Posts Tagged ‘World Championship’
As seems more and more common lately when it comes to ISAF and the regulation of the sport, the more you dig, the uglier it gets, and so it has gone with our reporting on the International Federation of Kitesports Organizations and its battle for survival against the might of World Sailing and its delegate, the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA).
IFKO was formed by French and Portuguese kite associations to specifically address the governance of the 90% of kiteboarding that wasn’t neatly sucked up by ISAF and the IKA under the guise of ‘sail racing’, and with kiting on the agenda when the IOC has their big meeting in Rio this summer, never has control of kiteboarding been more important than now.
We find the reason for IKFO’s creation compelling, and they’re saying all the right things in public, so we asked them to bring us up to speed on the situation. Sofia Guerreiro, IKFO’s Director General, responded, and rather than losing her written flavor, we largely left her response ‘as is’:
Yes, IFKO is a real and official organization! Legally registered on the Notary, on the Justice Ministry, with a number of registrations, with sport statutes and all parameters created by the rules of the World of Sports under the direct guidelines of SportAccord. IFKO intends to give Kitesports its own self-determination as an independent Sport! We are kiteriders, we are not sailors or tennis players. We have our own culture, identity and our own athletes!
Last week’s IKA press release and statement, like any other in the past, is their style move. They have no legal authority, but they try to push people into believing it and fake it. IFKO simply applied like any other new sport for recognition at SportAccord. After SportAccord’s analysis of our process and legitimacy, we decided to open a platform to start the recognition process. Now ISAF and IKA will have to deal with it and with what they have done in the past!
In 2012, ISAF’s AGM registered one single discipline “IKA Formula Kite” in a self-named “Kiteboarding Committee”. None of the other 17 kiting disciplines were registered, and therefore SportAccord recognized the legitimacy of IFKO to apply for recognition of a new sport, bringing together members of those other 17 disciplines and achieving the Full Membership thereafter.
- IFKO does not recognize IKA authority anywhere, nor will we engage in bad vibe discussions with this private company
- IFKO recognizes ISAF as the IF of the sport: Sailing;
- IFKO is the IF of the sport: Kitesports;
- Last AGM of ISAF was in 2012;
- Only IFs AGMs are official stages, so any decision taken, meetings or whatsoever taken in the middle are internal affairs (we do not have to respect it or even read it);
- ISAF legal reach of actions is written in 2012 AGM minutes, where the only discipline registered was “IKA-Formula-kite”;
- IKA is an undefined structure of ISAF, not recognized by SportAccord or IOC;
- IKA company can only work under official decisions settled at last ISAF AGM 2012; saying different is not legal.
- IKA and ISAF would be right to complain if IFKO used the Racing Rules of Sailing or any other property of ISAF, and/or if IKFO organized ‘IKA-Formula Kite’ competitions as registered by IKA. IKFO does not do either of these things.
- IKFO does not care if IKA tries to make Formula-Kite in the Olympics. IKFO has 17 disciplines of kitesports to develop and will focus on that.
- “IKA”, the legal figure “association” with the name “international kiteboarding association” does not exist, this name doesn’t legally exist;
- IKA said in their “AGM” openly that they are a private company registered in Gibraltar with the name “Kitesports LTD”;
- Private companies have owners, and share holders, do not have “associates”;
- Private companies are made for money self profits objectives and therefore will not have the kiteriders’ interests as their first objective. Profit motives can help explain the motivation behind IKA’s threats to riders and judges and IKA’s goals over the past four years.
- We cannot find any legal contract between Ika and Isaf in the public minutes of Isaf. Is it secret? Who signed it? What does it says? Does it exist?
- IFKO will not use World Saling Rules, officials or whatsoever sailing stuff – that was something decontextualised and absurd said by new WS/Isaf CEO ;
- IFKO uses Kite rules, Kite directors, Kite identity dynamics, and our own sport identity to our competitions;
- IFKO does not ban Athletes that is blackmail, VERY wrong and ANTI-SPORT;
- SO IKA/ISAF IS BANNING ATHLETES OF COMPETITIONS THEY DO NOT HAVE LEGAL RIGHT TO ORGANIZE!
