Illbruck Crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion, SoCal’s Team Friedes Takes the Number Two Slot



Drew Friedes checked in with SCSN last night.  He commented as follows:

” It was a great regatta.  It came down to the last race between us and Pinta (no one else could win).  We got into a match racing pre start situation.  John Kostecki’s match racing experience paid off.  We had them pinned above the line (with a U flag in effect). They snuck back over the line with only 4 seconds to spare.  We both had second row starts but they were able to tack and duck some boats to gain a clear lane to the favored right side. We got stuck in traffic and could not get a clear lane to the favored right side.  We then tried to hope for a left shift to bail us out but things only got worse as the breeze continued to trend right.

We sailed a great event but unfortunately they sailed a better one.  They deserved the win.  They spent as much time as we did preparing and practiced just as hard. We must now get revenge in Newport in 2017!”


Scarlino, Italy – The last day of competition in Scarlino came to a dramatic close with two final races and Michael Illbruck on Pinta with tactician John Kostecki, and crew Federico Michetti becoming the 2016 Melges 20 World Champions! Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing, at a stunning venue and more than 200 happy sailors!

The final round of racing saw Illbruck and American Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee with Morgan Reeser calling tactics and Charlie Smythe on the bow, separated by only three points, advantage Freides. Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. With less than a minute to the nerve-racking start, Illbruck and Freides appeared to be over the line. Illbruck however got away to the best pressured side, focusing mainly on the right in favor of a wind shift halfway up the course. Freides went left with his luck running out when he needed it most. His Race Eight result was his second disappointing finish of the day that ultimately served Illbruck well, advancing and overtaking for the big win.


“It’s a fantastic feeling, a very important result that I dedicate to my father Willy who founded over 40 years ago and built, success after success the story of Pinta, which continues today on the Melges 20,” said a joyful Illbruck post racing. “For us, this first season of racing with the Melges 20 was to be just one step closer to the goal we set ourselves, that is the World Cup in 2017 in Newport, but we worked hard and now we can celebrate this incredible achievement today.”

“It was a tough race and we knew that Pacific Yankee would come looking for us,” said Pinta tactician John Kostecki. “Michael did well to defend himself, and always lead to maximizing our boat speed. For me, to win with the Pinta Team has always been very special. I’ve been part of this team since 1994, and today is a day of great happiness for me and for all the Illbruck family.”


Poland’s Krzysztof Krempec on Mag Tiny ends the event in third overall. It was a memorable regatta for him and his crew of Tomislav Basic (tactician) and Ivan Ivankovic to say the least. Krempec was the only other boat other than newly crowned World Champion Illbruck to collect more than one bullet this week.

Liam Kilroy on Wildman came back to the course today with a strong performance to end it all in fourth, while Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino Jr. rounded out the top five.

In the all-amatuer Corinthian division, the World title goes to Emanuele Savoini at the helm of Evinrude. He and his young team — Enzio Savoini, Marco Giannini, and Giovanna Massidda are the winners. Their eleventh place finish today in Race Eight elevated them into first place overall. Cesar Gomes Neto at the helm of Portobello finished second, followed by overnight leader and tough competitor Mirko Bargolini on Spirit of Nerina in third.

Very special thanks to every competitor who traveled to participate at Worlds. It was you that made this event so great and unique! A very special thanks also to Club Nautico Scarlino and to Marina di Scarlino for the great hospitality, and especially to our partners Helly Hansen and Barracuda Communications.

Relive the excitement of the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship by visiting the Event Online Media Centre. Hot links are provided to every facet of media coverage. From the play-by-play, real-time posts on the Official Melges 20 Facebook Page,3-D Tracking and Live Streaming Video, to full race reports, press releases and photos, check out this one-stop shop for coverage of the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL- After Eight Races, One Discard)
1.) Michael Illbruck, Pinta; 7-1-1-6-5-[32]-5-2 = 27
2.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 6-2-5-4-2-3-12-[39] = 34
3.) Krzysztof Krempec, Mag Tiny; 12-5-3-[40]-22-2-1-1 = 46
4.) Liam Kilroy, Wildman; 13-4-22-1-3-[51]-3-5 = 51
5.) Achille Onorato, Mascalzone Latino, Jr.; 4-6-9-3-[40]-4-8-26 = 60
6.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 9-16-4-25-1-12-13-[35] = 80
7.) Guido Miani, Out of Reach; 18-23-2-15-11-11-[29]-9 = 88
8.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 25-18-6-2-19-8-[26]-13 = 91
9.) Richard Davies, Section 16; 16-12-11-11-18-10-[43]-15 = 93
10.) Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs; 1-30-15-22-27-[34]-6-3 = 104
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NHYC Runner Up in the Grandmasters Team Race Trophy


