Countdown to Melges 24 World Championship
Published on October 26th, 2016
The 2016 Melges 24 World Championship on November 29 to December 3 has attracted 114 entrants to compete on the ocean course in Miami, FL. Regatta host is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC) with professional PRO Anderson Reggio leading the CGSC race committee.
“Our primary focus all along has been the delivery of the event on the water,” remarks John Abel, Class Championship Coordinator for Western Hemisphere. “The open Atlantic venue is a fantastic sailing area, perfectly suited to a large, competitive regatta such as this. Though we will have an alternate racing area inside Biscayne Bay, our hope and plan is for sailing the entire week in the big water.”
All crews will be chasing after Chris Rast’s EFG (SUI) that, after having won the 2015 Worlds in Middlefart Denmark and the 2016 Europeans in Hyeres France, is currently considered the favorite to get on top of the podium of this 2016 Melges 24 World Championship.
Chasing EFG will be the two boats that last year stood on the podium after EFG: Andrea Racchelli’s Altea (ITA), second in Middlefart and winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series; and Air Force One (USA), helmed by the Olympian in Rio 2016 Bora Gulari, third in the 2015 Melges 24 Worlds and recent winner of the 2016 Melges 24 U.S. Nationals.
There will be another strong team with Rio Olympians as crew to chase the podium – Conor Clarke’s Embarr (IRL) with Stu McNay and Dave Hughes from U.S. Sailing Team as the fourth best in 470 Class in Rio. Embarr also just finished a strong second at the Melges 24 U.S. Nationals.
In Miami there will also be other former World Champions, fighting to earn the title again after a few years since the previous one: we’re talking about Gian Luca Perego’s Maidollis (ITA) with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm, winner of the 2012 Worlds and 2011 Europeans; and Brian Porter’s Full Throttle (USA), World Champion 2013 in San Francisco and the seven-time Melges 24 U.S. champion.
The 2016 European vice-champion and Kieler Woche winner, Bombarda (ITA) by Andrea Pozzi, will be present, too: the team has shown constant progress over the latest events and now has the possibility to demonstrate all its potential.
The Corinthian division finds Miles Quinton’s Gill Race Team (GBR) with Geoff Carveth helming, 2016 Corinthian European champion and the winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series in its division; and Tõnu Tõniste’s team on Lenny (EST), 2015 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion and 2014 Corinthian European Champion, as the favorites to get on the podium of their division.
There are also Tom Freytag’s Wicked Feet (USA) to pay attention to in the Corinthian division, being the fourth best in overall and the best Corinthian at the 2016 U.S. Nationals) and Kevin Nixon’s family team Accru (AUS) being the U.S. second best Corinthian and 7th in overall ranking at the Lake Geneva this October.
Attention will be focused also on a couple of teams that are the outsiders of Melges 24 Class, but still have great potentials: Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA), who is, though, already familiar with Melges Class, having won two Melges 32 Worlds and Tim Healy’s Helly Hansen Team (USA), 2014 J/70 World Champion.
Racing at the Melges 24 World Championship will be November 29 to December 3.
Source: Melges 24 class