2016 WORLDS: CORE OF THE MELGES 24 CLASS - CORINTHIAN FLEET
November 29th, 2016 - Miami, FL, U.S. - There has been a continuous coming and going during last three days at the registration desk of the Island Gardens Marina of Miami, where most of the 74 crews from 14 nations participating at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship have completed their registration. The total number of boats on the final entry list, despite being below the initial expectations, still grants a Championship of high competition.
To be chased by most of the crews will be Chirs Rast's EFG(SUI) that, after the success obtained in the 2016 Melges 24 Europeans held in Hyeres in September, will be sailing in Miami trying to duplicate the result of Middelfart, Denmark where his crew got the title of the 2015 Melges 24 World Championship. If EFG could confirm the result of Middlefart here in Miami, too, it would be the third crew in history of Melges 24 to become World Champion two times in a row, after Vince Brune (1998-1999) and Lorenzo Bressani (2010-2011). On board of EFG there will be Chris Rast (helm), Pade Zaugg (tactician), Udo Moser (trimmer), Danielle Rast (bow), Matteo Ferraglia (pit).
The other two crews that were medaled last year in Denmark will be competing in Miami too, trying to improve their results: we're talking about Andrea Racchelli's Altea (ITA), second in the 2015 Worlds and winner of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series of this year, and Air Force 1 (USA), helmed by the Olympian in Rio 2016 Bora Gulari, who is also going to be the new helmsman of Quantum Racing in the next 52 Super Series. The tactics on Bora's boat will be called by Jonathan McKee.
Further than these above named, many others crews with great experiences and histories of success at their backs will be in the water during the Worlds of Miami: there will be a return of Gian Luca Perego's Maidollis (ITA), winner of the 2012 Worlds on Lake Garda with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm; Brian Porter's Full Throttle (USA), World Champion in San Francisco in 2013; Bombarda (ITA) of Andrea Pozzi, European vice-champion in Hyeres and Kieler Woche winner.
There will also be Jason Carroll's Argo (USA), at his first experience on Melges 24, but already Melges 32 World Champion, with Ed Wright as tactician, winner of the Finn Gold Cup 2010 and ISAF Rolex World sailor of that same year, and New England Ropes (USA) by Tim Healy, President of North Sails One Design group, 2014 World Champion J/70.
The Conor Clarke's entry Embarr (IRL) will have on board the Olympian sailors Stuart McNay and Dave Hughes, 4th in Rio 2016 at his third Olympics with 470s, while SlingSHOT (USA) by Wes Whitmyer Jr, whose crew has already gained experience by sailing in Melges 20, has on board a tactician of excellence, Bill Hardesty, already World Champion in Melges 20 (twice), Etchell, Farr40 and Rolex World Sailor of the year 2014. Eyes will be also on USA515 by Peter Duncan, who is among the protagonists of J/70 class since a couple of years.
Almost half of the fleet in Miami will be composed by Corinthian crews, among which the fight will be hard until the very last moments. Estonian Lenny by Tonu Toniste, 2015 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion and 2014 Corinthian European Champion at this moment is the strong favorite for the victory in their category.
Races started today at 1030 am, while the practice race was held yesterday. What a day it was for sailing off Miami Beach with 18+ knots wind and big rolling waves. Good weather is forecasted for all the duration of the event, granting the competitors the optimal conditions for some great and challenging sailing.
At the opening ceremony held at the Jungle Island's Plaza last night, IM24CA Championship Coordinator John Abel (CAN) being as an anchor man introduced all the key persons of the World Championship - Randy Draftz as a Regatta Chair, Anderson Reggio as PRO, Leo Reise as a Jury Chair and his team, Ron Rostorfer as a Race Committee Coordinator of Coconut Grove Sailing Club and his team, also Sandrine Quenee as the Chair of Race Office and Scorer.
IM24CA Chairman Jens Wathne (NOR) greeted the sailors from all over the world and introduced Melges 24 International staff in present: IM24CA Executive Committee members like Duncan Stamper (CAN) - Vice Chair Americas, Paul Krak Arntson (USA) - Member America, Kevin Nixon (AUS) - Member Australia, Championship Coordinator Americas - John Abel, Administrator & Media Coordinator Piret Salmistu, Event Press Officers Mauro Melandri and Silvia Gallegatti, and Photographer Pierrick Contin.
PRO Anderson Reggio continued from that point on with the Skippers' Briefing giving some advise and guidleines for the racing days to come and wished them fair winds and fast sailing in the Miami waters.
Racing can be followed via TracTrac tracking under this link
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
Worlds website www.melges24worlds.com
IM24CA website: www.melges24.com
USMCA website: www.usmelges24.com
Worlds in Facebook: www.facebook.com/2016M24Worlds
IM24CA Facebook: www.facebook.com/World.of.Melges24
IM24CA Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/melges24/albums