It is not a big surprise that Chris Larson’s "West Marine Rigging" won the 2009 Melges 24 World Championships. The almost entirely light-air regatta put a premium on understanding the current and great starts – two things that Larson and crew did superbly – while negating the big-breeze speed advantage of the Italian boats.
While Larson is certainly American, his crew are all maple leafers, something you don’t see too often at the top of a World Championship leader board unless it’s in Canada. Mike Wolfe, Richard Clarke, and Curtis Florence certainly worked hard for this one, and Larson’s victory was so complete that crew could celebrate during the final race as they spectated from their bobbing boat.
A final interesting fact is about Larson’s amateur rock star bowman Curtis Florence, an SA’er from the very beginning. With this victory, Florence becomes the current World Champ in three international one-design classes: Farr 40 with Barking Mad; Mumm 30 with Optimum, and now Melges 24 with West Marine Rigging. That’s one hell of an amateur sailor. Congrats to ’em all, and check out Florence’s interview with Mr. Clean about his wife, his amateur status, and the event. And check back this week for a full wrap-up of the entire Melges 24 Worlds along with links to all the coverage of the regatta.