An Impressive 51 Melges 24s Set to Compete at the 2008 OSA Sailing.com U.S. National Championship

18 September 2008

The 2008 OSA Sailing.com Melges 24 U.S. National Championship is officially underway in beautiful Charleston, SC, hosted by the Charleston Yacht Club (CYC) with an impressive 50+ fleet. Equally impressive is the star-studded line-up that will ultimately offer up tight competitive racing at one of the world's most tactically challenging venues. 2008 brings representation from all six U.S. Melges 24 Districts and two international entries.

Competitors include defending Melges 24 U.S. National Champion Brian Porter (Winnetka, Ill.) on USA-749 Full Throttle with tactician and friend 2002 Melges 24 World Champion Harry Melges calling tactics; 2006 National Champion and 1997 Rolex Yachtsman fo the Year Chris Larson (Annapolis, MD) sails on USA-655 Lightwave; double Melges 24 World Champion Vince Brun is crewing with Argyle Campbell (Newport, Calif.) on USA-630 Rock n' Roll; honorable mention all-American Anne Bowen is sailing with Regatta Co-Chair Reggie Fairchild (Charleston, SC) on USA-626 Wireless; Jeff Reynolds will be sailing along side of 2008 Etchell's World Champions Erik Shampain and Steve Hunt on Alan Field's (Los Angeles, Calif.) USA-587 WTF; Scott Norris and Mark Strube have paired themselves with one of the contending Brickhouse Melges 24s — Peter Lane (Tiburon, Calif.) on USA-539 Brickhouse 539 and on with his wife, and only lady helm in the fleet Kristen Lane (Tiburon, Calif.) on USA-623 Brickhouse 623 is Brent Ruhne and Mark Ivey. Fully arming the rest of the fleet, principal designer for Mascalzone Latino - Capitalia Harry Dunning is sailing with fleet new comer Alexis Michas (New York, NY) on USA-575 Z E T I A N A; Brian Bissell sails with another fleet newcomer Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) on USA-620; and Scott Nixon's (Annapolis, MD) USA-751 Quantum Racing is loaded with Anthony Kotoun, Brian Janney, George Peet and Amy Ironmonger heading up the official event sailmaker initiative.

No doubt there are some real heavy hitters on the professional level, but the Corinthian competition is certain to be heated as well. 2008 Melges 24 St. Petersburg Corinthian Champion Alex Shaffer is helming USA-565 Lamorak for Mike Krantz (Flowery Branch, Ga.); 2008 Charleston Race Week Champion, USMCA President and International Class Vice Chairman Travis Weisleder (Annapolis, MD) will be hard to beat on USA-605 Carloan.com; Paul Hulsey (Detroit, Mich.) on USA-740 Hoodlum Racing will be tough and Simon Strauss (New York, NY) will also be a strong contender with the newest boat in the fleet — USA-757 Simplicity.

Thursday was productive for the fleet. Weigh-in, registration, boat prep and a fantastic racing clinic conducted by Quantum Sails' Skip Dieball and John Bowden, supplemented by Scott Nixon took place. The on-the-water instruction was invaluable, while afterwards everyone migrated to the upstairs room of the CYC for an intimate debrief with Skip and crew.

During the three-day regatta the class will enjoy really great, intense racing. To settle the nerves, Charleston Yacht Club is offering up great social activities — at the bar! On Thursday night, teams enjoyed beer furnished by the Charleston Sail Loft. On Saturday, Firefly's Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka will be served, beer will be provided by Sweetwater Brewing Company. The beer keeps flowing on Sunday courtesy of Sadler and Hamm Insurance Group.

The fleet goes racing on Friday with three races scheduled. The predicted weather conditions are forecasted to be primo! Stay tuned to the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association's Website as full reports, results, stories and photos will be posted as they become available.

The 2008 OSA Sailing Melges 24 U.S. National Championship is hosted by the Charleston Yacht Club and takes place on September 18-21. The Championship is sponsored by Ocean Sailing Academy, Yacht Scoring, Charleston City Marina, Cre843, ASB Flower Design, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Quantum Sails, Sadler and Hamm , Aqua-Safaris.com, Sail22 and the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association.


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 U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA) on the web.

For more information or press photos, please contact:
Joy Dunigan
2008 OSA Sailing Melges 24 U.S. National Championship Press Officer
U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Communications Director
+1 (912) 398-5776