- Our process of recognition of a new sport was accepted by SportAccord and now is opened to receive our reports to build it;
- IFKO just gets “recognition” after a proper stage of building (World Championships, WADA compliance, youth anti-doping seminars, actions of equality for women, actions for disabled Athletes, etc.);
- It is supposed we organize Worldchampionships because SportAccord demands reports of it, to submit evaluation if are being properly organized by Olympic movement standards;
- We have guidelines to prepare the process already with standards to Kitesports be able of recognition by IOC.
- IFKO will not officially answer IKA’s threatening letter, IFKO has no duties to this private company;
- Our letter to the ISAF CEO is ready and may be public soon,
- Actually, if ISAF continues to threaten our riders and judges, it will help our argument to SportAccord.
- We believe IKA is engaging in fear tactics, trying to scare athletes at the moment of registration not do it, because they could have fear of IKA’s procedures. The spread of fear is unacceptable.
- IKA strategies to our community always were, are, and will be lies, fear, threat, blackmail and abuse…and the most incredible is that community is believing it for years. IKFO does not accept it, and supports the end of secrets and back room deals. Sport should be transparent, with decisions made democratically between representative national associations.
It´s time to for IKA to prove that it: 1st -exists?, 2nd- have any authority in what?, 3rd- has legal connection/contract with ISAF, made when? Who signed it? What was signed for us all? Where are these papers that should be public documents? Are they hidden or do they even exist?
Why during these 5 to 8 years the Kite community had no access to public documents decided by IKA?
Even more irregular: if ISAF bans Riders from other sport competitions, why is selling “special statutes” to others (and not only for WKT) to organize competitions??
ISAF seems to “sell” world championships: to WKT, to IKA and someone told us there is a 3rd client soon. Amazing. (it does not matter if they are going to court with each other, important is to sell and pretend you have the authority to sell it)
(By the way ISAF is also a private company and not a non-for-profit association, as SportAccord membership demands and demanded to IFKO).
All this is why the Portuguese and the French associations joined energies: to give Kitesports a fair chance inside Sport correct values to be regulated by itself and not to be submitted to this subversion and disorder that damage athletes and sport.
Kitesports wants to take the way Surf did, we all kiteriders should join in community and just follow the correct path other sports already did. IFKO is working against this sailing fake fear campaign that, even totally agreeing with IFKO, is keeping many national associations quiet and still.
Yes we have our wallet ready and a team of lawyers and sporting specialists. Now it’s up to the President.
February 5th, 2016 by admin
For around thirty years now, ISAF (now known as World Sailing) has had a peculiar rule. It’s a rule that almost every other sporting organization long ago learned wasn’t enforceable, but somehow, World Sailing didn’t get the memo. And as The Ed reported yesterday, World Sailing is using this rule as a bludgeon to try to kill off a potential rival for control of kiteboarding – and the megamillions ready to flow the sport’s way when the Olympic money faucet turns in a few short years (or way sooner).
We are not opining on whether World Sailing is the proper governing body for kiteboarding. It may be the best possible option, and the kiters could be lucky to have them in command. But we sure don’t remember a robust public debate about it, or a vote among the millions of kiting enthusiasts to submit to ISAF control over their competition rather than some other body. And we do remember the manner in which ISAF quietly snatched control of all things kiting in 2009 and immediately threatened independent kiting organizations. It was nasty, and wrong. And in some countries, we believe it is illegal at worst, and unenforceable at best.
We believe the IKFO can be the organization that finally invalidates ISAF World Sailing’s absolute control over the word “World”, and shines a light on the legally questionable and chaotic patchwork of regulations the sport’s governing body uses to prevent a problem that doesn’t exist. Easy for us to say – we’re not volunteering to fund a legal challenge to World Sailing’s threat to the IKFO. But it’s definitely worth a few hours of investigation by a good lawyer if the IKFO is a real organization and not some kind of stunt.
Word War 19
At issue is World Sailing Regulation 19.14, which says a sailor’s eligibility for all sailing events “may be suspended or revoked…for competing in a Prohibited Event’ without ISAF approval, that ‘uses the word “world” either in the title of the event or otherwise…’
In other words, if you go race in the ‘Stand-Up-Paddleboard-With-Big-Sail World Cup’, and World Sailing finds out, they claim they can prevent you from sailing in any event that uses the ISAF Racing Rules for two full years.
