Badass fleet with the best pro teams

Published on May 8th, 2022

After being cancelled for the past two years due to the pandemic, the Melges 24 World Championship is on for 2022 when 31 entrants line up May 11-15 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. While not a large turnout, it will be stacked with teams highly vested in the pursuit of the prize.

“The Melges 24 is still the fastest and most exciting one design keelboat in the world and it provides the ultimate challenge for sailors,” says Richard Thompson from the UK racing Black Seal, have participated in the first Melges 24 World Championship in 1998 held in Torquay UK, and was runner-up at the 2002 Worlds.

Paul Krak Arntson, Member of North America in IM24CA Executive Committee, will be racing Nikita (above) with his Corinthian team. “This is a badass fleet with all the best pro teams. It’s exciting, as it always has been to race alongside some of the best sailors in the world.

“The pros are steep and deep, so competition will be very challenging for us. With exposure to such undiluted talent will come higher lessons and skill development, so our team is looking forward to a very valuable racing experience!”

Arntson and his wife Kimberly visited a boat show in 1994 and saw the Melges 24. Since then, he has been the proud owner of four Melges 24s through the years. They have sailed as a family raising both of their sons sailing the Melges 24.

“Our son Rudi used to sleep in the spinnaker bag as a baby, so we had to be careful when we went to hoist! ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the kite!’ so he is intuitive and one with the boat. At 17 years old, he and his own junior team dragged USA 219 out of the bushes and rebuilt it, then he drove it at 2018 Worlds and 2018 Nationals.”

A diehard Melges 24 owner, Arntson goes on about his forever infatuation with the Melges 24: “Clearly the Melges 24 was way ahead of its time and still the undisputed stallion of sportboat classes. The boat just sends it, you really feel that you are an intimate part of the boat and that’s really fantastic to feel when you are sailing.”

Another long-time, loyal supporter of the fleet is Geoff McFarland racing a charter Woop-Woop. “The Melges 24 doesn’t look or feel like it’s 30 years old. One of my boats back on the West Coast is a 1993 original and it is still competitive in local races. The overall design and look is, and always has been way ahead of its time. No other boat looks as cool or as fast while sitting on a trailer! It’s fast just sitting still.”

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