McKee Minute: Erin Go Bragh

Conor Clark's Irish entry schools the fleet at the Melges 24 Worlds in Miami. A cruel twist in the final race, put's Air Force 1 off the podium.

Melges 24 Worlds
Pierrick Contin
Conor Clark's Embarr ran away with the 2016 Melges 24 World championship title in Miami. With American Olympian Stu McNay with a steady hand on the helm, Dave Hughes, Maurice O'Connell, Aoife English, and Clark were fast around the track.Pierrick Contin

What a great week of racing it has been. The wind has been 10 to 20 all week, and the ocean off Miami provides a spectacular arena for sailboat racing. The fleet was also really strong. In the end, Embarr, Conor Clarke's Irish-flagged team put in a dominant performance, scoring top 3 in almost every race. American Olympian Stu McNay did a great job driving fast and getting good starts, and his partner in crime Dave Hughes proved he is one of the top tactician in the world. [Eds. Note: the crew also included Maurice O'Connell and Aoife English.]

After Embarr, a group of six other boats were fighting for the podium. Brian Porter, the 2013 world champion had great races and finished strong to finish third. The Italian team on Meredith sailed super consistently to eventually hold their second place. Bruce Ayers' talent stacked Monsoon team was always right there and earned a well-deserved fourth. Tim Healy and his team also sailed very to end up sixth.

Our team consisted of Bora Gulari, Charlie Smythe, Norman Berge, young Kyle Nevin, and myself. Despite only sailing together two days before the event, we gelled together well and started to sail pretty well at the end. We won the first race today and we fought back from an average start in the last race to cross the line third, enough to easily secure second place overall — or so we thought.

At the finish, we discovered we were over early at the start, so that dropped us to fifth. We were disappointed to be sure, but we sailed pretty well. I guess it is not our time yet. We have been top five in the last four Melges 24 world championships, but put together the kind of week that brings a victory eventually. We’re already looking forward to next year.

Melges 24 Worlds Top-Five Results: 74 boats, 12 races, 1 discard 1. IRL829 Embarr - Conor Clarke/Stuart McNay 2. ITA822 Maidollis 3 - Gian Luca Perego/Carlo Fracassoli 3. USA849 Throttle - Brian Porter 4. USA851 Monsoon - Bruce Ayres 5. USA820 West Marine Rigging - Bora Gulari

Corinthian Overall Results: 37 boats, 12 races, 1 discard 1. ITA778 - Taki 4 - Marco Zammarchi 2. EST790 - Lenny - Tõnu Tõniste 3. USA805 - Megan Ratliff - Decorum - Megan Ratliff 4. AUS812 - ACCRU - G. Nixon / K. Nixon 5. NED827 . Team Kesbeke/SIKA/Gill - Ronald Veraar