Stellar Conditions Open the 2022 U.S. Melges 24 Nationals in Pensacola
November 11, 2022 - Pensacola, FL, USA - Christmas came early for 34 Melges 24 teams on opening day of the 2022 National Championship hosted by the Pensacola Yacht Club. Absolutely stunning conditions greeted teams as they arrived on the course and it stayed that way throughout the four races completed. The day started with a building 13-15 knots of breeze, and by the second race, it was hitting a steady 20+ knots with pockets of wave action.
Adding another layer of excitement were the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels, high above the race course practicing their highly skilled flight maneuvers. What a perfect way to commemorate and celebrate Veteran's Day here in the USA!
Defending Melges 24 U.S. National Champion Brian Porter at the helm of Full Throttle got the daily job done with a 1-2-4-4 scoreline placing him in first place overall. Porter likes it when the breeze picks up.
It is a toss-up between second place Bruce Ayres' Monsoon and Harry Melges IV's Zenda Express (third place) as to who is Porter's biggest rival. By the looks of the cumulative results, Porter also needs to a keep close eye on Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee trailing by 6 points, which is a mighty short spread by Melges 24 standards.
The Corinthian division was hot to go with Megan Ratliff's Decorum taking the overall lead of the all-amateur division. Seated 13th in the open standings, Ratliff, with her brother Hunter as driver, commented at the start of the day that the level of competition at the Pensacola Nationals is very high. That this championship can be won by a number of boats.
Scot Zimmerman's Bad Idea is second followed by 2022 Corinthian Canadian Champion Dan Berezin on Surprise in third.
Racing continues on Saturday, Day Two of the National Championship with more of the same breeze on conditions, however we may see the warm sunshine fade as a cold front prepares to move through on Sunday.
Top Ten Results (Overall, Preliminary After 4 Races)
- Brian Porter, Full Throttle - 1-2-4-4 = 11
- Bruce Ayres, Monsoon - 3-8-1-3 - 15
- Harry Melges IV, Zenda Express - 2-4-8-2 = 16
- Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee - 5-1-10-1 = 17
- Geoff Fargo, Sentinel - 6-11-2-7 = 26
- Taylor Canfield, Dark Energy B Team - 7-7-7-5 = 26
- Peter McClennen, Gamecock - 10-3-3-11 = 27
- Chris Rast, Warcanoe B Team - 9-5-9-8 =31
- Victor Diaz de Leon, Raza Mixta - 8-6-12-6 = 32
- Peter Karrie, Nefeli - 4-10-6-13 = 33
Top Ten Corinthian Results (Preliminary, After 4 Race)
- Megan Ratliff, Decorum - 61 pts.
- Scot Zimmerman, Bad Idea - 69 pts.
- Dan Berezin, Surprise - 76 pts.
- Steve Suddath, 3 1/2 Men - 81 pts.
- Tom Ritter, Tramp - 81 pts.
- John Alden Meade, Dansoux - 82 pts.
- KC Shannon, Shaka - 83 pts.
- Fred Rozelle, Rustler - 86 pts.
- Tony Stanley, Hermes - 105 pts.
- Frank Davenport, Express Lane - 108 pts.