Posts Tagged ‘Melges 32’
The Melges 32 Class rebounds to a 22-boat fleet - deep as hell – for their 2015 Worlds this coming week. Longtime SA’er and pro trimmer Sam Rogers reports from Trapani:
Together with Audi-Tron, Torqeedo and Melges Europe, the 7th Edition of the Melges 32 World Championship welcomes 22 fiercely competitive teams to the heart of the Mediterranean in Trapani, Sicicly. Flanked by an arid backdrop with mountains jutting out from the sea, and crystal blue waters providing an idyllic race course, Trapani truly is a ‘bucket list’ venue and the perfect battlground for the 5th stop on the Audi-Tron Sailing Series, and the highly prestigious Melges 32 World Championship.
Although not the largest Melges 32 World Championship fleet, the 2015 edition is arguably the deepest with a roster boasting the world’s best helmsmen, amateur and professional sailors. With 3 different winners at the previous 4 stops on the 2015 Audi-Tron Series, picking a winner for the worlds is an arduous task. A team from the US could be a popular option as the ‘Stars and Stripes’ have claimed 5 of 6 World titles thus far, but with several crafty, world-class Italian tacticians at home on Mediterranean waters, it is truly anyone’s title to grab.
Looming large on the minds of the fleet is the presence of the current World Champ and first-ever back-to-back Melges 32 title holder Jason Carroll’s ARGO, with Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Securing titles in Porto Rotundo in 2013 and Miami last year, Jason and the Argonauts have returned to Italy with one mission in mind; to become the most dominant Melges 32 team in the history of the class.
Trying to slow down the force from USA are several well seasoned teams including ROBERTISSIMA helmed by Roberto Tomasini Grinover with the wiley Vasco Vascotto on tactics. Claiming the European Championship earlier this season, Robertissimo is looking to create triple crown of its own by securing the Audi-Tron Series title, and the prestigous World title all in the same calendar year.
Taking 2nd place in the 2014 Worlds, The colorful characters on TORPYONE skippered by Lorenzo Lupi with tactician and 2010 World Champ Lorenzo Bressani, won Act 2 of the Audi-Tron Sailing Series in a tight battle in Portovenere, and is looking to dance their way back on the podium in Trapani.
STIG helmed by Alessandro Rombelli comes in hot with two victories in four stages of Audi tron Sailing Series, overtaking current World-Champs Argo in Act 4 to grab the title in the final race. The ultimate weapon for STIG is the name of his tactician, the crafty Sicilian Francesco Bruni that has the capabilities to unlock the secrets of Trapani moreso than any other tactician.
The list of contenders continues and includes the reigning champion of the Audi-Tron Sailing Series 2014, the Russian team of Synergy GT of Valentin Zavadnikov with Andy Horton as tactician. From Sweden comes the challenge of INGA FROM SWEDEN Richard Goransson with Michael Buckley on tactics. And from the small Island of Bermuda, Hedgehog helmed by Alec Cutler with current Melges 24 World Champ Chris Rast on tactics relies on years of Melges 32 experience to boost its World Title hopes.
Looking to bring back another World title to North America, USA fleet has a few bullets in the chamber both hailing from the same extended family; VOLPE by Ryan Devos with tactician Mark Mendleblatt and DELTA helmed by Dalton Devos supported by the legend Jonathan McKee.
Longtime Melges 32 veterans and representing the flag of Japan, YASHA SAMURAI Yuschiro Ischida (tactician Hamish Pepper) and SWING Keisuke Suzuki (Nicolai Sehested) are ready to battle every race and can make a surge at anytime.
Hailing from Turkey and enjoying his first full season in the Melges 32, Turkish entrant Emet Eker continues his steep learning curve and is looking to apply lessons learned earlier this season to his World Championship bid.
Grabbing a 2nd place in Portovenere, G Spot helmed by Giangiacomo Serena Lapigio with Branko Brcin on tactics has a podium finish in their sights. The lone German entry on Wilma helmed by Frist Homann will rely on Italian tactician Nicola Celon to help improve their chances, and rounding out the Russian contingent, Pavel Kuznetsov and his Tavatuay team are always a challenge on the racecourse.
The Italian fleet is clearly the most numerous among the nine nations at the start and is highlighted by BRONTOLO Helly Hansen helmed by Filippo Pacinotti, the veteran of this class since the first world edition 2009. SPIRIT OF NERINA skippered by Andrea Ferrari, MARGHERITA of Roberto Mazzucato, AUDI E-TRON F.lli GIACOMEL by Mauro Mocchegiani, VITAMINA of Andrea La Corte, FRA MARTINA skipper by Edoardo and Vanni Pavesio, LEA helmed by Marco Cali are the other Italian teams lining up to dethrone Argo.
