International Stage Is Set For Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals 2009

20 August 2009

Since its debut at Key West Race Week 2009, the Audi Melges 20 has taken the sailing world by storm with its ultra cool lines, sleek hull and big appetite for seriously competitive racing. Thus far, the Audi Melges 20 has been awarded 2009 Sailing World One Design Boat of The Year, impressed sailors multiple times over and inspired a driving desire for simplified sailing — a key feature of this young, aspiring fleet full of growth potential and prosperity.

Look even closer to those that helm, serve as tactician and crew. At the heart of every Audi Melges 20 worldwide, there is a maturing league of dedicated and loyal Melges sailing diehards - anxious for speed and challenging yacht racing.

This weekend, on August 21-23, hosted by the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (MBYC), fourteen Audi Melges 20s will commence the very first Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship with Sebago as the official footwear sponsor.

"There is an undeniable buzz in the air at MBYC. Everyone is incredibly excited. We are especially thrilled that we are the first to be able to hold the National Championship for the Audi Melges 20. Boats are already here. As you walk through the parking lot you can just feel the energy," says Regatta Chair Michael Kiss.

The vast majority of the competitors are from the Michigan area. Entrants include Chuck Holzman on Flyer, Charleston Race Week Champion Marc Hollerbach on Blackjack, Detroit NOOD Champ Eric Wynsma on Superfly and John Arendshorst on Blink. Several teams are traveling from all parts of the U.S.A. to participate including Joe Williams from Seattle, Wash. on Habit, Dave Hammett from the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, Md. on Simplified Sophistication and Pieter Taselaar from New York, N.Y. on Bliksem.

Taselaar’s rise to Melges fame came to be and is ongoing predominantly in the International Melges 32 Class. This weekend he tries his hand at the Audi Melges 20. Plan on seeing members of his star-studded champion team in Macatawa such as Morning Light star Jeremy Wilmot calling tactics and Willem Van Waay as crew.

The origin of competition that awaits the fleet has no parameters. Breaking the border is John Sherlock from Port Credit, Canada sailing his Audi Melges 20 CAN-141.

Traveling all the way from Italy are two very strong competitors — Marco Morino on Sei Tu 20 and current Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series leader Benedetto Giallongo on Value Team. They are raring and ready to try their luck at racing in the U.S.A. Giallongo is currently undefeated in the Audi Sailing Series 2009. It’s pretty safe to assume this fleet has officially put him on notice.

Registration takes place on Thursday, August 20 with championship racing kicking off on Friday and continuing until Sunday. Full race reports and results will be published after racing each day.

Stay tuned to the Official Audi Melges 20 Web Site, the Official Audi Melges 20 Blog, Melges.com and Melgeseurope.com for all the details. You can also follow the Audi Melges 20 on Twitter. Join, bookmark and subscribe today to stay on top of all things Audi Melges 20.