NEWPORT, R.I. (August 28, 2016) — Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club’s winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by 5 years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Which is not necessarily surprising since the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta, sponsored by Porsche Cars North America, has only been won by Noroton Yacht Club since it was first held in 2010.

“The pressure, at least for me, seems to increase every year,” said team captain Lee Morrison. “They always say that we have the bulls-eye on our back. Somehow we struggled through the series. When Newport Harbor [Yacht Club] beat New York [Yacht Club] today we felt a lot better, but bottom line it is a lot of pressure. We are glad it is behind us.”

Hosted at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, the Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is one of the most prestigious masters-level team racing events in the United States. The racing took place on Narragansett Bay in the New York Yacht Club’s fleet of 21 identical Sonar sailboats, which were designed by NYYC member Bruce Kirby, with each crewed by three or four sailors.

“I love sailing in the breeze that Newport gets, we had that breeze on Friday and it was beautiful,” said Morrison. “It was a little lighter yesterday, especially yesterday morning. Today was light but at Noroton we sail in light winds all the time so we feel comfortable in light air and I think that helps a lot.”

While Noroton Yacht Club may have felt comfortable in the conditions and was able to take the trophy again this year, that does not mean it was an easy feat. Going into the last day of sailing the top four teams were all within two points of each other.

“The competition was very intense,” said Morrison. “All of the top teams were really good. We would coach each other by saying that you cannot make mistakes. Against the top four teams you make one mistake and you lose. We did that against Texas [Corinthian Yacht Club] and we did that against New York [Yacht Club] and those were the races we lost.”

Masters-level team racing is a recent addition to sailing and the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race was one of the first events of its type in the country. Great success has followed the event and led to even tougher competition. This year the raising of age minimums mandated that skippers must be at least 60 years of age and shall not have skippered in either the 2016 Morgan Cup or 2016 Hinman Masters – though a grandfather clause is in effect for past skippers of the NYYC Grandmasters. Additionally each crew member must be at least 50 years of age. All facets of the event are targeted to offer continuing high level competition to the large number of experienced veteran team racers.

“We know that we team race well and so our plan is just to get a good start, which is always tough against these teams, but once we are on the legs we go fast and when we have to team race we do,” said Morrison. “I was joking with our teammates as we came in, we seem to have about eight tacticians, two coaches and a couple of helmsman who are average. So we are very lucky to have a very talented team.”

While no one was able to knock Noroton Yacht Club off their podium, talent was strong throughout the regatta. Scores were close the entire weekend with Newport Harbor Yacht Club able to secure second place, Southern Yacht Club in third and the New York Yacht Club Red Team taking fourth.

2016 NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Results
Final Results
1. Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, CT; 2. Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Orange County, CA; 3. Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, LA; 4. New York Yacht Cub Red Team, NYC; 5. Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, Kemah, TX; 6. New York Yacht Cub Blue Team, NYC; 7. Storm Trysail Club; 8. St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA; 9. Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD; 10. Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay, NY.

Noroton Yacht Club Team:Glenn Morrison (skipper), Scott Macleod, James Linville, Lee Morrison (skipper, team captain), Susan Morrison, Robert Monro, Paul Steinborn, Steve Shepstone (skipper), Tom Kinney, Brit Hall, Melissa Shepstone

Results Detail (RR1 and RR2)
Sunday Results Detail

More photos are available here on the NYYC Regattas Facebook Page.

Photo credits: © NYYC/Makena Masterson


SoCal’s Drew Freides Defends Leadership at Melges 20 World Championship

August 27, 2016

Scarlino, Italy – The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.