Now maybe they can in some countries. Hell, maybe they can in most countries. But as many other sports have found out, there’s a chunk of the world where the government doesn’t allow sporting bodies – especially those with government-granted monopolies like US Sailing or ISAF – to exclude competitors because they don’t like their extracurricular activities. If you’re talking about livelihoods, it gets even worse for World Sailing – try to explain to a US Court that you’re preventing a sponsored kiteboarder from earning a living because he sailed a weekend event in some unrelated organization’s ‘World Cup.’ If you can do that with a straight face, you need to talk to an American lawyer. Or ring Jim Capron, the President of US Sailing back when the organization got smacked around by Farrah Hall’s legal team, blowing hundreds of thousands in legal fees and costs in their support of ISAF-written rules on eligibility. It’s a slam dunk.
It’s not that complicated:
It’s not the World Cup, it’s the FIFA World Cup.
It’s not the Formula One World Championship, it’s the FIA Formula One World Championship.
It’s not the Skiing World Cup, it’s the FIS Skiing World Cup.
It’s not the Boxing World Championship, it’s the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBA, IBC, IBO World Championship.
Does anyone really think these sports’ governing bodies are less sophisticated than World Sailing? Maybe they have dumber lawyers or less creative rule writers? Major League Baseball can’t even prevent foreign baseball leagues from using the words “World Series”, but somehow World Sailing can control an even more general word? Why is this even a question anymore?
Answer: Because no one has challenged it. But a little pushback and the invalidation of the offending part of Regulation 19 would be a great thing for World Sailing in the long run. They could stop defending archaic ideas and focus on building their reputation and their brand, whatever it’s called these days.
We say to IKFO: Get your wallets out, find yourself a hungry lawyer itching for a fight, and make some noise for kiteboarding just as the Olympics starts thinking about turning the money on for a new discipline in sailing, or board sports, or whoever ends up owning the kites. We’re pretty confident that some court-ordered sunshine on World Sailing’s Regulations will illuminate a lot more than a little vocabularic overreach.
February 3rd, 2016 by admin
With so many thousands of proud sailing parents realizing that ‘the way we do it’ isn’t creating lifelong sailors, we’re not quite sure why there aren’t dozens more programs like the Mudratz. The New England youth-only team has been inspired by the chance to compete at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship with an all-teen crew, and they’ve taken the first big step with the procurement of a Melges 24 donated by an unnamed area sailor.
Starting this May look for the MudRatz “Sportboat Saturday” practices, followed by the team joining The Donzo Wednesday Night Series Melges 24 fleet with the Mystic River Mudheads. This all leads up to our first year goal of sending a youth team to the 2016 Melges 24 worlds in Miami this November…where we are already registered for what should be one of the most exciting events on anyone’s 2016 calendar!
Mudratz proud papa and co-founder said grass roots programs like the Mudratz are one of the keys to the long term health of yacht racing. “Bridging the gap between junior and adult sailing is one of the most challenging aspects of our sport today. Enthusiastic kids often find themselves as young adults who drop out of sailing due to limited time and large financial constraints. Having a boat like a Melges 24 will allow our youths to see first-hand what the next level of racing is all about. This awesome platform will open up some huge doors for them into a world they might not have known even existed!”
If you or your kid might be interested in sailing with the Mudratz, or you want to contribute to our volunteer organization or make a tax deductible donation, please go to Mudratz.org today!
January 14th, 2016 by admin
We’re seriously stoked to be part of the 2016 Melges 24 Worlds sponsors, and we can’t help but be amazed at the energy level and creativity behind Petey Crawford’s leadership for the first M24 Worlds in years to brave the open ocean. Over 90 boats already registered for an event almost a year away? Are you kidding? Nope – we are not. One of the coolest things to follow about this event will be the very cool Pimp My Ride contest, which ends in just days! Miss this one and you’ll kick yourself. Here’s Petey with more:
Just before Thanksgiving holiday, Miami Yacht Club hosted twenty Melges 24 teams from around the world that travelled to South Beach to compete in the 2016 Worlds Test Event and Act 1 of the newly designed Winter Series. With wind ranging from 8-18 knots and different directions over the 3 days everybody got to experience what Miami will deliver in a year from now at the World Championship.
