NEW INFO: USMCA 2018-20 EX COMM ELECTION CANDIDATES BIOS
In light of the currently open and ongoing elections for the 2018-20 U.S. Melges 24 Class Executive Committee and voting for Proposed Rule Changes, please see the following bios supplied by some of the candidates:
TRAVIS WEISLEDER (USA-848, LUCKY DOG)
I have been a Melges 24 owner since 2001 and have owned three difference boats, 4116, 605 and 848, Lucky Dog. In my time in the class I have also severed as the President of the USMCA and as the Vice Chairman for the IMCA. Being that the Melges 24 is an ISAF class it is imperative that we have solid relations with the international board if we want to be able to move the class forward that will improve things in the US. Case in point are the two proposed rule changes which in theory are great and personally feel that both need to pass, but it will require a number of other countries to agree and vote yes. To make these things happen requires a knowledge of not only how things work at this level but also personal relationships with the other leaders in the class. I am uniquely positioned to do this based on my past history, but also the people I have met in my time in Europe and just sailing in the class for so many years. This is probably the most important thing that can be done for the long term health and voice for the US.
I have always loved the Melges 24 and think it is the best small sailboat around; being that you all are owners as well I know you agree. But in life today everyone is busy and sailing has moved to the back burner of people’s lives as the perception that getting to events are too difficult and expensive. I would like to be able to overcome those issues and create sustainable “series” that are in one location where we have good breeze, easy access to get there, reasonable housing and storage costs. I think this is imperative to class growth and momentum. I also feel strongly that we must step up our game from a marketing side of things. There are many interactive tools available that can significantly enhance the status of the boat for people both at an event but also and possibly more importantly those who can not attend. These are not extremely large expenses but ones that need to happen. To make this happen we need people who live in the marketing world, which I do, and must have relationships with companies who are willing to put money towards these efforts. Once these pieces are in place we can then replicate the program for all of our major US events.
These are the places where I feel strongly the class needs to go in order to not only grow the class but to maintain solid residual values of our boats. I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have and hope to earn your confidence and vote in helping run the US Melges 24 class.
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BRIAN HUTCHINSON (USA-201 THE LAST CENTURION)
After building the original molds in 1992, Brian launched the first production Melges 24 in San Diego. With the aid of local fleets and industry leaders he promoted the class through various events to build a region of 100 Melges 24’s in one design fleets up and down the West Coast by the mid-90’s.
In 2013, the Melges 24 class was in disarray with diminished goals after the 36-boat Corpus Christie Worlds. Brian decided to help the class turn things around by joining the basic needs of the membership with the expectations that come with a high-caliber boat like the Melges 24. He is leading a group in North America that is applying a long-term, 3-year planning goal for championships. They are creating a logical flow of memorable, compelling, down-to-earth regattas with efficient schedules that more teams can plan for and actually attend. (Attendance is up!) Melges 24 NorAm Tour
• Introduced the M24 North American Tour in 2015,(4-event schedule)
• Rebranded to M24 NorAm Tour in 2016 (3 championship Stages,115 participants)
• Reached formal approval and support of M24 NorAm Tour with USM24CA, CM24CA and IM24CA in 2016
• Upgraded brand by directing the design and distribution of the permanent Melges 24 bow number graphic- (International M24 class is adopting)
• Developed web page and promoted M24 NorAm Tour through network of Melges 24 owners and crew, international class network, sponsor networks, and the largest digital sailing media outlets in the world
• Created and maintains the M24 NorAm Leaderboard
• Secured and managed sponsorship contracts for >$30k for the 2017 M24 NorAm (North American) Championship • Organized complimentary Melges 24 Speed Camps with world-class instructors prior to Stages along the M24 NorAm Tour
• Successfully reversed the financial situation with class-sanctioned championships (from $15-50K burden to significant financial support) Melges 24 World Winter Series (M24WWS)
• Introduced the 3-4 Act M24WWS to support monthly winter racing in Florida and South Carolina
• Promoted the M24WWS through custom web page, press releases, custom banners and other networking in sailing community
• Secured and managed sponsorship contracts for over $40k for the most recent M24QuantumWWS
Esprit Racing Yachts, ltd- Premiere offshore boat-building company (’84-’86)
Competition Composites, Llc – Carbon mountain bike tube and component manufacturer (‘86-‘88)
Hutchinson Sports- Design/manufacturer of industrial, commercial and sports equipment. (‘83-present)
Brian is currently teaching high-school Math and coaching with a winter outdoor program
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FOR VICE PRESIDENT
DUANE YOSLOV (USA-855 LOOPER)
Duane Yoslov has been a Melges 24 owner since 2008 after purchasing USA-248 from Tom Klenke. Following the 2013 Worlds in San Francisco, he went on to upgrade his program and purchased USA-855. Since purchasing 855, Yoslov has been active locally and nationally within the fleet participating in 2015 Nationals, 2016 Nationals & Worlds and the 2017 NorAms. Duane has been fleet captain for the Northern California fleet for the past three years and has worked tirelessly to maintain and build the local teams and begin organizing with the fleets in the Pacific NW and Southern California to build some larger traveling regattas with a broader range of competition. Duane is a Principal with Diversified, the title sponsor for the 2017 NorAm Championship where he manages a staff of over 200 focused on technology integration in the audiovisual industry.
A notice was received by U.S. Melges 24 Class Association on the evening of August 15, 2017, that Duane Yoslov has chosen to withdraw his nomination from the office of President.
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FOR VICE PRESIDENT
ROGER COUNIHAN (USA-775, JAWS)
I'm a seven year Melges 24 sailor from Atlanta. Prior to Melges 24's I sailed in college, Lightnings, and J24's. I have two young children, and sail with the family as well as race.
I believe the national class needs to focus on developing the ground roots energy - focus on local and district schedules, and making the class as attractive as possible to sailors choosing classes. This includes a focus on reducing costs and eliminating other rules or technicalities that serve as a barrier to entry. Our national and international regattas need to be run at a level to attract the top international professional and corinthian teams. The venues, tours, and after events need to be at an international, professionally organized standard.
The class also need to rebuild its online and social media marketing. The content being generated by the US class right now does not measure up to the European counter parts, or other major classes. Our class management needs a significant increase in transparency, including meeting minutes, class priorities, and budgets.
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FOR VICE PRESIDENT
KRAK ARNTSON (USA-379, NIKITA)
A notice was received by U.S. Melges 24 Class Association on the evening of August 15, 2017, that Krak Arntson has chosen to withdraw his nomination from the office of Vice President.