Countdown to Melges 20 Worlds
Published on October 2nd, 2017
Nearly 40 teams from four continents, representing nine nations, are in the countdown for the 2017 Melges 20 World Championship to be held October 4-7 in Newport, RI.
After a season full of tropical storm action, the weather outlook now is for idyllic fall sailing conditions and most likely, any threat of a Newport nor’easter will be avoided. Rain is in the forecast for only one day early in the week, and the remaining days anticipate seasonably warm, crisp conditions with a good chance for a legendary Newport seabreeze.
With the incomparable Peter “Luigi” Reggio at the helm as PRO, all signs are pointing towards an extremely competitive, hard fought, ten race series.
Leading up to the Worlds, both the North American and European fleets have been battling it out in their respective League Divisions in preparation for winning the ultimate prize, a World Championship title.
In North America, Drew Freides’ PACIFIC YANKEE currently leads the ranking, and all season long has been letting everyone around him know that his second place finish in Scarlino, Italy at the 2016 Worlds was no fluke. He is excited about putting on the finishing touches this year.
“As an east coaster at heart (the ‘Yankee’ portion of PACIFIC YANKEE), Newport has always been a special place, having raced many regattas here over the past 35 years. It would be great to perform well in my old stomping grounds. Some might disagree, but I still consider it the home of U.S. yacht racing.”
With a host of other teams to keep an eye on, Freides is among those favored to do well. Other teams expected to be in the limelight include double World Champion John Kilroy Jr. at the helm of SAMBA PA TI, his son Liam Kilroy on WILDMAN, Jim Wilson’s OLEANDER, Daniel Thielman’s KUAI and Rob Wilber’s CINGHIALE.
Leading the European contingent is Achille Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO, JR., former Melges 20 Gold Cup Champions Dario Levi sailing FREMITO D’ARJA and Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of STIG, and Euro Champion Igor Rytov aboard RUSSIAN BOGATYRS.
The form guide for the 5-boat Corinthian Division likes 2016 North American Champion Justin Quigg on CHARACTER 2.0 from Canada and 2014 U.S. National Champ Cesar Gomes Neto sailing PORTOBELLO along with Monaco Winter Series Corinthian winner Johannes Lind Widestram on INTERMEZZO.