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Anarchy in the ITA

Anarchy in the ITA

Most of you know by now that we’ll be bringing you live(ish) On-The-Water Anarchy action from the Melges 32 World Championship in Porto Cervo later this month (many thanks to Team 93 Racing and Claudio Recchi, Point Loma Outfitting, and Melges Europe) but not just from the Clean and Mer show.  The truth is that this class of ultra-high performance boats and similarly skilled racers is rife with Anarchists from the top to the bottom of the fleet.  One of our favorite crews comes from the NY-based “Argo,” which has shown the ability to frequently slay dragons crewed by piles of  Olympic medals and World Championships despite sailing almost entirely with working stiffs.  Argo also has two of the cutest Grand Prix sailor chicks around – the luscious Julie Howe (Carrie’s younger sister) and the equally darling Molly Baxter.  Given how Italy loves blondes, they’re going to have their hands full…

Here’s the first report from Molly:

Melges 32 teams are finishing up final preparations for the upcoming World Championship at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia taking place September 20–27th.  Currently 30 boats are signed up for the event, including 4 US boats (Bliksem, Shakedown, Dark N’ Stormy and Argo).  Other teams hail from Monaco, Great Britain, Germany, Australia and Italy.   Right now the hot favorite to win the event is the US boat Bliksem, who won the last two Italian Audi Sailing Series events, although it’s still anyone’s event since the fleet is consistently tight.  Team Argo recently finished 3rd in the last Audi event which served as the de facto pre-worlds in Sardinia.

Despite the bad economy, the Melges 32 class is one of the few classes showing strong lots of vitality and even growth, especially in Europe.  The class has attracted top teams from the Swan 42, Farr 40, TP 52, Melges 24 – and in our case, the Vanguard 15!  The Class is developing rapidly, from sails to tuning to technique, as top teams flood into the class – the bar is constantly moving higher.  Some of the contenders beyond our Bliksem friends have to include the premium Mascalzone Latino, the Freddy Michetti-run Team 93, double Melges 24 World Champ Uka-Uka Racing, and Joe Fly, with many other teams right there as well.  The crew listings read like a who’s-who of the worlds top sailing professionals, and to us, there is no doubt the event will be hard fought.  We hope to build on our 3rd at Key West and 3rd at the Cagliari event to sail a consistent regatta and contend with these top teams.

Team Argo is sponsored by Gul and is comprised of mostly category 1, ex-college sailors who now have desk jobs in New York City.   Racing begins September 23rd but with limited time off the majority of the team won’t be able to make it out there until Saturday, September 19th – much later than many of the favorites.  We have chosen to bump the crew count up to nine to maximize our weight right to the class limit.  We recently had a practice in Newport, RI (in the soggy remains of T.S. Danny) with the help of coach Bill Shore, which was extremely productive.  Argo’s team consists of Jason Carroll; skipper/owner, John Baxter; tactics, Chad Corning; main trim, Molly Baxter; strategist, Ben Bardwell; mid-bow, Patrick Mauro; pit, Brian Fox; bow, Dan Litchfield; forward trim and Julie Howe; pit assist. 

You can check out more about the event here, and we certainly hope you’ll watch us on OTW Anarchy.  In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted!