A born again good time
Published on December 3rd, 2019
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The Melges 32 Class in the USA was smoking hot, attracting all the rock stars and super models to race this mid-sized keelboat as hard as any boat can be raced. But the pace to remain competitive proved unsustainable as the escalating costs of equipment and pro crew pushed the bar beyond the fun level.
While Class racing remained active in Europe, the USA circuit got quiet as highly vested racing programs sold their boats for cheap, ready to move on to the next greatest thing. But the Melges 32 remained a sweet boat, and a lot of these sweet deals found a home in Tampa Bay, Florida.
With critical mass, the Melges 32 Class is going to give it a go this winter with three 2-day events from January through March in Tampa, FL. However, one significant change has been made which should help manage the commitment needed to have fun.
Whereas the Class Rules allow for up to three crew to be Group 3 (pro) sailors, the Notice of Race for the 2020 Melges 32 Winter Series states… right up at the top… that only one Group 3 competitor is allowed per entrant. Fewer pros contains both cost and approach to play.
Managing the shoreside vibe also spins the fun meter, so the entry fee will be including:
• (8) Breakfast buffet tickets per day for all three events per boat
•.Pizza for all participants after racing each Saturday
• Keg of beer after racing each Saturday and Sunday
• (8) Tickets per boat for a Cuban themed dinner Saturday for the second event
While I think the seven races scheduled for each event is excessive, as four races on a day is not in everyone’s wheelhouse, I will remain optimistic that this plan for the current list of nine entrants will offer a born again good time.