Summer is ending in much of the country, while in Charleston, it’s
barely half-over. Similarly, the 15 year-old Melges 24 is no longer
the advanced raceboat it once was, but the life of the class has a long,
strong future ahead of it. The archetype of a sportboat still reigns
supreme in the world of US and European small boat racing, and we’re
lucky to be a part of it. This is a class that is filled with our good
friends and avid Anarchists, many of whom we race against, so we’ve
got some insight into the favorites. As we promised the other day, here
are our picks for the the
2008 OSA Melges 24 Nationals:
Quantum Racing: We’re told this is Terry Hutchinson’s
new boat, though Terry is off with the TP52s so Scott Nixon is driving
here in a town he sailed at in college. He’s had a great season, including
a win at Charleston Race Week against 30-odd boats. Scott’s got a stacked
crew, with tuners like George Peet and boathandling gurus like Brian
Janney. With a boat that has been prepped hard, by some of the most
meticulous sailors in the game, and a fast driver, these guys are a
shoo-in for the podium. Solid in moderate air, money in the light.
Full Throttle: Everyone who has ever sailed an inland
boat knows the Porters, and Brian’s 24 always kicks ass. This is most
or all of Porters Sardinia team, including the Melges President on tactics
and VP on trim. Last year’s National Champ, in last year’s record-setting
Nationals at Bayview. Blazing in heavy air.
WTF: By far the most dedicated of the West Coast teams,
Alan Field and his crew continue to represent SoCal at the top of some
very tough event rosters. This non-pro driver has shown he knows how
to mix it up with the likes of Ullman and Hutchinson, while his prep-obsessed
crew Erik Shampain was the first boat together and the first launched.
The team was also the first out-of-town boat to practice, a full day
before any other boat. The all-around package.