A Hot Newport Summer Ushers In The 2011 Melges 32 North American Championship

28 July 2011

Newport, RI - USA - As the 2011 international Melges 32 racing season progresses, the class is proud to welcome fifteen prime-time teams to Newport, R.I. for the second running of the North American Championship, hosted by Sail Newport. "Newport is a beautiful place during the summer, not to mention a great place to sail." said North American Fleet President John Taylor, owner and driver of Ninkasi. "I am certain that everyone is looking forward to a wonderful weekend of Melges 32 racing." 

The best-of-the-best are in attendance, including 2011 Key West Race Week Champion William Douglass' Goombay Smash, twenty-year old 2010 U.S. National Champion Ryan DeVos on Volpe,and two-time Gold Cup Champion Rod Jabin on Ramrod. Fully stocked with some of the sailing world's biggest and brightest mega-superstars like Chris Larson, Ed Baird, Sam Rogers, Skip Baxter, Brad Read, Marco Constant and Andy Escourt, it is clear that these top three contenders have only one thing on the agenda, and that is to win. But, their bid for the title will not go unchallenged. 

It will not be of any great shock or surprise to see Steve Howe on Warpath or Mark Plaxton on INTACexcel. Howe proved in Key West that he has what it takes to do well and knows how to position his team for the winners circle. For Plaxton, Key West was his big debut in the Melges 32 class, and as he further competed this past June at Nationals, clearly his second overall place finish helped him become the new team on the block to watch. 

No one will deny that home court knowledge sometimes has its advantages. Nothing could be more true for Phil Lotz on Arethusa, Malcolm Gefter on Celeritas and Michael Dominguez's Bronco. All three are quite familiar with Narragansett Bay conditions so, they too could add to the mix of unpredictable competitive sailing.

More new faces are abound in the Melges 32 class. The fleet would like to offer an official first time welcome to Mystic, Connecticut's Bill Canning on Wild Horses. Canning will sail competitively for the first time with his wife and son aboard, in addition to a gaggle of friends.

Racing will take place over three days, beginning on Friday, July 29, continuing on Saturday and concluding on Sunday. Each day, stay close to the Melges 32 Blog, and check the Melges 32 Facebook page often. The latest news and developments from the course will be posted.

In addition to some great racing, a robust social calendar has also been planned. Complimentary beer is being supplied by Newport Storm and food will set the apres racing scene at the Newport Shipyard. "As the Ocean State's Micro brewery, Newport Storm is brewed to be a sailor's beer. We are thrilled to add this Melges 32 event to our regatta season." said Laura Blackwell, Visitors Center Manager, Newport Storm Brewery.

On Saturday night, an Owner's cocktail reception is planned on the rooftop/penthouse at Brown and Howard Wharf Marina.

Special thanks in advance to media partner Seahorse Magazine. They have generously donated subscriptions as daily prizes for the Melges 32 North American Championship and have presented this very special event subscription offer.

Newport is one of America's most lovely cities during the summer. Festivals, such as Folkfest and other traditional gatherings bring the area alive and amplify Newport's elegance and history. For the Melges 32 fleet, the excitement doesn't end this weekend. On September 9-11, the Melges 32 fleet returns to Newport for the Northeast Regatta being held in conjunction with the Newport's Sail For Pride Regatta, a full-on sailing celebration to honor those lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. All this in anticipation and build up to the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship on September 25-29 hosted by the prestigious New York Yacht Club.

Three events remain in the seven-part 2011 USA Sailing Series - the North American Championship (Newport), Northeast Regatta (Newport) and Southbound Regatta (Charleston, S.C.). Currently, Jason Carroll leads the Series Ranking, however is not present at the NAC which awards bonus points. 2011 Audi Sailing Series Champion Lanfranco Cirillo is in second followed by John Taylor in third. View The Full Ranking (After 4 Events).

Full Entry List
1.) Phil Lotz/Eric Doyle, Arethusa
2.) Michael Dominguez/Kevin Burnham, Bronco
3.) Malcolm Gefter/John Mollicone, Celeritas
4.) Dalton DeVos/Joe Glanfield, Delta
5.) William Douglass/Brad Read, Goombay Smash
6.) Mark Plaxton/Anthony Kotoun, INTAC
7.) Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell, Mojo
8.) John Taylor/Andy Green, Ninkasi
9.) Benjamin Schwartz/Charlie McKee, Pisces
10.) Rod Jabin/Chris Larson, Ramrod
11.) Kip Meadows/Andy Horton, roXanne
12.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe
13.) Stephen Howe/Mark Ivey, Warpath
14.) Bill Canning/Peter Bergendahl, Wild Horses
15.) Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter, Zetiana
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 North American Championship, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed. Friend the fleet onFacebook, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 YouTube Channel.