Too wild, wet and windy to race in Key West

Too wild, wet and windy to race in Key West ©2008 JOY | U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Related topics:

22 January 2008

Key West, Florida - The first day of scheduled racing for the Melges 24 fleet in Key West, Florida at ACURA Key West 2008 presented by Nautica produced everything else but. With incredible windy, wild conditions prevailing from the crack of dawn until the attempt at a first race, the fleet was excited to get the week started — as was the race committee.

An on land postponement greeted sailors first thing, then around 11:30 a.m. the signal was made for teams to travel out to the race course. The wind was howling sustaining around 20-25 knots and gusting well into the 30's. The day was set to be interesting as conditions were quite severe. Accompanying the wind were nauseous 8-10 ft seas, swells and angry chop as well as over cast skies and patches of light rain. With forty-six teams growing ever so anxious, nothing ever seemed to get settled resulting in the race committee abandoning all races for the day.

Racing will continue on Tuesday with once again what appears to potentially be as treacherous a forecast. Winds are still expected to be on the up-and-up and more rain than today.


ACURA Key West is known for its world-class race committee work, optimum conditions and top-knotch rivalry. Each year, Premiere Racing features a very diversified International Team Competition. Teams of three — a Melges 24, Melges 32 and Farr 40 from various country origins are paired against one another — Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain (2), Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland, USA (3 — East Coast, Great Lakes and West Coast). Among the Melges 24s selected are class newcomer Hank Wissenz on 'The Rodent' from Canada; Benoit Charon on 'Tresvalles.com' from France; Bent Dietrich on 'Kleine Rainbow' from Germany; Tony Wetherall on 'Cujo' and John Pollard on 'Xcellent' from the UK; Lasse Kjus on 'NOR724' from Norway; Flavio Favini helming for Franco Rossini on 'Blu Moon'; Riccardo Simoneschi on 'Fratelli Giacomel Audi' from Italy; and Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron on 'Gannet', Brian Porter on 'Full Throttle' and Dave Ullman on 'Pegasus 505'. Stay tuned to www.premire-racing.com for full information and results on International Team Competition.


Of the 46 competing teams in Key West fourteen successfully qualified for Corinthian competition — all American with the exception of one boat from the UK — Martin Wedge on 'Eric'. Since 2006, the U.S. Melges 24 Class has chosen to spotlight these amazing competitors in this very special editorial column. Corinthian's are the bread and butter of the fleet and this is their moment to shine. The amatuer entries are as follows:

  1. Richard Mallison, Speedmon
  2. Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
  3. Mark Beck, Risky Business
  4. Dave Brede, 12happythoughts
  5. Argyle Campbell, Rock n'Roll
  6. Loren Colehan, Lounge Act
  7. Chris Johnson, Wiggleroom
  8. Tom Kassberg, Flygfisk
  9. Guy Mossman, Riot Act
  10. Gary Schwarting, Obsession
  11. Hank Wissenz, The Rodent
  12. Martin Wedge, Eric
  13. Othmar Mueller Von Blumencron, Gannet
  14. Kelly Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye


The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh (www.reichel-pugh.com) and considered the most unique one design Sportboat in the world as well as one of the fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. For more information visit the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA, www.usmelges24.com) and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA, www.melges24.com) on the web.

For more information or press photos, please contact:

Joy Dunigan
U.S. Melges 24 Class Association
Press Officer | Class Communications Director

+1 (912) 398-5776