Michael Kiss Crowned Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champion

August 29, 2010 (Holland, MI) - Congratulations to 2010 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champion Michael Kiss on Bacio and his crew comprised of son Mitchell and Chris Rast. It’s been a Kiss summer. First, Mitchell place third at the Men’s Radial Worlds. Morgan, his daughter placed second at the Women’s 420 Worlds and now, Michael has won the most prestigious prize in the Audi Melges 20 Class. Earlier this spring, he also won the coveted Charleston Race Week title as well.

"This still has not sunk in yet." said Kiss. "This is just unbelievable. This is good. I never envisioned that we could really sail this well. We've sailed together a lot. This team won Charleston. We went to Italy and sailed the Gold Cup to raise the bar. That was really good for our game. And, we sailed last weekend too. I just can't believe it. The coordination of our crew is really strong right now."

In second overall was John Arendshorst on Blink and Steve Sisson helming for Tony Tabb on USA-88 was third.

Both races planned for Sunday were sailed under decent breeze of 10-12 knots, partial sunshine and less lumpy seas than in days past. Race 1 was a course 4, 1.0nm beats with Arendshorst managing a great start as did Simon Strauss on Simplicity rounding the top mark in first. Kiss rounded mid-fleet. His lack luster start was anything but a deterrent. He poured on the speed downwind challenging for the lead. Arendshorst stayed strong taking the win, Kiss finished second and Jon Messenger on CAN-142 was third.

Kiss chose not to race the final heat, leaving Arendshorst, Tabb and Strauss to battle it out. Seventeen year-old Alex Post, helming for his father Erik on Vaya Con Dios shot out front of the fleet taking the bullet in the final race, winding down the championship on a youthful note.

This weekend, the Audi Melges 20 demographics ran the gamut. John Arendshorst won the Masters division. Kate Mullin on CAN-141 won best helmswoman, and junior sailor Alex Post received most accomplished in the youth category, the Audi Melges 20 has proven that it is a boat that truly has something for everyone.

As with every event, Championships don’t happen without the incredible effort of many involved individuals — the Macatawa Bay Audi Melges 20 Nationals was no different. First and foremost, thanks to all the competitors that traveled from near and far to enjoy a weekend complete with the best summertime conditions and all scheduled races complete. In particular, Simon Strauss and his Simplicity crew of brother Quentin Strauss flew in from Valencia and Nigel Young from the UK to be with the fleet. The class would like the thank title sponsor Audi and Melges Performance Sailboats. Thanks to Regatta Chair John Donnelly, MBYC Members Michael and Tovi Kiss, Tony Tabb, John Arendshorst, Erik Post and the entire Macatawa Bay Yacht Club for their warm hospitality. A very special thanks to PRO Shannon Bush and her team for a very organized and professional job on race committee.