Final Race Showdown at the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship
SARASOTA, Fla. (March 3, 2019) – Eddie Cox beat out Harry Melges IV to win the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship in the final moments of the final race. The Melges 14 World League has officially kicked off!
The stage is set for a great Melges 14 World League with 8 total championship-level regattas around the world. With his win this weekend, Cox is officially the World League leader for now. Next up is the Melges 14 Euro Warm-Up (Liguria, Italy) and the Melges 14 Spring Championship (Chattanooga, Tennessee).
Lots of boats, sun, fun and great people from all around the country attended the third annual championship held by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. The Melges 14 continues to deliver fantastic racing with great class camaraderie.
The day before racing began, Melges Performance Sailboats sponsored Zenda University, a Melges 14 racing clinic with expert coaching and drone & video review. This allowed the fleet a great opportunity to learn, improve and gain confidence in their boats and equipment.
For the first day of racing, Friday morning brought warm humid air, sunshine and warm water for easy beach launching in Sarasota Bay. A casual morning of friends and competitors and the opportunity to meet new friends from many different sailing venues. Racing started on Friday with three solid races in breeze of 8-14 knots. The perfect start for the championship. The tone was being set by Harry Melges IV as he was working to defend his 2018 Midwinters crown. Continually pushing “H4” on the first day were his father Harry Melges III, Jeff Solum and Eddie Cox, but none could catch him. Also having a great day were Finn Rowe, Adam Ankers and Daniel Thielman.
Saturday was another ideal day of sailing with winds starting a bit lighter. Eddie Cox had a great day and was once again battling it out with H4. As the day progressed, the wind would reach 10 knots. A nice condition for the Melges 14 Gold Rig. There were a handful of Blue Rig sailors on the course as well. One of the great things about the Melges 14 are the three rigs that vary in sail area allowing many different size sailors to compete and enjoy the boat.
Thank you to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron for the fun post-race dinner and party on Saturday. After a day of racing, the Melges 14 fleet still had plenty of energy to enjoy the party and enjoy spending time with other competitors. The Squadron has a perfect casual atmosphere, and after the day’s sailing that is just what everyone needed.
Rolling into the final day there was even more sunshine! H4 entered the final day with a five point lead over Cox. Anticipation was building with two races left. In the first race on Sunday, H4 placed fifth, setting up the final race as an epic showdown for the trophy.
It was a ‘who-beats-who’ race as Harry Melges IV and Eddie Cox both had their eyes on the prize. The showdown lasted until the final moments with Cox successfully holding off H4 by inches and earning his crown.
Thank you to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron for hosting the Melges 14 Midwinters. An incredible job!