The inaugural Audi Melges 20 Worlds concluded Saturday in Key Largo, Florida after four days of intense racing and picture-perfect conditions. What’s more, the top two winners included a boat that had never won a race in the fleet and another that was fully corinthian-crewed.
John Taylor with tactician Bill Hardesty and bowman Joey Mello racked up 48 points after 10 races, putting them solidly in first place. This was Taylor’s first win aboard Ninkasi and his first win skippering any boat. "I guess if I’m going to win one, this was the one to win," he said on the podium. "I am honored to be in the presence of so many great owners and fellow sailboat racers. This is by far the best class, with the best owners in the world."
Of the 52 boats competing, only five were in the Corinthian class. Skipper Marcus Eagan, his father Marc on tactics and brother Andrew on headsail trim, came in second place, eight points behind Ninkasi. Cajun Underwriting’s performance stuttered early on but they placed in the top 11 for the next six races, keeping them in the hunt for the podium.
Third place went to Travis Weisleder on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team. This team performed remarkably well early on but they faltered in race nine, placing 25th and losing their first place standing from the day before.
The owner/driver class was filled to the brim with well-known Olympians and professional racers alike. Bay Area notables included seventh-place finisher, John Kostecki on Jeff Ecklund’s Star, John Kilroy’s San Francisco-based Samba Pa Ti placed eighth, and Terry Hutchinson on James Richardson’s Barking Mad came in ninth.
Full results can be found here.