the jury have to spend all evening in the protest room conducting hearings but they also have to spend all day out on the water making live split second calls.  Without their dedication and hard work these events would not be possible and we are extremely grateful.

We would also like to thank all our event sponsors for their generous support of the regatta - Pusser's Rum - The Official Rum of the 2010 Melges 24 North Americans, Weather Routing Inc. - The Official Weather Forecast Provider of the 2010 Melges24 North Americans, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel - The Official Apparel Provider of the 2010 Melges 24 North Americans, Melges Performance Sailing, Ikon Document Efficiency, Shumway Marine, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Latis Yachting Solutions, APS, Quantum Sail Design Group, North Sails, Lake Beverage Corporation, Sail22, LLC, Doyle Security Systems and West Marine

The 2011 Melges 24 World Championship will take place at Corpus Christi Yacht Club in Texas from 11-21 May 2011.  A renowned strong wind venue the Melges 24 fleet is looking forward to another great championship and to warm up for the event the United States Melges 24 Class is scheduling a series of "Road To Corpus" events starting with Key West in January and including events in Miami in February and March and Charleston Race Week in April.  Looking ahead USMCA President Steve Kopf commented, "Corpus Christi is a spectacular venue.  It's know for big air, the kit board worlds were held there about the same time this year and I think they sailed every day in 25 knots so we're really looking forward to a fantastic event.  I think this regatta really sets the tone for going forward and hopefully we'll see lots of sailors out this winter getting ready for Worlds.

Overall Top Ten

1.       Presto - Adam & Lori Burns - 29 pts

2.       WTF - Alan Field - 32 pts

3.       Wild Child - Henry Filter - 43 pts

4.       Blur-Pacific Energy - Steve Kopf - 66 pts

5.       Entourage Racing - Nick Amendola - 81 pts

6.       High Voltage - August Hernandez - 82 pt

7.       The Djinn - Ken Gray - 88 pts

8.       FUNTECH Racing - Charlie Hess - 125 pts

9.       PNW Rocks - Dan Kaseler - 128 pts

10.     Bellatrix -Kevin Morgan - 130 pts

Corinthian Top Five

1.          Presto - Adam & Lori Burns - 20 pts

2.          Wild Child - Henry Filter - 26 pts

3.          High Voltage - August Hernandez - 46 pts

4.          Funtech Racing - Charlie Hess - 69 pts

5.          Bellatrix - Kevin Morgan - 73 pts

Photos by © Fiona Brown

For further information about the regatta please visit the Event Website.  Regular updates will also be posted on the International Melges 24 Blog

The 2010 Melges 24 North American Championship is sponsored by:-

Pusser's Rum - The Official Rum of the 2010 Melges 24 North Americans
Weather Routing Inc.- The Official Weather Forecast Provider of the 2010 Melges24 North Americans
Coral Reef Sailing Apparel - The Official Apparel Provider of the 2010 Melges 24 North Americans
Melges Performance Sailing
Ikon Document Efficiency
Shumway Marine
Latis Yachting Solutions
Quantum Sail Design Group
North Sails
Lake Beverage Corporation
Sail22, LLC
Doyle Security Systems
West Marine