International Melges 32 Class Ramps Up For ACURA Key West 2009, 19-23 January
15 January 2009
The International Melges 32 Class is ready and raring to go in 2009 as it prepares for competition this upcoming week in beautiful Key West, Fla. for Premiere Racing's famous ACURA Key West, presented by Nautica. Twenty Melges 32s from six nations have signed up and confirmed spots on the starting line.
It is true. The Melges 32 is an over-achiever. In 2008, it was the third largest fleet in Key West. In 2009, it takes another step forward in its impressive four year history as the second largest in attendance.
Among the entrants are the usual suspects — International Melges 32 Class President, defending Key West Champion and reigning U.S. National Champion Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-32 STAR with Harry Melges calling tactics; 2008 Gold Cup Champions Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll (Clearwater, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave with Quantum's Scott Nixon as tactician; Bob Hesse (Buffalo, N.Y.) on USA-153 Lake Effect with tactician Max Skelley; and John Taylor (Big Sky, MT) on USA-1315 Ninkasi with Anthony Kotoun calling tactics. All are Key West regulars and back for more fun winter-time racing.
Upholding the true soul of the Melges 32 Class is Jason Carroll (Larchmont, N.Y.) on USA-128 Argo and his team of John Baxter, Molly Baxter, Chad Corning, Brian Fox, Daniel Litchfield, Patrick Mauro and Ben Bardwell. They are the only complete and total Corinthian outfit in Key West this year.
The International contingency is equally outstanding with 2008 Melges 32 East Coast Champion Joe Woods (Torbay, UK) on GBR-700 Red with tactician Morgan Reeser; Peter Rogers (Lymington, UK) on GBR-121 Highlife with Robert Larke calling tactics; and lady helm Kate Mullin driving for John Sherlock (Port Credit, Canada) on CAN-134 Arkle employs the superior talents of tactician Richard Clarke. Italy is proudly represented by Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) on ITA-186 Calvi Network with tactician Lorenzo Bodoni.
Relatively new to the class is Geoff Pierini (Perth Amboy, N.J.) on USA-178 Shakedown with tactician Charlie Ogletree; and Alex Jackson (Newport, R.I.) on USA-666 Leenabarca with 2007 Melges 24 World Champion Dave Ullman calling the shots. Both teams competed for the first time at the Gold Cup Regatta in December 2008.
Completely new to the fleet is Olympian John Dane (Pass Christian, Miss.) on USA-196 War Canoe with Johnny Lovell serving as tactician; and from La Rochelle, France is 2006 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion Jean-Francois Cruette with Cedric Pouligny as tactician.
Star-studded and filled with potential, the International Melges 32 fleet looks forward an amazing ACURA Key West 2009.
TAKE YOUR PICK!
We would love to hear your predictions! Visit the International Melges 32 Class Association Blog and drop us a comment about who you think will be all the rage in Key West. This is not an easy one, but here's the perfect opportunity for all of you back home basking in the snow and cold to be a part of the festivities!