The 2019 Melges 14 World League came to a close over the weekend with Adam Ankers winning the North American Division at the Southern Championship on Lake Lanier, Georgia. The inaugural World League season featured more than 65 competitors racing in eight events across the US and Europe. After finishing second at the Euro Cup in September, Mario Aquila earned the title of 2019 World League Overall Champion.

Only one point separated Americans Daniel Thielman, Josh Landers, and Ankers going into the Finals. The trend followed into the final race of the event offering a throw-out race for which Ankers was grateful. “I thought a DSQ in the first race really cost me the championship,” said Ankers. The disqualification was a penalty for crossing through the closed start/ finish gates. “The rest of the weekend I was just trying to keep Josh and Daniel as far behind me as I could.”

In the final downwind of the last race, Thielman jokingly called to Ankers, “The entire World League Season comes down to this last race. No pressure!” Ankers and Thielman finished the season in a tie, so the North American title went to the top finisher in the US Nationals.

“We really appreciate the Melges 14 Fleet for travelling to Lake Lanier Sailing Club and truly anchoring this event for us,” said Regatta Chair Jeremy Pape. Two days of moderate breeze at 8-10 knots graced the Southern Championship allowing for five races. Despite storms moving through most of the country, the fleet stayed relatively dry and was able to complete three races on an Olympic course on Saturday. The fall season showed its colors on Sunday with sunshine and temperatures at 70 degrees.

At the top of the Southern Championship were Eddie Cox, Andy Burdick, and, Georgia-local, Roger Counihan. “I did have some local knowledge of expected shifts, especially the left-side favor on Day Two,” noted Counihan. “The highlight from racing was holding off Andy for second place in Race Two – my best finish of the regatta.”

World League Rankings:

Southern Championship Results:

Southern Championship Media Gallery: