Drew Freides wins Melges 24 Worlds

Published on July 1st, 2023

The Melges Performance Sailboats Trophy for the 2023 Melges 24 World Championship title goes back to the USA after 47 teams from 13 nations completed 12 races on June 27-July 1 in Middelfart, Denmark.

The favorite for the gold, Drew Freides’ team Pacific Yankee from the USA, started the final day of the event as a leader and with a fourth, a fifth and a third place in strong winds, they extended their lead to win the World Championship with a margin of nine points to last year’s world champion Peter Duncan from the USA.

“The last day was exactly as we had feared: tough and close sailing, and we had to fight all day to secure the world championship – and we were lucky that we ended up winning,” said Freides after winning his first world championship in the Melges 24 Class.

“In the fall, we put together a team that we thought had the ability to win the World Championship. And a very special person joined the team – our coach, Vince Brun, who in 1998 and 1999 became the first Melges 24 world champion. So, it was very special to win the championship with him here in Middelfart.

“Next year, the world championship is in San Francisco, and we hope to defend the title on home soil!”

Freides won the title with crew Nic Asher, Charlie Smythe, Alec Anderson, and Mark Ivey.

The other places on the podium were occupied by last year’s world champion, Peter Duncan (USA) and his team Raza Mixta, and the Croatian Corinthian team Mataran 24 with Ante Botica at the helm and a little girl on the bow of the boat.

And that little girl is not just anyone. The 12-year-old crew member, Bruna Princivali, is Croatian Optimist Dinghy Champion – and now also World Championship bronze winner and World Corinthian Champion in the Melges 24 Class.

In addition to Ante and Bruna, the other crew members are Ivo Matić, Mario Škrlj and Damir Civadelić. After winning the Melges 24 Corinthian European title in Genova, Italy last year, Mataran 24 team has now also the highest Corinthian prize in the world level.

On top of that, Croatian team was also awarded with the Zarco Draganic Perpetual Trophy, donated to the class by Chris Larson, which since 2015 belongs to the top rookie owner at the Worlds.

Draganic (1966-2014) was a passionate Corinthian Melges 24 sailor from San Francisco in California, who competed in several Melges 24 World Championships, also with Chris Larson. His unique, kind demeanor made him a pleasure to be around, sail with and against. It’s iconic, that the trophy, which was awarded for the very first time here in Middelfart, goes eight years later from Middelfart to Croatia, where Draganic was from.

Corinthian podium was completed by the Norwegian team Helly Hansen Lisa II of Børre Hekk Paulsen being in eleventh overall.

Event informationResultsFacebook

Final Results (Top 10 of 47; 12 races. 1 discard)
1. USA – Pacific Yankee – Drew Freides – 52
2. USA – Raza Mixta – Peter Duncan – 61
3. CRO – Mataran 24 – Ante Botica (Corinthian) – 79
4. USA – Monsoon – Bruce Ayres – 82
5. USA – Dark Energy – Laura Grondin – 85
6. GER – White Room – Michael/Luis Tarabochia (Corinthian) – 86
7. ITA – Altea – Andrea Racchelli – 94
8. USA – War Canoe – Chris Rast – 99
9. CRO Panjic – Luka Šangulin – 108
10. NOR – Helly Hansen Lisa II – Børre Hekk Paulsen – 111

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