Expect Only The Best In The Midwest

28 July 2010

Harbor Springs, Mich. (July 28) - This weekend, nestled in the exquisite Michigan township of Harbor Springs, fifteen of the very best Melges 32 performance racing yachts will compete for one of the fleets most coveted titles, that of U.S. National Champion. 

Hosted by the Little Traverse Yacht Club (LTYC) and guided by the careful hand of PRO Bruce Golison, every team is excited about taking part in the four-day long Nationals, marking the fifth championship of its kind for the Melges 32 Class. It is also being held in conjunction with the club's monumental Ugotta Regatta which expects an impressive total of 70 entries. It also happens to be LTYC's 50th Anniversary event.

Teams have traveled from across the country and around the world to attend including USA Sailing Series Ranking leader Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) on roXanne with tactican Andy Horton. Over the course of the year Meadows' performance has gradually come on strong. He participated at the Gold Cup (finished 5th), sat on the sidelines for Key West and Miami yet returned triumphantly to win Charleston Race Week, place third at the East Coast Championship and finish second at the Northeast Regatta. "I am especially proud of the accomplishment to date, however, this is a great fleet to be a part of, and by no means do we take the advantage lightly. There are some really great teams here. I remember thinking when Joe Woods won the European Championship how really great that was."

Fresh off a sensational win in Newport is John Porter (Winnetka, Ill.) on Full Throttle with Charlie McKee on tactics with every intention of acquiring his first major 2010 Melges 32 title. John Kilroy's (Los Angeles, Calif.) famous Samba Pa Ti (who recently finished fifth overall at the final Audi Sailing Series event in Malcesine, Italy) will certainly be a force to reckon with as he carries an outstanding crew arsenal comprised of tactican Stu Bannatyne complimented by the combined talents and experience of Morgan Reeser and Sam Rogers.

There is a plethora of others that can very well win such as 2009 Gold Cup Champion Rod Jabin (Annapolis, Md.) on Ramrod with assistance from multi-world champion Chris Larson serving as tactician. Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on STAR, a two-time National Champion is definitely in contention with tactician Bill Hardesty. Adding true international flair to the event is reigning European Melges 32 Champion Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red with Paul Goodison on tactics. "Paul has been a great benefit to the team. He and Joe work so well together. Obviously, this is a build up and it's all about winning worlds." said Shane Hughes, team captain aboard Red.

The very local and youthful talent of Dalton Devos on Delta well-supported by tactician Tommy Burnham, alongside of his cousin Ryan DeVos under the steady guidance of Ed Baird on Volpe share more than just a last name, they have home court advantage against a range of thirteen other competitors, some invading the waters of Little Traverse Bay for the first time ever.

With every regatta new faces surface. The Melges 32 class is glad to welcome two new fleet members — the high-profile Californian, Steve Howe bringing his Warpath Melges 32 program to Nationals and New Zealander Stefan Goldwater on Tirade. Goldwater took delivery of his brand new boat on Monday. "We took delivery and so far so good. It's been really great and we look forward to a great week of racing."

Racing commences on Thursday morning at 1030 and continues until Sunday. 

Sail22, the premiere sailing concierge service, is proud to support the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship and Harbor Springs You Gotta Regatta in conjunction with Line Honors-Performance Sailing Supply. Look for the Sail22 support trailer and the Line Honors tent at the Harbor Springs Marina by the Harbormaster's office. Line Honors will be offering regatta participants 15% off any in stock Musto and Harken products. Sail22 will also be taking photos of the regatta and posting them on Sail22.com

2010 marks the first time a Melges 32 World Championship has been held on North American soil. A record-breaking number of teams are slated to attend potentially making it the largest ever. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif on September 22-25, Melges 32 teams will look to enjoy a fantastic four-day World Championship.

For teams planning to attend, there is no better time than now to Register Online

Living it up, warming up for Worlds, are two additional West Coast events - the California Cup hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club and Rolex Big Boat Series, also designated as the Melges 32 Pre-Worlds. 

Full Entry List
1.) Jason Carroll, Argo
2.) Jeff Whittenberg, Black Ice
3.) Michael Dominguez, Bronco
4.) Dalton DeVos, Delta
5.) John Porter, Full Throttle
6.) Bob Hughes, Heartbreaker
7.) John Taylor, Ninkasi
8.) Rod Jabin, Ramrod
9.) Joe Woods, Red
10.) Kip Meadows, roXanne
11.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti
12.) Jeff Ecklund, STAR
13.) Stefan Goldwater, Tirade
14.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe
15.) Steve Howe, Warpath

View Full Crew List
Official Event Website
View Photo Gallery - JOY | IM32CA