The light breeze of 6-7 knots at 220 degrees really took its toll on some teams, for others it was a stroke of brilliance. Race Six gave way to a big win for Russia’s Alexander Novoselov aboard Victor. His wire-to-wire win was impressive to say the least as Poland’s Krzysztof Krempec on Mag Tiny also earned an outstanding result by chasing Novoselov at every turn. Current World Championship leader Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee chased their every move.

A big shift at the second upwind mark offered no interruption to Novoselov’s lead, giving him complete control and ultimately taking the win. Krempec was second, then Friedes followed by Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino Jr. and Filippo Pacinotti’sBrontolo Sailing Squadron finished fourth and fifth respectively. Manlio Carlo Soldani on For Sale came sixth, his best finish of the regatta.

So, Freides with a third place finish in Race Six keeps the lead and extends his position by a couple of points as we anticipate the final day of competition taking place on Sunday.

Michael Illbruck on Pinta finished deep but is steadfast in second place, all thanks to discards going into play.

Onorato’s daily fourth and his discard puts him back in the hunt back at third overall.

Rob Wilber on Cinghiale remains in fourth, and for Liam Kilroy on Wildman a difficult day indeed. He stays in fifth after a collision at the start with subsequent penalties.

In less than 24 hours we will know who is the next, new Melges 20 World Champion. More light breeze is in the forecast for the final day of racing.

Things are very intense in the Corinthian division as Mirko Bargolini on Spirit of Nerina has regained the lead, with lady helm Marina Kaverzina on Marussia moving up into second. Overnight leader Emanuele Savoini on Evinrude experienced a tougher day sliding back to third. The same was true for Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello who is fourth going into the final day. Johannes Lind-Windstam on Intermezzo rounds out the top five thanks to a nice top twenty finish in today’s very challenging conditions.


As with other Melges 20 events in Europe and around the world, World Championship racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 20 Facebook Page.

Starting tomorrow, 25 August everyone is encouraged to follow the racing via Live, 3-D Tracking with Live Streaming Video after each day featuring interviews and warm comments by competing teams.

Race reports, press releases and photos will be made available online each day post racing at

TOP TEN RESULTS (PRELIMINARY – After Six Races, One Discard)

1.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 6-2-5-4-2-3 = 16
2.) Michael Illbruck, Pinta; 7-1-1-6-5-32 = 20
3.) Achille Onorato, Mascalzone Latino, Jr.; 4-6-9-3-40-4 = 26
4.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 9-16-4-25-1-12 = 42
5.) Liam Kilroy, Wildman; 13-4-22-1-3-51 = 43
6.) Krzysztof Krempec, Mag Tiny; 12-5-3-40-22-2 = 44
7.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 25-18-6-2-19-8 = 53
8.) Guido Miani, Out of Reach; 18-23-2-15-11-11 = 57
9.) Rodney Jones, Caffe Expresso, 3-7-36-5-42-7 = 58
10.) John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 2-11-10-7-30-43 = 60
View Full Results
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Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, SoCal Sailor Drew Freides Takes Over

26 AUGUST 2016

Only two races on Day Two brings a change in leadership and extra added drama for both overall and Corinthian divisions

Friedes m20

Scarlino, Italy – The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides’ Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.

“It was a very difficult day, in which we made some very good tactical choices and we had luck on our side too,” said Freides. “We are only at the halfway mark in the regatta, so we must remain focused on sailing just like we’ve been doing over the last two days. We need to make every race count because the game here is very complicated, and of course nothing is really decided until the very end.”

From two perspectives, Freides and Illbruck have separated themselves from the rest of the fleet. First, they are the only two teams to have have maintained a solid single-digit scoreline thus far and second, by doing so they have extended their lead by twenty-three points.

It was moving day for Liam Kilroy on Wildman as he leaped eight positions from eleventh overnight to now sit third – special thanks to an amazing first place finish in Race Four. Alessandro Rombelli’s STIG battled hard to end up second, helping his effort of breaking into the overall top ten, and Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino Jr. captured third.

Rob Wilber’s Cinghiale delivered another great performance in Race Five coming on strong to take the bullet, Freides was second and again, the younger Kilroy took third.

Tomorrow marks the third day of competition and the forecast is calling for more light air conditions. If this happens, it could potentially reduce the number of trials that can be held, resulting in fewer opportunities to catch the front runners still in hot pursuit of the World Championship title.

