Wind and big waves: this is what the Melges 24 is made for. Without too many words, check out these exciting video filmed and edited by Zerogradinord in the fourth day of racing here in Helsinki. Maidollis and Taki 4 still at the lead of their divisions!#Melges24 #Melges24Worlds17 #Melges24Worlds #IM24CA #thebestclass #thebestboat #thebessailors Melges 24 Worlds 2017 International Melges 24 Class Association Melges Performance Sailboats Helsingfors Segelklubb Finnish Estonian Melges24 Fleet Visit Helsinki Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design Melges Europe Melges 24 Melges 24 Ukraine Melges Norway Classe Italiana Melges 24 Melges 24 UK Class Association Swiss Melges 24 Class Association Melges 24 Hungarian Class Association Melges 24 World Championship 2018
Porter wins impressive record-breaking seventh Melges 24 U.S. National title, Shannon takes home Corinthian top honors. SoCal’s Bruce Ayres Places 4th
April 9, 2017 – Charleston, S.C., U.S. – The final day at of the 2017 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship hosted by the Charleston Yacht Club (ChYC) commenced as originally forecasted – light to almost no breeze. Plenty of sunshine and warmth prevailed, but very little on the wind horizon resulting in an immediate on-shore postponement. PRO Hal Smith kept teams up-to-date on the half-hour, every hour until it was realized that there was no hope for any racing on the final day in Charleston.
That said, the results from Saturday stand as final and Brian Porter on Full Throttle (USA-849) has won his seventh Melges 24 U.S. National Championship title – an accomplishment that has barely been challenged here in the United States. 2016 National Champ Bora Gulari has won the trophy only twice (2011, 2016) – no one yet has come closer to reaching that same number of wins.
Porter was joined by tactician Andy Burdick, his son R.J. Porter and fellow 2013 World Champion crew member Matt Woodworth. While accepting his award, Porter introduced and thanked his team, the Race Committee for their efforts particularly on Friday in the big breeze, and of course, all the restaurants in Charleston.
In second overall, is John Brown’s Blind Squirrel (USA-547), which is quite a stellar achievement as he has been in the fleet for less than two years. Completing the overall podium is Kevin Welch’s Mikey (USA-838).
A huge round of congratulations goes out to KC Shannon on Shaka (USA-801) – a team that has worked so hard to rise to the top of the all-amateur division. Mike Miller, Doug Nickel and Tom Sawchuck sailed as crew. “I’m really in disbelief. I can count on my hand how many races/regattas I’ve ever won,” said Shannon. “This is better than any dream I could come up with in the Melges 24. We’ve taken our lumps over the years, so with this win, we know we are really blessed. We’re looking forward to coming back for more by sailing at Race Week.”
Brent McKenzie’s Ex-Kahn (USA-575), who led the fleet on Friday finished the event in second place, followed by Great Britain’s Stuart Simpson on Team Barbarians (GBR-691) in third.
At the prize giving, each crew member of the top three teams in each division took home some amazing Gill Race wear, customized with their insignia. Congrats also to George Haynie Firewater (USA-687) as he won the jib given by Quantum to a ranked Corinthian team.
The 2017 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship was Act 2 of the Quantum World Winter Series (QWWS), and is Stage 1 of the 2017 NorAm Tour. The 2016/17 QWWS wraps up in a couple of weeks at Sperry Race Week. As for the NorAm Tour, things are just getting going. The U.S. Nationals was Stage 1. The second Stage takes place on July 19-22 at the Gorge/Cascade Locks, Ore. – NorAm Championship. The 2017 Canadian Nationals serves as the third and final Stage of the 2017 NorAm Tour. Online registration is currently open for both events.
THE NEXT STEP: BACK TO CHARLESTON AND BEYOND
The next stop on the 2016/17 Quantum World Winter Series is Sperry Charleston Race Week taking place on April 20-23. This spectacular event will welcome another 25 teams back to Charleston. Another regatta to put on your calendar as a must do event post-Charleston is the Southeast Inland Lake Championship on May 5-7. Lake Lanier Sailing Club puts on a great regatta, so don’t miss out on this chance to race in North Georgia. Lake Lanier is home to about a dozen teams.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) is grateful to all the competitors that traveled to Charleston to race at Nationals, also to Event Chairman Randy Draftz, PRO Hal Smith and the entire Charleston Yacht Club (ChYC) for the incredible hospitality, not to mention all the volunteers that gathered to make this Championship the very, very best! The USM24CA would like to further extend many thanks and recognize National Championship sponsors Quantum Sails, the Charleston Yacht Club, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Gill North America, the Charleston Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Goslings Rum. Thank you all for your support!
TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL – After Six Races, One Discard)
1.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle: 1-4-2-1-1-1 = 6
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel; 3-2-7-2-6-3 = 16
3.) Kevin Welch/Jason Rhodes, Mikey; 2-7-5-5-5-4 = 21
4.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon; 5-1-6-5-18-4-6 = 22
5.) Michael Goldfarb, Warcanoe; 8-5-10-6-2-7 = 28
6.) Peter Duncan, Jigs In Space; 12-6-3-7-21-2 = 30
December 3rd, 2016 – Miami, FL, U.S. – As a result of an amazing Championship, with all placements of the series -apart from one – within the fifth position of the ranking, the Irish team of Embarr IRL829 (2-75/DNS) has been crowned at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship.
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn’t been so good. important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance: “It’s not jus“We work physically very hard downwind, hiking as if we were sailing upwind and this gives a great help to us, especially when you have wavy conditions as it has been during this World Championship – declared the owner of Embarr, Conor Clarke, who went on explaining how to about the technicalities: of course we have good sailors on board, our Olympians are amazing, but it also about attitude and knowledge of the surroundings. We’ve been in Miami for a while trying to understand the local conditions and benefit at the most from them. We’ve worked hard and our dream has come true”, Clarke concluded. On board of Embarr together with the owner have sailed David Hughes, Stuart McNay, Maurice O’Connell and Aoife English.
With a gap of 31 points, Maidollis 3 ITA822 (5-15) by Gian Luca Perego, that was having on board the couple of former Melges 24 World Champions in 2012 Fracassoli-Fonda at helm and tactic respectively plus Giovanni Ferrari and Stefano Lagi, ensured the second position in the overall ranking, with a total score of 69 points. Third place went to Brian Porter’s Full Throttle USA849 (8-2) with Andy Burdick, Sam Rodgers and Matt Woodworth in the crew, that managed to surpass Monsoon USA851 (3-7) that had the same overall score but worse partial results.
Disappointment filled in for Bora Gulari’s Air Force One/West Marine Rigging USA820 (1-75/DNF) that, after having won the first race of the day, was still in place even for the second place on the podium, but got a BDF in the last regatta of the series, in this way slipping to the fifth position overall. It could have been a better World Championship also for Chris Rast’s EFG SUI684 (13-8), World Champion in 2015 and European Championship in 2016, who didn’t though manage to show all its potentialities and closed the event with an overall 13th place.
The Italian team Taki 4 ITA778 (1-7) secured its victory in the Corinthian division, exactly as it has been for Embarr, after the eleventh race of the series, disputed this morning in conditions of moderate and shifty breeze that forced the Race Committee to interrupt the race a few minutes after the start.
The crew of Marco Zammarchi kept working hard after the third place obtained in the Europeans of Hyeres and sailed very good races all through the World Championship, showing an amazing ability to adapt to the different sailing conditions of these days. On board of Taki 4 were sailing together with the owner: Giacomo Fossati, Matteo De Chiara, Niccolò Bertola and Giovanni Bannetta, with the support of Niccolò Bianchi as coach.
Only during the twelfth and last race of the series it has been possible to determine the rest of the podium of the Corinthian division: second place eventually went to Tõnu Tõniste’s Lenny EST790 (5-6) with Toomas Tõniste, Kalev Tanner, Maiki Saaring and Andres Rohtla in the crew, World Champion in 2015 and European vice-champion in 2016, while third place went to Megan Ratliff’s Decorum USA805 (2-11). This last crew by Megan Ratliff was also awarded as best female-skippered boat of the event and in this crew were sailing Megan’s brother Hunter Ratliff, Zachary Hernandez , Alex Simon and Christopher Stocke.
The event found its conclusion with the prize giving ceremony that took place in the Jungle Island Plaza, at the attendance of many crews. After a few days of rest, the organizing machine will be activated again, already thinking about the 2017 Worlds of Helsinki. In the meantime, it has been announced that the 2018 edition of the Melges 24 World Championship will be held in Canada: there are very positive future perspectives for a class that seems to have found its rebirth.
Overall Results Top 5 of 74; 12 races, 1 discard)
1. IRL829 Embarr – Conor Clarke/Stuart McNay
2. ITA822 Maidollis 3 – Gian Luca Perego/Carlo Fracassoli
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.
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