Well-traveled West Coast racing team Samba Pa Ti owner John Kilroy, Jr. has been turning over crews every year in his quest to win the ultimate prize in the most competitive fleet of owner/driver yachts anywhere, and last week, he finally got the formula right as he took the Melges 32 World Championship in Newport, RI.
Laser phenom Paul Goodison called tactics while Harry Melges III trimmed the main, but the missing piece of the puzzle may have been someone much less well-known, despite being the most successful Melges sportboat sailor of the past decade.
It is, of course, our old friend Federico Michetti, and of the nine Melges 24 and 32 World Titles sailed since 2008, Fed has won an incredible five. That’s more than half the Worlds in two of the most lively and hotly fought classes anywhere. Tacticians may get the big bucks, but those looking to win a Melges title might want to re-think their crewbuilding priorities when someone with this improbable level of success is floating around out there. Especially when he’s an anarchist!