August 22nd, 2015 by admin
One of the most competitive and extreme one-design fleets of the past decade has gotten the message from its owners, and we’re excited to share the news that the Melges 32 Class is rolling out a new Winter Series for the 2015/16 season. Hosting all three events from the same yacht club will cut down significantly on logistics costs, and the Fort Lauderdale venue will prove far more affordable than some of the over-the-top locations of recent years. With used boats available at great prices, it’s a perfect time to get into the exciting Melges 32 fleet.
Joy Dunigan photo, and check out the full schedule over here.
April 7th, 2015 by admin
We were disappointed when the Melges 32 went from one of the most enjoyable classes around to another class for only the super-rich, and we stayed away for a while. But after spending a week in Miami with the class, we’re starting to get stoked; there’s a brand new attitude and a definite push to bring the fun back to a class that never should have lost it. This 22-minute video from Petey Crawford tells that story, along with the story of the regatta itself, and Jason Carroll’s successful run to the first-ever two-time Melges 32 world champ win. But it’s also packed with great aerial shots, features about the juniors in the fleet, the women on the crews, and the surprisingly large number of ‘family affairs.’ In fact, one of those families provided our ‘performance of the week’, which went to billionaire brothers Dick and Doug Devos, both in their 50s. We watched them hiking their respective balls off for a solid week on the rails of their respective 20-year old sons’ boats Delta and Volpe, making some of the pros look lazy. That’s love right there.
Stay tuned in January for a detailed analysis of what went wrong with the Melges 32 and why, and what’s on the horizon for a boat that’s still setting the performance standard for 30-foot sportboats more than a decade after she was designed.
December 24th, 2014 by admin
A dozen naked body-painted dancers, mermaids, and sailor-outfitted hostesses, a full steel drum band, a junior sailing auction, and every single crew partying their collective asses off despite the final race of the Melges 32 Worlds starting the next morning signals a return to the lighthearted party days that helped it become the top grand prix class in the sport. It’s a good sign for the future of a boat that still owns the niche, and with 125 boats out there in the world and rumors of a new World Tour floating around, keep your eyes out for a resurgence.
Today’s racing highlight reel features some of the most intense action yet from the 2014 Melges 32 World Championship, produced by videostylist Petey Crawford and Penalty Box Productions.
Patience was the key for every team that held it together on this long, 3-race day, and with one final race remaining, reigning World Champion Jason Carroll (ARGO) leads Edoardo Lupi (Torpyone) by four points with all other competitors out of the running for the title. The final podium position is completely up for grabs, with 5 teams vying for the all-important bronze.
The final race will fire off at noon, local time on Sunday, and the 2014 Champion will be crowned an hour later. Follow Clean’s live commentated video on the Facebook Page.
December 7th, 2014 by admin
The offset leg was a three-lane highway at times during Day One of the 2014 Melges 32 World Championship, with the Japanese/Spanish Mama Aiuto! taking the early lead. Pierre Casirighi – taking over the helm for injured eccentric driver Roberto Grinover – caught a bullet and will receive average points through Saturday for Race 2. Want to hear how a Race Officer should handle himself in an OCS/Redress? Listen to Anderson Reggio over here for how it’s done by the world’s best.
John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti could barely have started their world title bid worse, grabbing a DSQ after a top mark incident with the DeVos teams Delta and Volpe. Go here for the full news story, and get over to Facebook to see near real time videos of every race, tons more photos like this Carlo Borlenghi shot above, and plenty more.
Stop, collaborate, and listen to the title inspiration here.
December 4th, 2014 by admin
You might get sick of all of our Melges 32 coverage this week, but let’s be honest: It looks like five days of awesomeness in South Beach, and what else do you have to do? Peter Crawford gives you some Pre-Worlds action along with a preview of some of the teams.
Get over to Facebook to follow the racing in real time.
December 3rd, 2014 by admin
the real world
Heartbreaking proof of why we love Chris Nicholson, with Mark Covell doing a great job getting the full story out of him. There, but for the grace of god, go we. Those of you seeking answers, read the latest update here, have patience or go play here. And don’t forget: These guys are still on the beach.
We wouldn’t post this if we didn’t think Nico and the boys would chuckle at it.
