29 JULY 2010
DeVos Puts Fleet On Notice At Melges 32 U.S. Nationals
Harbor Springs, Mich. (July 29) - Stunning conditions prevailed on day one of the 2010 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship, hosted by the Little Traverse Yacht Club. A moderate 8-12 knots of breeze and glorious sunshine was the signature feature of the day, not to mention, PRO Bruce Golison and team firing off three stellar Melges 32 races. "It was typical good racing today with the right side favored." said Golison.
Leading the event by an impressive slim two point margin, is none other than 18-year old Ryan DeVos (Harbor Springs, Mich.) on Volpe. As the youngest helmsman in the fleet, DeVos sailed confidently with his dad Dick and is guided by the famed Ed Baird of America's Cup legend. The name of the game today was consistency and that's just what enabled him to take the overall lead. "It was a lot of fun and the conditions were just great today. It got a little light in the second race, but it came back and filled in. So, definitely a lot of fun." said DeVos after racing. "We have a great team put together, and it's all teamwork. All the little things on these boats matter and they are such a blast, which is also key. Going out and just having fun means sometimes whatever happens, happens. You can only sail your boat as fast as you can."
Two additional royal performances were also provided by 2010 European Champion Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red and John Kilroy, Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif.) on Samba Pa Ti.
Woods really put on a show winning both races 1 and 2. The first race witnessed Woods getting off the line fast, while Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on roXanne, Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on STAR and Dalton DeVos (Harbor Springs, Mich.) on Delta suffering OCS consequences. Woods extended his lead, leg-by-leg finishing well ahead of the fleet in both heats. "This is such a lovely place to come and sail. Our tactician (Paul Goodison) really played a big part in today's success. He really got us out and in the clear. Our boat speed was great. The whole team is working very well together. It's starting to really gel." commented Woods.
Kilroy led the fleet around the track for the final race of the day. "This place is just beautiful." said Kilroy. "The first two races were okay, we just went the wrong way, but we made up for it a little by winning the third race." Kilroy faced tough competition from the young Ryan DeVos who grabbed second. Robert Hughes (Ada, Mich.) on Heartbreaker had a nice race landing third.
Lighter conditions (6-8 knots) are expected for Friday. If that happens, only two races with longer distances are on order.