After 3 great days of racing, Bruce Ayres and Team Monsoon were crowned Champions, barely holding off a late charge by Connor Clarke, who lost on countback. Marty “Marty The One-Man Party” Kullman on the historic New Wave team finished a point back to fill out the podium.
As I walked around the boat park and talked with the teams, it became clear that most everyone had a great time racing Melges 24’s in the big water again. Santa Cruz  was the last time these boats got to go surfing, and most everyone was psyched for some new thinking and revisiting old techniques to make the switch from flat water venues. Some of the boys said so
Connor Clarke (IRL 829): Miami conditions are amazing, even in light breeze you can have fantastic fun. This is absolutely the best venue I have sailed in the US in my time with the Melges 24 class”
Gary Schwartling (USA 587): “ Nothing better than sailing out in the ocean swell, ripping along, beautiful stuff. This was my first time in conditions like that and we had a blast.”
George Haynie (USA 687): “We had a ball in the ocean. Our pick-up crew from Ft Lauderdale was 11-year old Opti sailor, Connor Boland, who helped us out a lot.”
“He was our Traveller-Jockey, spinnaker stuffer and pulled sea grass off the rudder while we planed downwind in 18 knots. “He was loving it!”
Federico Valenti - (ITA 841): “We prefer sailing in the ocean and the Melges24 is the best boat for the swell.”
As old man winter is knocking at the door, you may wish to consider the 2 additional opportunities for your Melges 24 team to test the 2016 Worlds Venue. Miami Yacht Club and Travis Weisleder / Lucky Dog Racing are co-hosting a 10 team Training Event Feb. 19-21. Details are here.
After that we roll into Act 3 of the Melges 24 World Winter Series at the Melges 24 Madness Regatta March 17-20. Enter here.
Rich Tobin, Miami Yacht Club past Commodore, told me the entire club is psyched to do something they haven’t tried before. “Next March when we host the Melges 24 Madness Regatta we look forward to showcasing many of the upgrades to the club and venue that we have planned for the Worlds! We are thrilled to be hosting the Melges 24’s for the next few events so we can show you all the hospitality and great racing that makes Miami such a great place to sail.”
BUT FOR NOW, Quantum Key West Race Week (Act 2 of the World Winter Series) is currently in our sights. This also happens to be where we will be announcing the winner of the Pimp My Ride 2016 Worlds Edition. If you haven’t heard about this or haven’t entered yet don’t worry you still have a little time left. Pimp My Ride is a contest available for series 500 or older Melges 24 owners to win over $30,000 in upgrades to make your boat more competitive. Yup, you read that right over $30,000.00 of upgrades. The only other qualification is that you pay your 2016 Worlds Entry fee before January 20th 2016. We will announce the winner on the 21st.
People, this is a serious list of sponsors and upgrades. If you aren’t the lucky winner of tonight’s record Powerball payout, don’t cry, you can still enter this amazing contest and walk away with some serious kit. Your odds will be far better as well!
Check it out for official contest details, and Do Not Miss Out On This Opportunity!
January 9th, 2016 by admin
The folks at Wakayama Sailing Center pulled in 23 Japanese teams together for their 2015 J/24 Nationals, which served as a dry run for next year’s Japan Worlds, which we would urge you to enter if we could find a website for it. Japanese Nationals report from Koji Matsuomoto, the new owner of the former Clear Air, Rossi Milev’s almost-world-champ several times over.
23 boats from all over Japan gathered a week before the racing to be sure their boats would measure thanks to IJCA Technical Committee Tim Winger. We had an unusual light wind ranging from 5-12kt throughout the 3-days regatta. Gekko (Tokuma TAKESUE) that finished 4th overall for the 2015 Worlds in Germany won the very close regatta with Gekko Diana (Tomomi HATAKEYAMA) in 2nd, and last year’s champions Siesta (Nobuyuki IMAI) on the 3rd. There were several new boats helmed by past J/24 and Snipe national champions, keeping the regatta exciting. The Siesta team has been organising sailing clinics at Wakayama regularly to help bring everyone’s knowledge of local winds and currents up to the same level, setting the stage for a very exciting and unique World Championshiop next year.
