Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Melges 20 Champion In Charleston

Sam Sharpe, www.thesharpeimage.com
Hollerbach Named Audi Melges 20 Champion In Charleston

The Audi Melges 20 dazzled spectators and competitors alike at Charleston Race Week 2009 with six boats on the line, Marc Hollerbach takes top honors.

21 April 2009 - Congratulations are in order for Marc Hollerbach on USA-21 from Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., as he and his crew complied of sons Ian and Adam Hollerbach along with Morgan Kiss won the much talked about Audi Melges 20 division at Charleston Race Week 2009. Coming in second overall was Geoff Pierini on USA-103 Shakedown, and in third was Canada's Phil Sustronk on USA-102.

Three days and a successful ten race series super-charged the brand new Audi Melges 20 fleet, and the dock talk was simply electric for this milestone event. "This boat has met my expectations and so much more," said a raving Michael Kiss on USA-13 Bacio from Macatawa Bay, Mich. "This boat is it. I am so happy with my purchase. Bow to stern, the value in this boat design is phenomenal. I mean — just look at it. And, the racing. I can't say enough about the racing. Racing in Charleston has been incredible."

Charleston Champion Hollerbach is no stranger to this kind of competition. A former Melges 24 owner, he is a perfect candidate for a haute-couture ride such as the Audi Melges 20. His experience in the similar but different Melges 24 class may have contributed directly to his win however, as Hollerbach stated after practice last Thursday, the enjoyment it brings is also key. "Downwind is just fantastic. It's fast and fun. This boat is easy. The load is nothing. It's great. Anyone can sail this boat. Upwind is all about where you put your weight. This boat is high performance and high technology on the deck."

A walk down the dock on Saturday afternoon, chatting with the Audi Melges 20 teams and owners was inspiring. They congregated like Formula 1 drivers after completing the China Grand Prix. Shop talk, tweaks, tricks, fine-tuning, debriefs, friendships forming everywhere you turned. Crowds gathered around them before and after racing, some teaming with curiosity, others overly-impressed with its sharp and super-sleek appearance. A true example of form follows function, speed follows performance, a distinct competitive-edge follows Melges.

The Audi Melges 20 is special in many, many ways and as with all the Melges breeds, this boat exudes quality, high performance and maximum attention to detail. Undeniably, each owner that raced in Charleston felt every bit of that ingenuity. From the upwind beat, to the each sensational downwind run, to the very tight point contention that carried them to and from the docks each day until the last finish line gun — the Audi Melges 20 delivered.

Obviously, one weekend of Audi Melges 20 racing just isn't enough.

This is the real thing, and it's only the beginning...

The International Audi Melges 20 Class would like to thank each and every owner and team that raced in Charleston. Many special thanks to the event organizers — Brad and Meaghan Van Liew with staff for delivering an outstanding event.

Full Results
1.) Marc Hollerbach, USA-21; 1-3-[5]-1-5-3-1-5-1-3 = 23
2.) Geoff Pierini, USA-103 Shakedown; 5-2-4-[7/DNS]-3-4-2-2-2-1 =25
3.) Phil Sustronk, USA-102; 2-[5]-2-3-1-2-5-1-5-5 = 26
4.) Eric Wynsma, USA-116; 4-1-3-4-2-1-[6]-4-3-4 = 26
5.) Dave Hammett/Linton Weiss, USA-119 Simplified Sophistication; 3-4-1-2-4-5-4-[7/DNS]-7/DNS-7/DNS = 37
6.) Michael Kiss, USA-13 Bacio; 6-6-6-[7/RAF]-6-6-3-3-4-2 = 42

Event Photo Gallery