Lake Geneva - 2012 Melges 24 Fall Championship
24 boats from 6 different states traveled to Lake Geneva Yacht Club to compete in the 2012 Melges 24 Fall Championship. An ambitious 7 races were scheduled for the two day event. Geneva Lake kept her promise the first day with winds out of the Northwest 18-20 mph and shoreline scenery in peak Fall color. PRO Mike Sherin and the competitors kept the racing on the water as there were only one set of letters (DNC) posted on the final results.
The excitement started with three short races to start the regatta. Starts were of premium importance and race 2 saw a lot of action at the boat end and the beloved LGYC Flag Ship got broad sided just before the starting gun. Local favorite Brian Porter aboard "Full Throttle" took the gun the first two races. The second race he won by a full two minutes! Lake Geneva Yacht Club Commodore John Simms aboard "Chaos 24/7" took third. Porter would have gotten a third bullet in race three had not his good friend and rival from Coast Mesa, California, Brian Ayers aboard "Monsoon" squeezed ahead of him at the finish by a little more than a boat length. The always colorful Mike Dow from Grand Traverse Yacht Club aboard "Flying Toaster finished third.
Race 4 and 5 were of the longer variety and the race committee adjusted the course for a East shift. Another local, Mike Keefe aboard "Oxygen" and 2011 National Champion Bora Gulari aboard borrowed boat "Hoodlum" battled it out for the top spot. Bora got the win at the end finishing with Lake Geneva Yacht Club's Mike Keefe well ahead of the fleet.
For Race 5 the wind shifted even a little bit more right and after two consecutive general recalls PRO Mike Sherin had to give the fleet a little "religion" and the black flag was displayed. The fleet got the message and the longest race of the day started without a penalty. Bora Gulari won followed by Brian Porter.
The wind was a bit lighter the second day but still in the 10-12 mph range. Overcast skies still prevailed and though the competitors hoped for a rise in temperature, the bite of Autumn chill was still in the air. Aboard Tom Freytag's "Wicked Feet" a crew sported a sombrero though there was no concern of sun. Race 6 saw Pat Sagan aboard "The Djiin taking the top spot. Pat also had a good regatta finishing 7th overall. In second place was Porter's "Full Throttle" with J. Ledsworth aboard "Blufton Bay Sails" taking third.
The final race of the regatta saw a left wind shift at the finish that came too late for a "Charlie." Brian Porter again took the final gun followed by Lake Geneva local Mike Keefe aboard "Oxygen." Also aboard "Oxygen" were Kevin Jewitt and fiancé Carolina Davila with bags packed for their move to Charleston, South Carolina. Good Luck! Midwest Melges 24 Fleet Captain Augi Hernandez pulled out the third. As the last boat finished the first glimpse of sunshine all weekend burst through the clouds.
Brian Porter and "Full Throttle" masterfully won the regatta 1-1-2-3-2-2-1 followed by Bora Guluari, Mike Dow and Mike Keefe. Congratulations to all!