Back To The Beach
There’s a fun new attitude in the Melges 32 Class – if there weren’t, the Rev Petey and Clean wouldn’t be down at their World Championship. Go here for OTW video and photos starting tomorrow around 11 AM EST, and watch the front page for a daily highlight reel to burn your retinas.
One Way Or Another
Andrew York gives us some juice on the latest VX-One action. We like the way these guys think.
I love it when a plan comes together! Well, the plan I put to the Sydney VX One fleet before the season came together in spades on Saturday the 29th of November.
In early September we had a meeting at the CYCA to discuss our plans for the season. At this meeting I asked the owners what their thoughts were about towing the boats up the coast to Pittwater one morning when the breeze was light and the sea pretty flat and then sailing back to Sydney in the building Nor-east seabreeze. Their reaction was ‘shit yeah, let’s do it!”
We would be at the mercy of the wind gods, and there’s only a 30% chance of a good seabreeze on any given day from October through to December. So we allocated four of the Saturdays in November as ‘possible days’. I rang around to find a boat to tow us and Steve Barlow who had a Riviera 44 said he was up for it. I knew that he would do a great job and that his boat would be the perfect platform to take photos of the day.
The first three weekends did not work out for us, but as soon as the seven day forecasts were out, Saturday the 29th looked the goods. There would be a light wind in the morning and the seabreeze building to 15 knots or more in the afternoon. Most importantly there would be only a three foot swell offshore for the tow up the coast. On Tuesday I notified everyone that it was a go for our trip to Pittwater on the weekend.
We would be towing from the hardstand at RANSA in Rushcutters Bay; five nautical miles to North Head and then another fifteen nautical miles up the coast to Barrenjoey Headland.
Friday dawned and all was good, until I received a message from Scott Lawson that he had been sick all week and did not think he would be able to make it. He graciously offered the use of his boat if I could find a suitably experienced skipper and crew. Although the offer to steer a VX One down the coast is a good one, I knew that the lack of notice might not make it easy to fill the roles.
I found a couple of guys more than capable of sending Scott’s boat safely down the coast. Some guys named Iain Murray and Lach Gilbert would be joined by Scott’s son Harry; one of Australia’s top 29er sailors.
With Beth Morley of sportsailingphotography aboard Steve’s boat to record our adventures and the boats hitched up, we started our journey from the dock in Rushcutters Bay. The sea was nice and flat and we averaged a bit over 9 knots on the tow, arriving at Barrenjoey around 1:30pm and heading around behind The Joey to hoist our sails, with Murray arriving by boat to join us. We beat out past the headland and then started heading south. There was quite a bit of East in the breeze so it was a two sail reach for a couple of miles until we could hoist our kites.
Phil Tomkins, sailing two-up, was fairly pressed as we surfed wave after wave. We were doing 14 to 17 knots most of the time while the Riviera buzzed around setting up the shots for Beth. We enjoyed the ride down the coast for about an hour before we jibed to go in through the heads.
When you sail downwind for 20 miles in a VX One, offshore in a building breeze, it’s a good day, a very good day!
December 2nd, 2014 by admin
You might remember when we brought you a week of insane live-streamed video from the first-ever M32 Worlds in Porto Cervo back in what now seems like 1950. With the class going way too exclusive for the past few years and SA staying far away from the inevitable mess, it’s easy to forget how integrated we were with the M32 Class back when it was roaring into big success. And quite frankly, we missed it.
But there’s a new sheriff in town in the Melges 32 Class, and he tells us things have changed for the better, and more importantly, they’ve invited us down to Miami Beach to prove it. We’re told the things we always loved about the class are back in force – the incredible excitement and competitiveness of the racing, the cameraderie of the skippers, amateur, and pro crews, and the laid-back and fun attitude that prevails even at a major World Championship.
We’ve got daily highlight reels and recaps on tap (with the help of kiteboarder Gretta Kruesi presenting), as well as live video updates throughout the Worlds from Clean, daily photo galleries from the inimitable Carlo Borlenghi, and there’s even talk of a long-awaited live talk show…be sure to watch this page for more, and follow the Melges 32 Facebook Page for up-to-the-minute reality from South Beach beginning next Monday. Find out who’s competing over here.
November 26th, 2014 by admin
After two years of fleetbuilding, Caribbean Melges 32 President and former Mr. Clean crewmate Jaime Torres checks in from San Juan. Meanwhile, the 20 year-old Prince of Monaco is leading the M32 Gold Cup fleet after 2 races in Miami Beach. Joy Dunigan photo.
