Melges 32: Mining For Gold
Published on February 11th, 2016
Dating back to December 2006, Melges 32 teams from all over the world have looked to cash in on the reliable venue and world-class race committee found in Ft Lauderdale, FL. Fast forward to 2016, as the class experiences a resurgence, the relationship with Lauderdale Yacht Club continues this week as 13 Melges 32 teams gather for the annual Gold Cup event.
A historical aspect of the event is the inclusion of Take A Junior Sailing day, thanks to the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation (LYCSF). With a complete portfolio of some of the brightest, up-and-coming junior sailors in the country, each Melges 32 team will have a youngster aboard on Saturday, February 13 (weather permitting).
Just imagine young sailors having the opportunity to sail with and against the likes of Vasco Vascotto, Jonathan McKee and Mark Mendelblatt. This is an excellent opportunity to expose young sailors to the sport beyond their youth events.
Taking it a step further is Team Hydra, an initiative by Melges 32 class members Jason Carroll and the DeVos family that is hoping to help bridge the gap between post-junior/college sailing and entering into a grand prix racing arena.
Under the guidance of longtime Melges 32 sailor Marty Kullman, the team includes 2015 Female College Sailor of the Year Morgan Kiss, Mac Agnese, Lexi Petters, Mitchell Kiss, Alex Post, Alex Brown, Matt Kaplan, and Henry Fernberger.
Skippered by Morgan Kiss, this youthful team has already competed at the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship in December, and is locked in to a schedule that will carry them to the 2016 Nationals (Aug 19-21) and the Worlds (Sep 29-Oct 2), both events held in Newport, RI.
As the second event of the Blue Water Series, an impressive roster of Pro and Corinthian teams are at the Gold Cup for the eight race series on February 12-14.
Absent from the the U.S. National Championship last December, reigning World Champion Alessandro Rombelli on STIG joins the fleet in Fort Lauderdale. Despite several team members departing for the America’s Cup, Rombelli remains in World Championship competitive mode, ready to fend off a super-charged fleet for a potential win at the Gold Cup.
Debuting at the Blue Water Series after an almost 4-year hiatus, longtime Melges 32 owner Ben Schwartz and his Pisces team are back. This team is ready to shake off some rust and jump into the mix with a great performance here in South Florida. With a team line-up of current and past one-design world champions, Schwartz is welcomed back with open arms, and some close lee-bows.
Newly appointed International Class President Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio on G-SPOT, Richard Goransson’s Inga From Sweden, double World Champ (2013, 2014) Jason Carroll and his charismatic Argo Team, Ed Tillinghast on Dark n’Stormy, Christian Schwoerer and Veit Hemmeter on La Pericolosa, Louisiana’s Chris Wientjes on Stormvogel and Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina Amerikana are among the other participating teams.
And then there is the Devos family – Dick DeVos at the helm of Volpe, and his son Rick to helm Delta for the very first time ever in the fleet.
FULL ENTRY LIST
1.) Jason Carroll/Andy Horton, Argo
2.) Edward Tillinghast/Charlie Enright, Dark n’Stormy
3.) Rick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta
4.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-SPOT
5.) Richard Goransson/Vasco Vascotto, Inga From Sweden
6.) Christian Schwoerer & Veit Hemmeter/Karol Jablonski, La Pericolosa
7.) Benjamin Schwartz/Mike Buckley, Pisces
8.) Morgan Kiss/Alex Post (C), Team Hydra
9.) Jon Messenger/Rossi Milev (C), Quest
10.) Alessandro Rombelli/Manuel Weiller, STIG
11.) Chris Wienjtes/Jake Scott; Stormvogel
12.) Andrea Lacorte/Jesper Radich, Vitamina Amerikana
13.) Dick DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe
The Gold Cup is part of the 2015-16 Melges 32 Blue Water Series:
Event No. 1: U.S. National Championship – December 4-6, 2015
Event No. 2: Gold Cup – February 12-14, 2016
Event No. 3: Lauderdale Cup – April 1-3, 2016
Source: Melges 32 class