Lake Geneva YC to host 3 years of ILYA Annual Champs

Published on February 26th, 2015

Lake Geneva, WI (February 26, 2015) – Last held on Lake Geneva in 2010, the 2015 Inland Lake Yachting Association Annual Championship would attract top yacht racing skippers and crew from throughout the U.S and some from the world’s yacht racing stage, to compete in the nation’s premier inland lake sailing event of 2015.

The Regatta, for first time awarded to same club for three years in a row, is organized by the Inland Lake Yachting Association and hosted by one of the oldest yacht clubs in U.S. (founded 1874), the Lake Geneva Yacht Club (Fontana, WI), at the newly constructed Buddy Melges Sailing Center.

Considered the newest sailing facility in the United States, the Center is named after Harry (Buddy) Melges, world-renowned sailor, an America’s Cup winning skipper and 14-time ILYA champion. The Center is home to both the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and the Geneva Lake Sailing School.

The first of a three Annual ILYA Championships (also in 2016 and 2017), the 2015 Regatta will have 5-days of racing, August 19-23. Over 875 sailors and 250 boats from 30 U.S. ILYA member yacht clubs are expected, some of which are top national and international champion sailors, including the Club’s own Buddy Melges and Brian Porter, Rolex® U.S. Yachtsman of the Year in 2013, 5-time ILYA champion and Melges 24 World Champion, as well as Olympic Medalist sailors, national and collegiate champions, etc., all competing for some of the most prestigious trophies in all of sport in the ILYA Championship.

Other top champion sailors competing are fellow Lake Geneva sailors Andy Burdick, 30-time ILYA Champion, Harry Melges IV, Melges 24 World Champion and from Lake Minnetonka, MN, Tom Burton and Rob Evans, both 9-time ILYA Champions. “We are honored and excited to welcome the ILYA Championship Regatta to the Lake Geneva Yacht Club at the Buddy Melges Sailing Center, not only for 2015, but in 2016 and 2017 as well,” said F. Terrence Blanchard, ILYA Regatta Co-Chair and Commodore, Lake Geneva Yacht Club.

“The event marks the first major event held at our new sailing center, and will be a great kickoff for our local sailing community. We are looking forward to showcasing our state of the art facility, which we believe to be one of the finest in the U.S. We hope our visiting sailors and spectators will enjoy the beauty of Geneva Lake, our magnificent sailing venue, and the incredible level of ILYA competition. We are looking forward to hosting this spectacular event, in a sport rich in tradition, teamwork, strategy, athleticism and competitive spirit,” added Blanchard.

The annual event represents some of the fastest mono-hull sailboats in the world. Five classes will compete with sailors from throughout the Midwest and from states as far away as Florida, Texas, Colorado and New York. Showcasing an athletic, healthy lifestyle that respects the environment and promotes “Green” technology.

“The Inland” Regatta, will determine the top Scow class racers in these five classes of yachts: A Class (38 feet, 6-7 crew), E Class (28 feet, 3-4 crew), C Class (20 feet, 2-3 crew), MC Class (16 feet, 1-2 crew) and the Melges 17 Class (17 feet, 2 crew). This will be the 15th ILYA Championship the Lake Geneva Yacht Club has hosted.

“The ILYA is proud to be able to partner with the Lake Geneva Yacht Club for this Championship Regatta, which will bring five of our fleets together showcasing the top inland lake sailors in the country,” said Steve Schmidt, ILYA Vice Commodore. “We look forward to the opening of the brand new Buddy Melges Sailing Center. Our plan is to create a lifetime experience through the combination of quality racing on the water, fantastic camaraderie and family fun on shore and a great value for the sailor,” added Schmidt.

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Report by Event Media, Tim Brown

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