Big Entry, Big Fleet, Melges 32 Northeast Regatta Ready For A Big Time

Big Entry, Big Fleet, Melges 32 Northeast Regatta Ready For A Big Time © Carlo Borlenghi | B-Plan Related topics:

22 June 2010

Newport, R.I. - An impressive 15 Melges 32 teams will compete in Newport, R.I. at the 2010 USA Sailing Series Event No. 6, Northeast Regatta hosted by Sail Newport on June 25-27, exceeding previous attendance expectations. Weigh-in and registration will take place on Thursday, June 24 with racing scheduled to start Friday and run through Sunday.

Top teams are in attendance including 2009 World Champion Pieter Taselaar (Jeremy Wilmot, tactician) on Bliksem. This supercharged team of youth and enthusiasm look to further their warm-up as they prepare to aggressively defend their Worlds title. Miami Grand Prix second place finisher John Porter (Jonathan McKee, tactician) on Full Throttle returns to the scene with aspirations of getting his team completely in victory mode. Jim Swartz and tactician Gavin Brady reunite after a short fleet hiatus on Q. Ryan Devos on Volpe carries a team packed with power lead by none other than the remarkable Ed Baird. International Melges 32 Class Chairman, Jeff Ecklund on STAR brings on the heat and energy with Bill Hardesty as tactician, also aboard is Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari.

This is an international class and the Northeast Regatta roster supports this concept with the inclusion of Italy's Carlo Perrone (Lorenzo Bodoni, tactician) on Atlantica 19 and from Japan, Takashi Okura (Tony Rey, tactician) on SLED will compete for the very first time

Newport is the perfect venue for the Northeast Regatta. As of late, it has become a genuine hotbed for Melges 32 activity and interest. In the process it has spawned a spectacular array of home-based, high-powered talent and fleet newcomers. Just in the last year, the Melges 32 has grown tremendously within the New England sector with Phil Lotz (Rick Merriman, tactician) on Arethusa, Malcolm Gefter (John Mollicone, tactician) on Celeritas and Michael Dominguez (Anthony Kotoun, tactician) on Bronco setting the pace. At the East Coast Championship, these three native boats put the fleet on notice, especially Lotz with an incredible second place finish overall. Dominguez enjoyed a fine fourth after having competed in the fleet for less than six months. These players have clearly changed the competitive landscape within the North American arena.

It’s virtually impossible to predict who will win this stage of the 2010 USA Sailing Series. One thing is for certain, the stakes are high as only two events remain — the U.S. National Championship on July 31-August 1 and the World Championship in San Francisco, Calif. on September 22-25.

Off the water, a complete host of shore side activities will keep the fleet fully satisfied. A very special thanks in advance to Celeritas owner Malcolm Gefter and his lovely wife Kathy. They are hosting a 'come-as-you-are-after-sailing' cocktail party at their mansion apres Friday racing. On Saturday, Melges Rocks Newport with another incredible party featuring Chelley from the Ravers at Riptide — Thank You Melges USA! Beer on the docks everyday will be supplied by Heineken.

The East Coast Championship marked the official half-way point in the Melges 32 USA Sailing Series season. Still in first overall is Joe Woods on Red with Kip Meadows on roXanne tied with equal points. Rod Jabin on Ramrod is third, Ecklund’s STAR is fourth and recently crowned East Coast Champ Alex Jackson on Leenabarca is fifth. View Full 2010 USA Sailing Series Ranking

Full Entry List
1.) Pieter Taselaar/Jeremy Wilmot, Bliksem
2.) Jeff Ecklund/Bill Hardesty, STAR
3.) Jason Carroll/John Baxter, Argo
4.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle
5.) Phil Lotz/Rick Merriman, Arethusa
6.) Malcolm Gefter/John Mollicone, Celeritas
7.) Michael Dominguez/Anthony Kotoun, Bronco
8.) Ryan Devos/Ed Baird, Volpe
9.) Takashi Okura/Tony Rey, SLED
10.) Jim Swartz/Gavin Brady, Q
11.) Kip Meadows/Andy Horton, roXanne
12.) Geoffery Pierini/Max Skelley, Shakedown
13.) John Taylor/Andrew Campbell, Ninkasi
14.) Carlo Perrone/Lorenzo Bodoni, Atlantica 19
15.) Robert Hughes/Charlie Ogletree, Heartbreaker

Full Crew List
Official Event Website

Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing at the official website of the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA). If you are unable to attend 2010 Melges 32 Northeast Regatta, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed, or visiting the Official Melges 32 Blog. Friend the fleet on Face book, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 You Tube Channel.