Working toward the Melges 20 Worlds

Published on May 25th, 2017

A typical world championship regatta takes the better part of a week to complete. But for those aiming at the top step on the podium, the full journey can take months, if not years. That’s the task facing American Drew Freides.

After finishing second in the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship in Scarlino, Italy, Freides started planning for this year’s championship, which will be held October 3 to 7 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I.

“We have one goal this year, to improve by one position [at the world championship],” says Freides, of Pacific Palisades, Calif. “It’s a great fleet with great competition, but we will give it our best.”

A key component in that all-out effort is a heavy schedule of training and racing in Newport, R.I. It’s a place that Freides knows well—he’s been a member of the New York Yacht Club for nearly two decades—but he isn’t taking anything for granted.

“We don’t think there is any substitute for training at the venue where the regatta will be held,” says Freides. “Getting comfortable with the conditions, the logistics and the overall surroundings is crucial to succeeding at the actual event.”

The first Newport event for Freides and his teammates, including 1992 Olympic silver medalist Morgan Reeser, is the New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, June 2 to 4, also sailed out of the historic Harbour Court clubhouse on Newport Harbor.

Alongside the Melges 20s, this new event will feature the Etchells class that will be contesting its 2017 National Championship, while the J/70 fleet will gather for an early season event that will help sailors prepare for national and world championship events later this summer.

Source: Stu Streuli

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