2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship Kicks Off In Rye

9 June 2011


Rye, NY - USA - The sixth running of the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship, hosted by theAmerican Yacht Club in Rye, New York has been officially declared open. After an unseasonably hot and humid day of preparation, all teams are cleared to race and set to compete for one of the class' most coveted titles, that of U.S. National Champion.

Ryan DeVos (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on Volpe, reigning champion, is not in attendance to defend the title, therefore the crown is up for grabs, standing by to be awarded. In 2011, Nationals is all about quality versus quantity. With a record breaking attendance level predicted for the World Championship in Palma, Spain later in the year, the vast majority of the fleet has already began to migrate to Europe, leaving this prime time trophy available for taking. The fleet is decorated with ten teams from the U.S., one entry from the British Virgin Islands and another from Japan, adorned with some of the most talented sailing superstars in the world.

All bets are on Gold Cup and Key West champion tactician Chris Larson aboard Rod Jabin's Ramrod. Larson best described this weekend's Long Island Sound weather patterns and predictions forecast as 'going to be difficult.' In recent months, Jason Carroll's Argo with Cameron Appleton on tactics has found a new lease on life, and most especially on the race course. Carroll took a proud third in Miami and another in Scarlino, Italy, the second event of the 2011 Audi Sailing Series.

Another interesting highlight regarding extraordinary tacticians is aboard North American Fleet President John Taylor's Ninkasi and Takashi Okura's SLED. Riding along with Taylor is 2005 Corinthian Melges 24 World Champion Marty Kullman, while Okura looks to reap the benefits of recently crowned 2011 Corinthian Melges 24 World Champion Eiichiro Hamazaki.

The International Melges 32 Class is proud to welcome brand new owner Benjamin Schwartz onPisces. Schwartz has come to Nationals clearly prepared and by all standards, is in very good hands with Charlie McKee as tactician.

The 2011 Melges 32 USA Sailing Series continues with Nationals acting as the next major milestone. It is Event No. 4 in a series of seven super North American regattas. Currently in the overall lead is Italy's Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica, followed by Joel Ronning's Catapult and Phil Lotz's Arethusa. Not one of these fine competitors are in attendance to defend their positions leaving Alexis Michas'Zetiana (ranked fourth) and Geoff Pierini's Shakedown (ranked sixth) poised to move up in points as competition at Nationals offers a bonus participation incentive.
View The Full 2011 USA Series Ranking

U.S. National Championship Entry List (Owner/Tactician)
1.) Dark n' Stormy, Ed Tillinghast/Allan Terhune, Jr.
2.) Zetiana, Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter
3.) Argo, Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton
4.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin/Chris Larson
5.) Pisces, Benjamin Schwartz/Charlie McKee
6.) Bronco, Michael Dominguez/Kevin Burnham
7.) Ninkasi, John Taylor/Marty Kullman
8.) INTAC, Mark Plaxton/Anthony Kotoun
9.) Mojo, Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell
10.) SLED, Takashi Okura/Eiichiro Hamazaki
11.) Shakedown, Geoff Pierini/Ruairidh Scott 
12.) Warpath, Steve Howe/Morgan Larson
View The Full Crew List 
Official Event Website
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Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted each day at the official website of theInternational Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA). If you are unable to attend 2011 U.S. National Championship, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed. Friend the fleet on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 YouTube Channel.