THIRTY DAYS TO GO UNTIL 2016 MELGES 24 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
October 26th, 2016 - Miami, FL, U.S. - Time to get back in the water has almost come for the International Melges 24 Fleet. The teams that are preparing to compete for the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship, taking place in Miami, Florida from November 26th to December 3rd, have just 30 days left to make sure their boats and crews are in perfect shape for the start of the event. This World Championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year.
The organizing machine is working in full swing
With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Regatta host is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC), a name already well-known in the sailing world for organizing more than 20 regattas every year. "Coconut Grove Sailing Club is delighted to provide race management services for the upcoming 2016 Melges 24 Worlds in Miami. The CGSC RC has hosted ocean regattas for several years, including the 2014 Melges 32 Worlds. PRO Anderson Reggio and the CGSC RC have conducted five ocean events together, and the RC is looking forward to another such opportunity," declared Ron Rostorfer, responsible for the organization of the Race Committee in CGSC. "Among the RC Members are a US Sailing Certified National Race Officer, three Regional RO's and five Club RO's meaning the RC will have at least one RRO or higher on virtually all RC boats. Women play an important role on our race management teams and for the Melges 24 Worlds, three of the four RC mark boats will be skippered by women - a 150 ton USCG licensed Captain, a US Sailing Certified Power Boat Instructor, and the RC Chair," Rostorfer added.
Anderson Reggio, who has a great experience conducting ocean events together with CGSC RC, is enthusiastic for the RC team he will be leading as PRO: "They are some of the most skilled people in the Miami Region, exceptionally familiar with running races offshore. I've worked with them extensively in the past, including a prior Worlds in a similar location. I am quite thrilled to be working with them again for this event," - Reggio declared to IM24CA. Reggio is not new to the world of Melges 24, even if that of Miami will be the first International Melges 24 event for him: "I am quite familiar with the boat but open to suggestions from competitors as how we can make this the best event possible for them". Reggio also demonstrated to be completely aligned with the Melges 24 philosophy, adding: "I am a facilitator for the competition, putting buoys in the water and getting races off as efficiently as possible. I hope that everyone feels comfortable enough to find our team approachable as we are all out there working for the Class with the ultimate aim being a fun, fantastic event for all."
John Abel, IM24CA Championship Coordinator for Western Hemisphere, couldn't do anything but agree with Reggio, confirming that delivering a pleasant and fun experience to all participants is the main focus of the Class: "There are many facets to putting on a World Championship, but our primary focus all along has been the delivery of the event on the water. This is what the participants are here for. We have assembled a top-notch team and I have every confidence in them. I had the opportunity to be the race officer at the test event last March which gave me a first-hand look at the open Atlantic venue and it is a fantastic sailing area, perfectly suited to a large, competitive regatta such as this. Though we will have an alternate racing area inside Biscayne Bay, our hope and plan is for sailing the entire week in the big water."
114 TEAMS AND CHALLENGING CHAMPIONSHIP
The entry list is in perpetual evolution and counts, as of today, 114 boats that already signed up, with final entry deadline scheduled for November 1st. The current entry list promises a very challenging championship, where it will be very difficult to predict the composition of the podium until the very last races.
All crews will be chasing after Chris Rast's EFG (SUI) that, after having won the 2015 Worlds in Middlefart Denmark and the 2016 Europeans in Hyeres, France, is currently considered the favorite to get on top of the podium of this 2016 Melges 24 World Championship.
EFG will have to sail fast and smart to win the Championship, as many other crews, already well known in Melges 24 Class, all have the potential to score top results. Among these, we can't forget the two boats that last year stood on the podium after EFG: Andrea Racchelli's Altea (ITA), second in Middlefart and winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series; and Air Force One (USA), helmed by the Olympian in Rio 2016 Bora Gulari, third in the 2015 Melges 24 Worlds and recent winner of the 2016 Melges 24 U.S. Nationals. There will be another strong team with Rio Olympians as crew to chase the podium - Conor Clarke's Embarr (IRL) with Stu McNay and Dave Hughes from U.S. Sailing Team as the fourth best in 470 Class in Rio. Embarr also just finished a strong second at the Melges 24 U.S. Nationals.
In Miami there will also be other former World Champions, fighting to earn the title again after a few years since the previous one: we're talking about Gian Luca Perego's Maidollis (ITA) with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm, winner of the 2012 Worlds and 2011 Europeans; and Brian Porter's Full Throttle (USA), World Champion 2013 in San Francisco and the seven-time Melges 24 U.S. champion.
The 2016 European vice-champion and Kieler Woche winner, Bombarda (ITA) by Andrea Pozzi, will be present, too: the team has shown constant progress over the latest events and now has the possibility to demonstrate all its potential.
Racing will be very interesting also in the Corinthian division where, as far as today, Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team (GBR) with Geoff Carveth helming, 2016 Corinthian European champion and the winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series in its division and Tõnu Tõniste's team on Lenny (EST), 2015 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion and 2014 Corinthian European Champion, are considered the favorites to get on the podium of their division. There are also Tom Freytag's Wicked Feet (USA) to pay attention to, being the fourth best in overall and the best Corinthian at the 2016 U.S. Nationals) and Kevin Nixon's family team Accru (AUS) being the U.S. second best Corinthian and 7th in overall ranking at the Lake Geneva this October.
Attention will be focused also on a couple of teams that are the outsiders of Melges 24 Class, but still have great potentials: Jason Carroll's Argo (USA), who is, though, already familiar with Melges Class, having won two Melges 32 Worlds and Tim Healy's Helly Hansen Team (USA), 2014 J/70 World Champion.
2016 Melges 24 World Championship will be supervised by the Regatta Chair Randy Draftz, well known as the organizer of the Charleston Race Week for twenty years, in co-operation with the US Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA). Race Management Services will be provided by Coconut Grove Sailing Club.
Schedule of Event:
November 26-28 - Registration and Measurement
November 28 - Practice Race and Opening Ceremonies
November 29 - December 3 - Racing at the Melges 24 World Championship
December 3 - Prize Giving and Closing Ceremonies
The online entry, the Notice of Race and other information about the venue are available at event website www.melges24worlds.com