Brereton Leading The Melges 17 Nationals

Brereton Leading The Melges 17 Nationals

24 September 2006

23 SEPTEMBER 2006 ? Reigning Melges 17 National Champion Art Brereton and crew Harry Melges are leading the 2006 Melges 17 National Championship. "We got a couple of lucky breaks from where we were. We had a great start, and we called the shifts. Iggy and Andy are really fast."

"We basically stayed out of trouble. There wasn't any major shifts that shook things up a lot, so instead we worked hard to try and go as fast as Iggy and Andy. The fact that they were right there actually helped. Racing today was pretty straight forward," said Brereton.

The Championship, held on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin kicked off today with a record thirty entries. The excitement and anticipation felt during the morning hours was evident as all the teams cranked up the gear and warmed up the nerves setting out for a 10:30 a.m. sharp start. On the course they were greeted with overcast skies and light air conditions with the plan to do four races. The forecast called for breeze out of the Southwest at 5-10 knots. Initially, the winds were 5-8 knots at the first start which resulted in a general recall. The second start was clean for all but three ? Cam McNeil "USA-166", Clifford Porter "USA-49" and Dan Quiram, "USA-87". Otherwise Brereton shot off to the left trailed by Iggy Labanauskas, "USA-97", George Buekema, "USA-112" and class newcomer, youth sailor extraordinaire Harris Buddig, "USA-59".

Up to the top mark, Brereton commanded the lead rounding first. Mark Unicume, "USA-146" got a nice start too coming in from the right side slipped in behind for second, Labanauskas was on his transom. The small pack of leaders did nothing but put distance between themselves and the rest of the fleet, literally running away with the top five leader board. Brereton crossed through the gate, headed for the right this time with Labanauskas closing in, leaving Unicume in third. Keeping up with the leaders, the only female helm at Nationals ? Mary Anne Ward; "USA-157" was fourth, then Buddig. As they edged away from the fleet, the distance was now being distributed between the top five leaders. Brereton's closest competition was the Labanauskas brothers hiking out hard. With the wind almost at a complete standstill, it was a battle to the finish ? downwind with both competitors taking it to the line. Brereton gave it all he had and held on to the top position. The best Labanauskas could do was a couple of boat lengths behind for second, Unicume was third, Ward was fourth and Buddig was fifth.

As the teams assembled for a second race, the wind vanished. After bobbing around for about 45 minutes to an hour, the best thing to do was to head to the docks and wait for something to fill in. Unfortunately, nothing produced and all other scheduled races were canceled.

Looking to tomorrow's racing Brereton sits atop the overall standings, "If we get up into the 15-18 knot wind range, it will be interesting. I think it will be a case of who makes the least amount of mistakes, not necessarily who will make mistakes." Labanauskas, seated in second place overall is one point behind Brereton so, tomorrow's racing should be intense. Unicume is third, Ward is fourth and Buddig is in fifth position.


1. Art Brereton, USA-101: 1 = 1
2 Iggy Labanauskas, USA-97: 2 = 2
3. Mark Unicume, USA-146: 3 = 3
4. Mary Anne Ward, USA-157: 4 = 4
5. Harris Buddig, USA-59: 5 = 5
6. Ken Wruk, USA-71: 6 = 6
7. Brian McMurray, USA-111: 7 = 7
8. Kirk Donaldson, USA-50: 8 = 8
9. Bill Wiggins, USA-100: 9 = 9
10. Bill Fauntleroy, USA-106: 10 = 10
11. Matt Ripkey, USA-1: 11 = 11
12. Larry Brand, USA-108: 12 = 12
13. Clifford Porter, USA-49: 13 = 13
14. Jeff Lewis, USA-158: 14 = 14
15. Woody Woodruff, USA-7: 15 = 15
16. Blaine Unicume, USA-145: 16 = 16
17. Erik Bowers, USA-47: 17 = 17
18. Mike Dow, USA-170: 18 = 18
19. Gordy Bowers, USA-150: 19 = 19
20. David Harrison, USA-13: 20 = 20
21. Jeff Surles, USA-80: 21 = 21
22. Dan Quiram, USA-87: 22 = 22
23. George Buekema, USA-112: 23 = 23
24. Hans Dickel, USA-163: 24 = 24
25. Robert Wynkoop, USA-75: 25 = 25
26. John Simms, USA-88: 26 = 26
27. Ben Ingalls, USA-143: 27 = 27
28. Kevin Ward, USA-160: 28 = 28
29. Cam McNeil, USA-166: 29 = 29
30. Coye Harrett, USA-151: 30 = 30


For more information, contact Joy Dunigan, U.S. Melges 17 Class Association Press Officer at (912) 398-5776 or on email. Please visit or
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