The young, fun crew of the Wildman sits in third at the Melges 20 Worlds overnight, with 11-year old Liam Kilroy actually leading the 57-boat regatta after two races and sitting just a couple of points back of papa on Samba Pa Ti at the end of the day. The nipper’s got serious juice behind him; Erik Shampain and Steve Hunt were half the crew of top performing Melges 24 WTF, while SCOTW and top women’s match racer Steph Roble calls turns for young Kilroy in the first 3 races of the second-ever M20 Worlds.
And yes, daddy’s rich (somebody has to pay all those salaries), and we don’t expect too many 11-year olds to get this kind of present under the tree, still it’s good (isn’t it? to see the kid make the most of it – it’s events like these, at an age like this, that can cement a lifelong love (and tons of support) for the sport. It’s also a shout to other sportboat parents: If you want this sport to have a future, give your kids the helm or the boat whenever you can. And no, that doesn’t mean some shitty Opti.
Leading the event is consistent badass Alessandro Rombelli on STIG with longtime sportboat star Dani Cassinari on tactics. We’ll have another update for you on Thursday night. Exclusive photo from Stefano Gattini with an awesome photo gallery here. Updates throughout the day at the Melges 20 Facebook Page.