November 29th, 2015 by admin
The Canadian Melges 24 contingent loves Miami seafood, but 4-time Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke got more than he bargained for when two fat Spanish Mackerel nearly took his head off last weekend in the Miami Melges 24 Invitational – the ‘test event’ for next year’s Worlds. One fish landed in the cockpit, but it escaped beforethe Zingara crew could bust out the rigging knives and make sushi…results are here.
Photo copyright Petey Crawford, Penalty Box Productions.
November 23rd, 2015 by admin
When the Grael family started their project to bring kids from the Brazilian favelas [translation: crime-ridden slums/ghettos] into sailing, Rio’s biggest yacht club boards bristled, wondering if the poor would soon be invading the club’s hallowed halls. Instead of destroying the social fabric of yachting, the project became a pioneer in the now-accepted pursuit of at-risk youth sailing and a feather in the cap of Brazilian sailing. And with Lars Grael and favela-born program graduate Samuel Goncalves winning one of keelboat sailing’s most prestigious titles last week, the pioneering continues. Oh, and by the way, skipper Lars Grael? He’s only got one leg. Hear that, Dee Smith?
Check out the piece by rock star Brazilian sports journalist Eduardo Ohato on the victory, with thanks to Matias Cappizano for this great shot and the absolutely breathtaking galleries over here.
And keep your eyes out right here on the SA front page, where we’ll be bringing you every minute of live action with Lars, Samuel, and a couple dozen of the best traditional keelboat sailors in the world at the Star Sailors League finale in Nassau, with our own Mr. Clean helping to inject some fun into the broadcast team…
November 13th, 2015 by admin
We’ve always maintained that the Melges 24 probably provides the most enjoyable one-design racing experience for the average sailor. With the perfect blend of convenience, hard work, competition, adrenaline, and personality, the 20+ year-old class continues to fire on all cylinders, especially in Europe, where 100+ boat fleets are a common occurrence. But the debacle of an Annapolis Worlds in 2009 set the US Class down a bad road – 0ne that it’s finally recovering from, and with a vengeance. And with the appeal of a Worlds one of the best marketing tools of any class, organizers and sponsors behind the 2016 Melges 24 Worlds Miami have joined with Sailing Anarchy to bring you the coolest contest we have EVER run: It’s Pimp My Ride, Melges 24 Worlds Edition! Here are the details:
Are you thinking about going to Miami for the 2016 Melges 24 Worlds but are worried that your older boat won’t be competitive?
- How often have you taped the cover of your jib sheets hoping to get a few more races out of them?
- How often does your spinnaker halyard slip through the cleat leaving you shrimping while the fleet passes you by?
- Do you find yourself tightening the same screws race after race?
- Have you ever rigged “old” spinnaker sheets because they are in way better condition than your “new” ones?
If any of the above sounds familiar, than we want to PIMP YOUR RIDE!
Now of course we aren’t going to install a pop-up flatscreen with XBOX controls to pop out of the deck. Nor we will replace your corrector weights with 15″ subwoofers and a power amp. But with the help of a great group of supporters in the world’s best one-design class, we are going to PIMP YOUR RIDE!
The organizers for the 2016 Worlds and the IMCA Class President Jens Wathne have come up with a concept to get your older boat tuned up, dialed in, ready to race on the Worlds starting line. And in the process, we’ll show the rest of you older Melges 24 racers how it is done right.
The lucky winner of the Miami Melges 24 Worlds PIMP MY RIDE Contest will have a complete makeover for their boat, with the work done by some of the most skilled folks in the Melges racing world. We’re not talking a few sheet bags, folks – we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars in value for your prized speedster! New sails, electronics, sheets, halyards, standard rigging, lifelines, stanchions, graphics, team gear, and more! As the Donald would say, this is YUUUUUGE.
To qualify you MUST:
- Own (not charter) a 500 series Melges 24 or older.
- Join the OVER 65 HOT TEAMS ALREADY REGISTERED for the December 2016 event and PAY the 2016 Worlds entry fee before January 20, 2016 to qualify.
- Agree in writing to let us take your boat with us as it makes the journey into a modernized competitive state by going from vendor to vendor while we film every step of the way. *estimated 4 weeks total.
