Porter secures US Melges title in final race

Melges 24 National Championship 2008 - Brian Porter, USA-749 Full Throttle

Brian Porter on USA-749 Full Throttle came from some ten points behind to win back-to-back Melges 24 US National Championship titles, despite a hard charging British entry that finished in second and third places. Stuart Simpson on GBR-569 Team Barbarians with Jamie Lea at the helm taking second and overnight leader Simon Strauss on GBR-592 Simplicity third place.

With Strauss firmly in the lead of the 2008 OSASailing.com Melges 24 U.S. National Championship, the final day of racing was nothing short of spectacular. The racing conditions were on equal par with the quality of the fleet, although under very overcast skies, the breeze was an acceptable 10-12 knots for the start.

Off the leward pin end with speed Kristen Lane on USA-623 Brickhouse 623, alongside side hubby, Peter Lane on USA-539 Brickhouse 539 for speed. Upwind the fleet went back to the right as they sailed closer into the weathermark. Lea skirted around first with a serious challenge from Porter. At the gate Lea was still in the lead, Porter still challenging in second. Very impressive, considering his forced penalty turn at the weathermark, he still maintained his second place position.

Steve Kopf on USA-489 Blur had a great race rounding the gate third. The three maintained position up to the mark this time Porter pulling into the lead right ahead of Lea for the final rounding. Porter was quick with a clean set, jetted to the finish for the win. Lea was close second and Kopf took third.

The last race of the championship series was a do or die effort for Strauss as he found himself now one point behind Porter in the lead. Larson also finished deeper than anticipated. Porter, on the other hand was taking no prisioners.

The start was immaculate as the fleet lined up for perfect position for the start. It was a match race made in heaven with Strauss, Chris Larson on USA-655 Lightwave, Porter and Lea amongst the pack leading the upwind charge. Larson made it around first followed by Lea and fleet new-comer Stuart McNay on GBR-620. Lea was the first to gybe out to the right for clean air. Larson sped away downwind.

The air was rapidly diminishing as the fleet approached the gate. Larson stretched his lead taking the right gate. Lea followed in second while McNay was third. Taking fourth was Strauss on the right and Porter just slightly behind rounding on the left.The next two legs of the race was dominated by Larson. Lea followed behind, then Strauss and Porter, with Porter constantly creeping up on Strauss.

For the finish beat, Larson set his sights on the line. Lea put down a fantasic chase but Larson extended his lead for the win. Strauss now in third, took to the left looking for the right gear to place him outfront, ahead for the overall win. Porter shot out to the right to came out on top some three positions ahead of Strauss as the leader pack took off for the finish line.

Larson confidently took the win with Lea in second. In third was Porter, putting him one point ahead of Strauss to win the title. McNay moved back up the leaderboard to finish fourth, with Mike Dow on USA-613 Flying Toaster in fifth.

Melges 24 - Final leading results

1 USA 749 Full Throttle Brian Porter 29
2 GBR 569 Team Barbarians Stuart Simpson Royal Torbay Yacht Club 30
3 GBR 592 Simplicity Simon Strauss Larchmont 31
4 USA 655 LIGHTWAVE Chris Larson AYC 35
5 USA 587 WTF Alan Field California Yacht Club 46
6 USA 751 Quantum Racing Scott Nixon Annapolis YC 53
7 USA 623 Brick House 623 Kristen Lane St. Francis Yacht Club 55
8 USA 613 Flying Toaster Mike Dow Grand Traverse Yacht Club 59
9 GBR 620 GBR 620 Stuart McNay GBR 61
10 USA 738 USA 738 Allan Terhune Eastport YC 62
11 USA 630 Rock N' Roll Argyle Campbell Newport Harbor YC 66.2
12 USA 626 Wireless Reggie Fairchild Charleston Yacht Club 82
13 USA 740 Hoodlum Racing Paul Hulsey Bayview Yacht Club 89
14 USA 539 Brick House 539 Peter Lane St. Francis Yacht Club 95
15 USA 680 Cre843 Cary Siegler Coral Reef Yacht Club 113
16 USA 450 Spray John Lucas Carolina Yacht Club 119
17 USA 622 Obsession Gary Schwarting Gulf Coast Sailing 126
18 USA 658 Mustang John Hamilton New York Yacht Club 127
19 USA 605 Carloan.com Travis Weisleder Fishing Bay Y.C. 143
20 USA 489 Blur-Pacific Energy Ventures Steven Kopf Charleston YC 149

Melges 24 National Championship 2008
Corinthian Series

It was another tight battle amongst the Corinthian teams at the 2008 OSA Sailing.com Melges 24 U.S. National Championship. Coming out on top is Reggie Fairchild on USA-626 Wireless who surpassed second place Paul Hulsey on USA-615 Hoodlum Racing by six points. Next in line for trophies was another Charlestonian John Lucas and Marcus Durlach on USA-450 Spray.

Melges 24 - Corinthian Series Final leading results
1. Reggie Fairchild, Wireless
2. Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing
3. John Lucas/Marcus Durlach, Spray
4. Gary Schwarting, Obsession
5. John Hamilton, Mustang
6. Travis Weisleder, Carloan.com
7. Stephen 'Alex' Shaffer, Lamorak
8. Bill Carleton, Tiburon
9. Charlie Hess, Funtech Racing
10. Darren Chambers, ImageFreeway

Full Results - http://listmanager.appliedi.net/lt/t_go.php?i=6716&e=NTU5MDIwNg==&l=-http--www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm--Q-eID--E-197>