Entry Deadlines Approaching For 2009 Melges 24 World Championship

4 September 2009

Annapolis, Maryland, USA – With its European Championship concluded the International Melges 24 Class now turns it attention to the forthcoming 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, which is being hosted by Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis from October 23-31.  To encourage early entry the organizers are running a special Early Bird draw for those who complete their entry by this Monday 7 September.  To be eligible for this draw enter online today at www.melges24worlds2009.com.

The winner of the draw will be announced at the Worlds Opening Ceremony on Sunday 25 October.  Prizes will include a signed, framed, limited edition print of artist Sara Proctor’s stunning event poster plus a Gift Certificate for dinner for four people at the famous O’Leary’s restaurant in Eastport, Annapolis, which the winner can use during their stay.  The final closing date for entries is Wednesday 23 September, after which late entries will be subject to a 30% surcharge, and the absolute final deadline for entries will be Friday 9 October.  All Corinthian (all amateur) Teams must have submitted their full crew lists by Friday 9 October.

Already three of the top four teams from the European Championship have confirmed they will be attending the event with reigning World and European Champions Uka Uka Racing Team, owned by Lorenzo Santini and helmed by Lorenzo Bressani, heading up a strong contingent making its way across the Atlantic.  Also confirmed is Italian America’s Cup star Flavio Favini, who finished third at the Europeans and will once again be at the helm of the Swiss owned Blu Moon with the aim of adding a second Melges 24 World Title to his CV (he won his first in 2001).

Making a welcome return to the Melges 24 this season is the Joe Fly team of Giovanni Maspero with Gabrio Zandona on the helm.  This crew only returned to Melges 24 sailing just in time for the European Championship, but despite limited practice they achieved an impressive fourth place and will no doubt be hoping for more in Annapolis.  Also representing Italy will be Andrea Racchelli and his crew aboard Altea, who finished 11th at the Europeans, plus a brand new Italian team who are due to take delivery of their boat just in time for the Worlds with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm, fresh from his 10th place in the Europeans. 

Others making the trek from Europe include Team Barbarians, owned by Stuart Simpson and helmed by Jamie Lea from the UK; Unlimited Sailing, owned by Eamonn O'Nolan and helmed by British Olympic hopeful John Gimpson; Holland’s Carlo Vroon sailing his brand new boat Gelikt; Melges 24 elder statesman Henri Samuel from France sailing Zig Zag 18 and Germany’s Christof Wieland aboard Unsponsored.  There are also rumors that the legendary Keith Musto might be tempted out of retirement for another crack at the Melges 24 Worlds and that Japan may also be represented by Ichiro Ukumori with Japanese Olympic 470 sailor Matsunaga Tetsuya at the helm, following their debuted in the Melges 24 fleet at the Europeans in Hyeres.

Heading up the home-grown talent will be Annapolis native Terry Hutchinson aboard Scott Nixon’s Quantum Racing.  Having won last year’s North American Championship, also held in Annapolis, Hutchinson clearly has his sights set on topping the Melges 24 Worlds podium too.  Another local entry to keep an eye on will be Chris Larson aboard West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes, who finished fifth in last year’s North Americans and is clearly hungry to do better this year.

The west coast is putting up exceptionally strong representation led by the exciting pairing of owner Vince Brun and helmsman Bill Hardesty aboard Bailout.  Brun won the first two Melges 24 World Championships as helmsman, but this time will be acting as tactician.  Hardesty has already been part of two Melges 24 World Championship winning crews as tactician and so to add a third title as helmsman would put the icing on the cake.  Also heading in from California will be husband and wife Peter and Kristen Lane, sailing Brick House 539 and Brick House 623 respectively, and Melges 24 legends Bruce Ayres aboard Monsoon and Argyle Campbell with Morgan Reeser at the helm aboard Rock N Roll.

The mid-west contingent will be lead by the one and only Full Throttle team, skippered by Brian Porter who surely must be hoping to finally get his hands on that Melges 24 Worlds Trophy this time around.

Despite the current economic crisis it is clear that the quality of the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship fleet will be a high as ever.  Registration will open on Friday 23 October with practice racing on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October.  Championship racing will run from Monday 26 to Saturday 31 October with up to three races per day scheduled.

If you have not registered for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship yet please do so as soon as possible. Register Online (Corinthian crew lists need to be confirmed by 9 October absolute latest.) Bookmark the Official Event Website. View the List Of Current Entries.

Coral Reef Sailing Apparel & Gill - Official Apparel Sponsor
The official apparel sponsor for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Coral Reef Sailing Apparel (CRSA) and Gill. CRSA is continuing their strong commitment to the Melges 24 class by providing apparel for the World Championship. Items can be purchased online now, or on-site at the event. Gill is a brand leader in foul weather apparel specific to the sailing enthusiast.

Latis Yachting Solutions - Official Transportation Partner
The official transportation partner for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Latis Yachting Solutions. Latis is an all-in-one provider of land-based and on-water transportation. With their fleet of heavy-duty trucks and purpose-built trailers, they can accommodate nearly any vessel that can be transported over the road. The Melges 24 is one of their specialties!

Atlantic Yacht Rigging - Official Rigging Partner
The official rigging partner for the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship is Atlantic Yacht Rigging. AYRS is a full service company that can help with any of your rigging or repair needs any time of the year. From wire swaging projects to fiberglass repair and everything in between, they will be onsite providing the best service to the entire fleet. 

Other supporting sponsors include t2p.tv, National Sailing Hall of Fame,  BoatingLaw.comMarinaCastTV, Go!The Airport ShuttleBoatyard Bar and GrillSam's Waterfront Cafe, APS LtdPusser’s Caribbean Grille at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront, Team Barbarians, RACEBOOK-USNorth Sails One DesignSailFastPhotoPantherVisionChesapeake Bay Roasting Co., Bert Jabin's Yacht YardSail 22, SheSails, Inc. and Kathryn M. Weber, CPA. This event is also supported by the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA), the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) and the Annapolis Melges 24 Fleet #22.

The Melges 24 Class and Eastport Yacht Club are extremely proud to be partnered with these outstanding companies and sincerely thank them for their generous support of the 2009 Worlds.

Sponsorship opportunities still exist and tax deductible donations are also being accepted; please contact 2009 World Championship Regatta Chair Liz Filter if you would like to make a gift.