2009 Melges 32 North American Championship Kicks Off This Weekend At Sausalito Yacht Club, September 5-7
4 September 2009
Update: Karl Funk served as a bowman on Campbell's USA-138 Banshee, not tactician as originally published.
Sausalito, Calif. (September 4) - High-powered, performance sportboat racing for seven high-quality Melges 32 teams begins this weekend at the very first North American Championship, hosted by the Sausalito Yacht Club on September 5-7.
Entries include various local favorites such as North American Fleet President Stephen Pugh on USA-158 Taboo with Seadon Wijsen on tactics, John Kilroy on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti will employ the tactical expertise of Morgan Reeser, and seated at the right and left hand of Philippe Kahn on USA-166 Pegasus 32 is tactician Mark 'Crusty' Christensen.
Also competing from the San Francisco area is Don Jesberg on USA-162 Viva. He will be sailing with the one and only, entirely bow-to-stern Corinthian crew - Zarko Draganic will call tactics, long-time crew mate Andrew Holdsworth, Thomas Iseler, Eric Baumhoff, Stephen Marsh, Jeff Wayne and Kristen Loewenthal.
Traveling from Seattle, Wash. is Derek Campbell on USA-138 Banshee and serving as tactician is Karl Funk. Campbell has competed in the fleet many times over with his first appearance being at the 2008 U.S. National Championship held in Newport, R.I. His first time out in this quite competitive fleet, Derek did well finishing 5th overall. He competed this past January in Key West and further proved that he is a force to be reckoned by landing another top five finish. Long overdue for a big win, Campbell is expected to excel this weekend on his home coast.
The International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) would like to welcome fleet new comers Burt Benrud and Andy Lovell on USA-136 Rougarou. Based out of New Orleans, La., the Rougarouteam includes Andy's brother, Olympic medallist Johnny Lovell and 2009 Gold Cup winning tactician Scott Nixon.
Last, but most certainly not least is reigning Melges 32 East Coast Champion Jim Swartz from Edgartown, Mass. on USA-007 Q. Swartz will be without his regular tactician Gavin Brady this weekend, instead he will rely on the extraordinary talents of Kimo Worthington. Definitely a team to watch, Swartz's Melges 32 may very well be the team to beat.
Immediately following the North Americans is the prestigious Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on September 10-13. This event will also serve as the 2009 U.S. National Championship and is the confirmed venue of the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship to be held September 22-25.
The month of September will be exciting where major Melges 32 events are concerned. After the North Americans and RBBS/Nationals on the U.S. West Coast, the fleet travels to the opposite side of the globe to the pristine waters of Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. Hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on September 22-27, 2009, the IM32CA will celebrate its first World Championship with thirty entries from eight countries, title sponsored by Audi.
Daily press releases, race reports, photos and results will be distributed and posted each day for the above events at the official website of the International Melges 32 Class Association.