The Real Worlds
Less than three months remain until the start of the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, and an anemic 27 boats from 8 countries are currently registered for the Annapolis event that once expected up to 100 boats, and now is optimistically looking for 80. Fortunately event chairman Liz Filter has taken the reigns of this faltering regatta from the same US Class secretary/PR person/publicist/web administrator that presided over the silly 21-boat US Nationals earlier this summer, and her staff is working hard to provide value for racers at what is meant to be the pinnacle of Grand Prix sportboat racing. Unfortunately, Filter was handed a package that included no title sponsor and a venue date that guarantees some truly cold and shitty weather, but we’re confident that both the event and our fully live coverage of it will deliver some real fun, albeit amongst a fleet with reduced numbers.
Meanwhile, 89 boats from 16 countries are set to square off on the 21st of August in Hyeres, France for the Europeans, despite an exorbitant entry fee of nearly a thousand bucks and major distances for the Scandinavian and Eastern European teams. Considering the sheer dominance of the Italian teams lately and the presence of some seriously fast teams from Estonia, Sweden, Great Britain, and Norway, will the European Champs be a shoo-in to win Worlds this year? Uka Uka, Blu Moon, Joe Fly, and Alina Helly Henson are all slated to be in Annapolis, and only one US team has been able to beat these guys – will T-Hutch and Quantum Racing’s home court advantage overcome the seemingly never-ending top-level competition the Europeans get at almost every event?
Only time will tell – and OTW Anarchy will be there to let you know about it. But do us all a favor – if you’re coming to Worlds, click the damned link and register! And if you’re not planning on coming, check yourself; with the US fleet dwindling in most areas, this may be your last chance to race one of the sweetest boats of all time with this level of competition in the USA.