- Agree in writing to actually race your boat at Worlds, and if you are unable to race your boat, to allow a qualified and insured skipper and crew to race your boat if requested and provided by the organizer.
- Agree in writing to deliver your boat to Worlds a minimum of two days before Worlds.
- Agree to media appearances and several interviews during the event.
*additional rules may apply*
We will randomly select 1 winner during the awards ceremony of 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week (attendance not required). We will then send over our team of experts to evaluate your boat, set up a work schedule, and PIMP YOUR RIDE!
We know it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest, and boat work may have slid down the priority list, but its never too late to bring a Melges 24 back up to competitive condition. Some of the oldest M24s are still blazing fast today, it just takes some PIMPIN’. We’ll see you at the starting line. REGISTER AND PAY TODAY OVER HERE.
Got burning questions? Email the boss man at [email protected]
Quantum Racing, Melges USA, Velocitek, Raptor, Line Honors, GT3 Creative, Evolution Sailing, Torreson Marine, George Peet Sailing, Hutchinson Sports, New England Ropes, Sailing Anarchy and Penalty Box Productions.
October 20th, 2015 by admin
Long before she was the CYC’s head of Comms, sailing cheerleader Morgan Kinney was sharing her passion with the Anarchists. She continues with this great story from last weekend’s Chicago Yacht Club hosted IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship, presented by Wintrust. Here’s her report, with gorgeous shots from Zachary James Johnston, with more here.
Fourteen teams from as far as New Zealand came to town for four days of racing in hopes of winning the Squadron Cup for their country and being crowned the new World Champion. Each boat had visually-impaired skippers and main trimmers, and two sighted crew – one tactician and one jib trimmer. Teams were then divided into three classes dependent on the extent of their vision loss, ranging from completely blind (Blind 1) to legally unable to drive (Blind 3).
In true Chicago fashion, the fall weather was completely unpredictable and two days of racing were canceled due to no wind, storms, high winds and higher waves.
After no wind and looming storms canceled racing on Thursday, Friday’s course featured 22 knots of wind and six foot waves. Teams raced four to five races in their respective sections while I sat in awe, getting soaked onboard my 12′ photo boat. All I could think was how tough it was to just chase these yachts around the course; in the meantime, they were expertly sailing over, around, and through the huge waves. “It’s a lot about the feel of picking the bow up and knowing how to drive to that,” explained 2013 Blind Sailing Champion Lucy Hodges (GBR). “Downwind was a huge amount of fun. If you caught the wave just right and come off the top, you were surfing down to the finish.”
Dave Allerton (NZL), remarked, “That piece of sea out there is more than just a lake – you could fit the whole country of New Zealand in there.” When fellow Kiwi skipper, Russell Lowry heard that Saturday’s wind and waves were supposed to be heavier and higher, he declared, “Bring it on, Chicago!”
And that, the Windy City did… Eight foot waves and 30 knots of breeze from the northeast squashed all hopes of another big day of racing.
With only one day left in the competition, the pressure was on the Chicago Yacht Club Race Committee to make up for the two days lost. With calmed seas and a rotating breeze, RC started firing off races one after another until a fourth race was started and promptly abandoned due to a sudden 90 degree wind shift. As boats reached back to the start line, our watches read 1:15 P.M., and we were looking at a 2:00 P.M. cutoff. Race Committee attempted to save the race and run one more, but the wind had died.
Duane Farrar (USA) was crowned the 2015 Blind Sailing World Champion. It wasn’t easy for Farrar, though, as Canadian David Brown was giving the American a run for his money. “The Canadians were very competitive, and we started the day in a virtual tie with them. Before we got enough races for a drop, we were just about a point apart,” said Farrar. “We smoked the fleet in what turned out to be the last race of the day. We really needed that race to solidify our position.”
Despite earning top slot in two out of three classes, the US lost the Squadron Cup to Team GBR. This is the fourth time that Great Britain has won the Cup in 18 years. Hodges, who was on the team the last time they won in Japan, said, “It was a very close running this time around – USA put on a really great performance. It will be great to take this Cup to Houston for the next running of the Cup in 2017.”
September 17th, 2015 by admin
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