After an exciting and challenging series on Corio Bay off the Royal Geelong YC in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, Harry Melges took second in the overall standings with 36 points behind 2013 and 2007 European champion Flavio Favini with 28 points. Favini, an Italian who sailed a Swiss boat, won the regatta after 11 races in the January 29 – February 2 series and did not need to sail in the finale. As it turned out, PRO Hank Stuart cancelled the 12th race when the afternoon breeze failed to materialize by the 3 pm cutoff. Favini, who was runner-up to Brian Porter at the World event in 2013, won the World Championship title in 2001.
One point back from runnerup Harry Melges in the 2014 standings for third overall was Detroit’s Bora Gulari, current and 2009 International Moth Class World Champion.The Australian regatta attracted 26 boats from seven countries.
The Melges crew of Andy Burdick (tactician), Federico Michetti, and Jeff Ecklund is the same team that won the World title with him in 2002, the year he won the North American title. Melges was US National champion in 2012. Burdick and Michetti crewed with Brian Porter for Porter’s 2013 World win on San Francisco Bay.
First overall in the Corinthian division (no professional sailors aboard) and ninth in the fleet standings was Australia’s Cameron Miles from the Royal Prince Alfred YC. (LGYC’s Tom Freytag won the 1999 Corinthian title at the World Championship off Long Beach, California.) Ten of the 2014 fleet qualified as Corinthians.
The Melges team set a fast pace the week before the World event by winning the ten-race Melges 24 Australian Open National Championship, January 21-27, also on Corio Bay. Flavio Favini took second.