In 2012, there were a handful of Melges 32s scattered all over the Caribbean, many of them either fading away under the hot sun or barely being used in their local waters; the one exception being Mark Plaxton’s Intac. Plaxton had been racing his boat very successfully against handicap competition in the northern Caribbean while getting his one-design fix stateside, but he was looking for more, and he and his team were instrumental in convincing the International Melges 32 Class Association to bring their roadshow to the Caribbean in the spring of 2013. This 3-event tour opened the eyes of local sailors to the phenomenal experience of racing this kind of ultra-high performance one design racer in the world-beating conditions at our wonderful Caribbean venues.
I was the first to jump at the chance, picking up what would become Smile and Wave and a largely Puerto Rican team to help represent the Caribbean at the 9-boat-strong events. When Puerto Rico’s Luis Juarbe saw the kind of fun we were having he jumped in, though his new (to him) Soca ran into shipping issues and only made the last event. I kept pushing for other owners to join the fun, and usually after a few hours aboard Smile and Wave, they were in.
For the 2014 season, Ian Hope Ross from St. Maarten revived the aging Jurakan, renaming her Kick ‘em Jenny, while extremely successful handicap skipper Sergio Sagramoso joined the fun with Lazy Dog. And just recently, Midwest racer Tom Elsen bought Catapult and will be making his Caribbean debut soon.
As it stands today, we have 5 boats racing with a 6th boat in the Dominican Republic making plans to make the move East for the Spring 2015 events. In Trinidad there’s a 7th boat looking for an owner…
To focus all this energy, we’re getting the local Melges 32 fleet organized. We built a simple website, came up with some proposed Class Rule changes to reflect the specified needs of Caribbean owners, and we’ve planned a ranked series using some of the awesome events that call the Caribbean their home. Our first warmup event for the 2015 season was last week’s Discover the Caribbean Regatta [which Torres won -ed] at Ponce’s gorgeous Yacht and Fishing Club in PR, and in a couple of weeks, we’re off to the St. Croix International Regatta.
2015 should be a big year for the local Melges 32 Caribbean fleet as all the well established northern Caribbean events have pledged full support for Melges 32 One Design racing, including dedicated courses and events tailored to the needs and desires of the owners. If you are a Melges 32 owner looking to put your boat and crew through the paces in some of the world’s most popular and beautiful race events, you have plenty of time bring your boat to these amazing events and the Melges 32 Caribbean group will be there to assist you in any way you need. We’re dedicated to providing very inclusive, high-quality racing for the Melges 32 fleet, and we can help you learn how to do it at a surprisingly low cost in the best sailing spots in the world.
Jaime Torres, Smile and Wave
President, Caribbean Melges 32 Association
November 8th, 2014 by admin
We’d like to welcome our friends at Melges back for another year of pimpin’, and the timing couldn’t be better; there’s all sorts of exciting fall/winter action going on across the Melges fleets, and we’re going to help highlight just how fun and accessible it can be. Here’s some news from the M32 fleet in Florida, and watch for a feature from Jaime Torres soon on the M32 Caribbean Fleet. For everything Melges, check their site.
With a fleet and sailors diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup kicks off in just two weeks, featuring 18 ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from 9 different countries.
This “Florida Classic” will decide not only the new Gold Cup titleholder; it will serve as the final notice for teams looking to challenge for the ultimate goal: the Melges 32 World Title. Louisiana skipper Chris Wientjes (Stormvogel, Metairie, LA) can’t wait for it all to begin. “The Melges 32 Class always brings great talent to its events, but there’s no doubt these two will bring some of the best sailors in the world to Miami,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to testing ourselves in both the Gold Cup and Worlds.”
It may have started as a low-key tune-up regatta in the Melges 32’s fledgling days in 2006, but the Gold Cup has emerged as the longest-standing Melges 32 regatta on the annual calendar. Regularly featuring more than 20 teams – from the highest-level international two-boat programs to more modest but still ultra-competitive local and Caribbean teams – winning the Gold Cup has historically required great boat speed and teamwork along with a strong understanding of tricky autumn breezes and meandering Gulf Stream current and waves.
2012 World Championship runner-Up Alec Cutler (Hedgehog, Bermuda) recognizes the balancing act between sailing hard at the Gold Cup without tipping his hand for the upcoming Worlds a month later. “Gold Cup may be a Worlds tune up, but it is also a coveted trophy for our team,” said Cutler. “Our goal is to hold off from some of the big decisions until after Gold Cup while racing hard, having a good time, and learning the venue.”
October 27th, 2014 by admin