2012 Melges 24 World Championship A Record Fleet For Final Countdown

28 July 2012

Torbole, Italy - 27 July 2012 -  The countdown for the start of the Melges 24 World Championship is quickly approaching zero. There are still few hours to go before the impressive organisational machine set up by Circolo Vela Torbole and the International Melges 24 Class Association will launch one of the most anticipated events of international sailing. To appreciate this, just give a look to the numbers: 130 boats entered - an absolute record for the Melges 24 Class - coming from 22 countries and 4 continents, 650 sailors who will eat 50 kilograms of pasta and drink at least 250 litres of beer each day.

An event that, despite the combination with the Olympics, has captured the attention of enthusiasts and professionals. The secrets of this success are not so secret: Torbole is a guarantee for the wind and sailing in the waters of Lake Garda has always its charm: the conditions are never the same and the shifts are constants and sometime huge. Only the strongest can predict something about the weather situation, and in Torbole, there are many strong sailor.

Due to the great success of the Torbole event, the Race Committee, chaired by Hank Stuart, was forced to create four groups, distinguished by different colours, which, between July 30th and August 1st, will compete in two race course before being divided between Gold and Silver Fleets ready for the conclusive races, planned between August 2nd and 4th, when the new World Champion will be crowned.

A world title that will mark the difference between those who reach to Olympus and those who must still work hard. Although a bit of luck, or misfortune, is always taken into account.

The final rankings will take account of the twelve races scheduled and the discard of the worst result since the end of the sixth race.

For the Worlds, one of the favourites is the Little Wing crew of the helmsman Enrico Zennaro and of the Slovenian tactician Branko Burcin. Not to forget the winner of 2012 Volvo Cup, Blu Moon: Franco Rossini's Melges 24, that, despite the Swiss flag, has an Italian heart with Flavio Favini on the helm, will try to recover the title won first by Flavio Favini in 2001. Another well-known name is Carlo Fracassoli who, after winning the European Champion in Aarhus, will attempt the leap on the world with Gullisara. On Giogi Matteo Balestrero recruited the 2006 World Champion Nicola Celon. And pay great attention to Saetta, with the Olympic medallist Nathan Wilmot calling tactics and Alberto Bolzan at the helm.

Talking about non local, among the favourites we can place AEZ of German America's Cup helm Markus Wieser who chose the strong French sailor Sebastien Col as a coach and Pascal Rambeau, Bronze medallist with the Star in Athens 2004, as tactician; and Mamma Aiuto with part of the crew coming fresh from their good performance at the recent Melges 32 European. Also looking for success is American Bora Gulari with his West Marine Rigging New England Ropes.

Pending the preparation of the sound signals in the first trial - scheduled for Monday at 12 - crews and organisers will be able to test their equipment and race course during the two days of pre-World racing, during which they will play a maximum of four races.

And we must not forget the opening ceremony, scheduled for tomorrow evening.  

Events like the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship are not possible without the most generous support of the event sponsors led by the Municipality of Comune di Nago Torbole and including the Regional Authority of Trentino; TrentoDoc, partner of Circolo Vela Torbole whose excellent selection of sparkling wines will be enjoyed by all; Trentingrana, whose cheese is made using milk exclusively from the Trentino area; InGarda, the touristic company supporting visitors to Lark Garda; and technical sailing clothing supplier Marinepool.  

Organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will count a maximum of twelve races, with up to three daily races. Five races are required to made the event valid, although the famous weather conditions, typical of the northern Garda, should make this rule unnecessary.     

How to follow the Melges 24 World Championship 2012 

Event Website - www.melges24worldchampionship.com  

International Melges 24 Class Website - www.melges24.com      

Images - official photographer Pierrick Contin - www.pierrickcontin.fr