In addition to the overalls, the Corinthian division also had a change in leadership. Emanuele Savoini helming Evinrude has moved into the lead, while Mirko Bargolini’s Spirit of Nerina slips to second place. Cesar Gomes Neto at the helm of Portobello remains in third. Two out of several lady helms competing in the fleet complete the top five. Russia’s Marina Kaverzina on Marussia and Wilma Homann on Fantastichina are fourth and fifth respectively.

As with other Melges 20 events in Europe and around the world, World Championship racing updates will be posted online at the Throughout the event, everyone is encouraged to follow the racing via Live, 3-D Tracking with Live Streaming Video after each day featuring interviews and warm comments by competing teams.
Race reports, press releases and photos will be made available online each day post racing at

1.) Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee; 6-2-5-4-2 = 19
2.) Michael Illbruck, Pinta; 7-1-1-6-5 = 20
3.) Liam Kilroy, Wildman; 13-4-22-1-3 = 43
4.) Rob Wilber, Cinghiale; 9-16-4-25-1 = 55
5.) John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti; 2-11-10-7-30 = 60
6.) Achille Onorato, Mascalzone Latino, Jr.; 4-6-9-3-41 = 63
7.) Richard Davies, Section 16; 16-12-11-11-18 = 68
8.) Guido Miani, Out of Reach; 18-23-2-15-11 = 69
9.) Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 25-18-6-2-19 = 70
10.) Dario Levi, Fremito D’Arja; 11-13-30-17-6 = 77

SoCal’s Allie Blecher and Team Places 2nd at the International Women’s Keelboat Champs

L to R: Beka Schiff, Allie Blecher, Molly Noble, and Sarah Somes
L to R: Beka Schiff, Allie Blecher, Molly Noble, and Sarah Somes


Photo Gallery


RYE, N.Y. (August 19, 2016 ) – Communal experience as a team and college sailing experience in shifty winds paid dividends for Clemmie Everett (Rye, N.Y.) and her crew, who took home the Bengt Julin Trophy for winning the 2016 International Women’s Keelboat Championship at American Yacht Club on Friday.

Starting the day in third place, Everett, with crew members Alix Hahn, Carolyn Russell and Erin Sprague, finished the elimination stage of the championship with 73 points over 20 races and won two of the final stage’s three races to capture the championship.

“Wednesday’s racing was coming right off the shore so it was very shifty,” said Everett. “Alix sailed at Tufts. Tufts sails at Mystic Lake. I sailed in the Charles River in college. We both do a lot of frostbiting. We were totally comfortable with puffy and shifty conditions.”

The team made a conscious effort to avoid penalties that would have cost valuable standings points.

“The biggest thing was sailing clean,” said Carolyn Russell of Greenwich, Conn., who trimmed spinnaker for the winning crew. “You don’t want to make contact, because that really kills you.”

They were successful, accruing 13 points over their final five races in stage two, including a bullet and two second place finishes that placed them second heading into the championship flight, though they tried to keep that out of mind.

“We tried our hardest never to realize we were really close,” said Erin Sprague, who trimmed the mainsheet and traveler. “After the second round robin, once we looked at the numbers, we had a little taste of the fact that it was possible.”

But until their J/70 was close to the final finish line, Everett and her crew tried to keep it out of their heads.

“We didn’t talk about it a lot, we were just out for a sail,” said Alix Hahn, who grew up sailing at American Yacht Club and trimmed jib and called tactics for the winners. “After the second race in (the championship flight) we knew this was ours to lose, and we went out and won that last one, and it felt really good.

When the boat crossed the line, tears flowed, hugs were given, and the spinnaker came down. But Everett’s team knew what an amazing week of sailing they had shared.

“Every minute in the boat counts,” said Alix Hahn, who grew up sailing at American Yacht Club and trimmed jib and called tactics for the winners. “Without question, this is a peak victory for all of us. I don’t think any of us have had a sailing moment that’s as special as this one.”

For the winners, the influence on younger female sailors could not be understated.

“I would say to any young girl who is scared of sailing right now, just keep at it, ask a lot of questions, and find some mentors or find some coaches and get determined, and decide this is what you want to do, and go do it.”

by Leif Skodnick