Doug Kaukeinen wins the 2018 Melges 14 Summer Championship
The Melges 14 Summer Championship Regatta, hosted by Shoreline Sailboats, was contested on Lake Ontario at Point Breeze at the mouth of the Oak Orchard River on the 18th and 19th of August. Point Breeze lived up to its name and Lake Ontario delivered fantastic conditions.
Saturday morning saw the biggest breeze of the weekend with wind in the upper teens from the Northeast. The long fetch across the lake created monumental waves and the Melges 14 sailors reveled in the conditions. Five races were sailed and excellent planing conditions prevailed for most of the day.
After day one, Brad Braddon of Canandaigua said, “The waves and wind of Lake Ontario provided some challenges for me, but with some great advice from the other sailors, I was able to get the boat across the finish line. I had a great time sailing in my first M14 regatta. It was an experience I will always remember!”
Sunday’s six races saw the same wind direction with less breeze and waves but still enough to make upwind full hiking and downwind an exercise in wave catching.
Through the eleven race series, local sailor Doug Kaukeinen of the Rochester Canoe Club dominated with nine firsts. His upwind speed and downwind mastery were on full display. Finishing second was Chris Sinnett of Ledyard, CT. Sinnett took two consecutive firsts with consistent upwind speed and a laser-like focus on the runs. Rounding out the top three was Paul Owens of Rochester Canoe Club.
Owens, first time Melges 14 skipper, gave his impression of the boat, “Sailing in the big water of Lake Ontario was awesome. It was super fun really putting the boats through their paces and seeing how they handle in the different wind and wave conditions. The Melges 14 is a fantastic boat. It's so easy. The boat planes easily, hiking is comfortable, and the rudder and daggerboard are balanced and efficient. The controls are easy to use and have a very profound impact on how the boat sails. There was power there when I needed it, but it was also easy to de-power to keep under control.”
Next up on the East Coast is the Melges 14 Southern Championship on October 27–28, hosted by the Lake Lanier Sailing Club.