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Six New Sponsor Announcements For The 2008 North American Championship

17 September 2008

The 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship, to be hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club of Annapolis, MD, from October 26 to November 2, is fast approaching and as the event looms ever closer the sponsor and competitor buzz surrounding the regatta grows daily.

For competitors the final entry deadline of 17 October is just over a month away. Online registration and full supporting information are available at the Official Event Website. More than 60 entries are expected and already teams have entered from across the USA, Chile, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Reigning Melges 24 North American Champion Brian Porter and his evergreen Full Throttle team will be defending their title and the roster already includes 2007 Melges 24 World Champion Dave Ullman and 2004 Melges 24 North American Champion Argyle Campbell. Leading the European charge will be Giovanni Maspero’s legendary Joe Fly team with Gabrio Zandona at the helm. For the 2008/2009 season reigning World Champions Francesco Bruni and Federico Michetti will be joining the Joe Fly team making them one of the most formidable crews on the circuit. The North American Championship is the start of Joe Fly’s campaign for victory at the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship to be held in Annapolis. For Michetti victory at the '09 Worlds would make him the first person to be part of three victorious Melges 24 World Championship crews.

This coming week many of those due to race in the North American Championship will be putting themselves to the test at the 2008 OSA Sailing Melges 24 US National Championship in Charleston, SC, where more than 50 teams are due on the starting line. This will be the final chance the teams have to go head to head before the continental championship and all eyes will be on the results to give us an indication of things to come in Annapolis. Further information and news about this event can be found at www.usmelges24.com.

In the first of six new sponsorship announcements, Pusser’s Rum has affirmed their commitment to Melges 24 sailors as a new Major Corporate Sponsor and is the Official Rum for the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship. To kick off the event, Pusser's will host the Pusser's Rum opening night party and skipper's meeting at the Marriott Annapolis (just upstairs from Pusser's Annapolis Pub and Restaurant), where competitors will enjoy an evening of Pusser’s Painkiller® cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Competitors will also enjoy Pusser’s Painkillers® after each day’s racing.

To further enhance their existing commitment as an Official Racing Sponsor to the regatta, North Sails has arranged for the legendary Gary Jobson to attend the Pusser’s Rum opening night party as special guest speaker to officially welcome Melges 24 sailors to the regatta.

Not to be outdone, Stuart Simpson and his Team Barbarians have stepped up to sponsor the final night’s gala prize-giving party. Stuart and his team are planning a show-stopping evening to finish the regatta in true style and more details will be published nearer the time.

These new social event sponsors join existing racing sponsor Melges Performance Sailboats who will host the Melges Rocks party Thursday evening to mark the mid point in the regatta.

Atlantic Yacht Rigging Services is announced as the Official Rigging Sponsor for the regatta. The Atlantic Rigging Services trailer will be located onsite at the Eastport Yacht Club to assist with all competitor rigging needs. Sailors are welcome to contact AYRS in advance of the event to order custom fabricated running and standing rigging for delivery in Annapolis. In addition the company is also offering an excellent package of storage and transport solutions for competitors who plan to go on and compete in the Melges 24 winter circuit events including Key Largo, Acura Key West Race Week and the Sperry Top-Sider St Petersburg NOOD. For more information, contact Mike at +1.203.613.9960.

Sail 22 is confirmed as Onshore Logistics Sponsor. Sail 22 provides the ultimate sailing concierge service striving to make the regatta experience as enjoyable as possible for owners and their crew. They provide coordination for everything a team needs from housing and crew transport to on board lunches and team dinner reservations. The company is partially based in Annapolis and their local knowledge of the area is second to none. info@sail22.com

Harken is pulling a sponsorship double act for the Melges 24 North American Championship by providing outstanding goodies for competitor gift bags and also sponsoring a brand new award for the North American Championship. The details of how the new Harken Award is to be decided are still firmly under wraps but Harken’s goal for this new award is to recognize those teams who don’t necessarily make it to the podium, but whose performance at the regatta is none-the-less worthy of special attention.

Annapolis Wireless Internet (AWI) will be providing all competitors with free wireless internet access throughout their stay in Annapolis. AWI made Annapolis the first city in the United States to offer FREE wireless internet access that is funded entirely by private advertising revenue, not by taxpayer dollars or public assets. AWI’s free WiFi service in Annapolis is available to the over six million visitors and residents every year at no cost to taxpayers or end users.

These six newly announced sponsors join existing sponsors Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Gill, Melges Performance Sailboats, North Sails, Velocitek and Westin Annapolis. The Melges 24 Class and the Eastport Yacht Club are extremely proud to be partnered with these outstanding companies and thank them for their generous support of the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship.

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Visit the Official Event Website of the 2008 North American Championship and 2009 Worlds. Also, visit the Eastport Yacht Club online.

The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh 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 official class websites of the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA) and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA).

For more information or press photos, please contact:
Fiona Brown
International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA)
2008 North American Championship Press Officer
+44 7711 718470
Skype: fpbrown

Joy Dunigan
U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA)
2008 North American Championship Press Chair
Class Communications Director | Executive Secretary
+1 (912) 398-5776
Skype: joysavannah

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact
Laura Muma
LM PR, Inc.
Annapolis Melges 24 Sponsor & Marketing Director
+1 (773) 960-3960
Skype: laura.muma