US Melges Nationals: Porter’s record-setting win

Detroit, Michigan: After three days and eight races, Class stalwart, long-time owner, and former World Champion Brian Porter on Full Throttle acquired his eighth National Championship title, a monumental achievement in the very competitive U.S. Melges 24 Class.

Needless to say it took every race scheduled to get the win as he was trailing KC Shannon’s Shaka by five points after seven races.

KC Shannon, Ben Lynch, Elisabeth Whitener, Tommy Sawchuk, John Bowden from Shaka at awards ceremony.
Third Place – KC Shannon, Ben Lynch, Elisabeth Whitener, Tommy Sawchuk, John Bowden from Shaka. Pic – US Melges

“The breeze was really light on Sunday, to the point I was afraid they were going to call it, really light wind. But they didn’t and we got it done, and it was really fun. RJ was our tactician, and he did a really great job keeping us in all the right places,” said Porter. 

“This team, now that we have a few regattas under our belt, we are starting to get our speed back. I knew going into this event that we were starting to sail well enough, and we were fast enough to win. I loved the way we picked where we were going to start, and our fleet management was really good. These are things that as a team we’ve been working on, and this past weekend, it all kind of came together.”

Porter’s National Champion team includes his kids, RJ and Bri Porter, Matt Woodworth and Austin Colpaert.

Bruce Ayres, Tomas Dietrich, Chelsea Simms, Edward Hackney and Jeremy Wilmot from Monsoon at the awards ceremony.
Second Place – Bruce Ayres, Tomas Dietrich, Chelsea Simms, Edward Hackney and Jeremy Wilmot from Monsoon. Pic – US Melges

His next closest rival was Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon who finished second overall, followed by Shaka in third. Harry Melges IV on Zenda Express finished fourth, and Bora Gulari’s New England Ropes rounded out the top five.

In the Corinthian Division, Mike Dow on Flying Toaster came out on top after a fierce battle with Scot Zimmerman on Bad Idea in second place, and Fred Rozelle’s Rustler in third. 

Mike Dow, Bob Clark, Gregg Diehl and James Olsen from Flying Toaster at awards ceremony with trophy.
2021 U.S. Melges 24 CORINTHIAN National Champions – Mike Dow, Bob Clark, Gregg Diehl and James Olsen from Flying Toaster. Pic – US Melges

For Dow, who has been in the Melges 24 Class as an owner for 25 years, this is an accomplishment which is long overdue. His 2021 Melges 24 Corinthian U.S. National Champion crew members include Bob Clark, Gregg Diehl and James Olsen.

“It was a great battle between us, Scot and Fred, but it was really hard sailing. The light air on Friday and Sunday was challenging, but we just hung in there, it’s all we could do,” said a very happy Dow. “It was fun to be back at Crescent Sail Yacht Club, because I had not been there in a really long time. It’s such a great place to sail out of.”

The all-amatuer division included 11 teams total. Traveling to the event all the way from Atlanta, Ga., Lake Lanier Sailing Club’s Roger Counihan on Jaws and Tony Stanley’s Hermesfinished fourth and fifth respectively.

With eight of ten scheduled 2021 National Ranking Series events completed, Bora Gulari remains in the overall lead, followed by Laura Grondin’s Dark Energy in second, and newly crowned National Champion Porter is seated third. Great performances this past weekend by Ayres and Zimmerman has them currently fourth and fifth. The Fall Championship (October 2-3) and the Atlantic Coast Championship / Gulf Coast Championship / Bushwhacker Cup (November 12-14) are the two final events.

With the conclusion of the 2021 Nationals, the Quantum Melges 24 Great Lakes Cup moved closer to completion. Forty-six teams have competed in the Series thus far, with 2021 Corinthian National Champ Mike Dow on Flying Toaster in first place overall.

Rozelle’s Rustler and Zimmerman’s Bad Idea round out the podium in second and third as all eyes now turn to the last event, the Fall Championship in Lake Geneva early next month.

Second Place - Scot Zimmerman, Andy Girrell, Katy Zimmerman, Kevin Fisher from Bad Idea at awards ceremony.
Second Place – Scot Zimmerman, Andy Girrell, Katy Zimmerman, Kevin Fisher from Bad Idea. Pic – US Melges

The U.S. Melges 24 Class is excited to announce that the 2022 Nationals has been awarded to the Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC), in Pensacola, FL. PYC hosted the Nationals once before in 2003, and the Class is thrilled to have the event headed back to the Florida Coast in 2022.

U.S. National Championship top five:

1. Brian Porter, Full Throttle; 5-[9]-1-5-4-2-2-1 = 20

2. Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 4-[13]-2-2-3-6-1-4 = 22

3. KC Shannon, Shaka; 2-6-5-3-1-1-[10]-5 = 23

4. Harry Melges IV, Zenda Express; 3-5-3-4-[6]-3-6-3 = 27

5. Bora Gulari, New England Ropes; [23/UFD]-3-4-1-7-11-4-2 = 32

U.S. Corinthian National Championship top five:

1. Mike Dow, Flying Toaster; 12-4-[14]-12-9-10-7-7 = 59

2. Scot Zimmerman, Bad Idea; 6-[17]-7-16-13-8-3-9 = 62

3. Fred Rozelle, Rustler; 7-8-8-11-15-[18]-9-17 = 75

4. Roger Counihan, Jaws; 18-12-[21]-7-14-13-5-16 = 85

5. Tony Stanley, Hermes; 10-4-16-8-20-[23/RET]-15-14 = 87

For the full results, see: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=14521

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