Before the double whammy of increased competition and the economic mess, the 2005 Melges 24 Worlds in Key Largo drew 99 boats, while the 2007 Nationals in Detroit drew 54. Despite continued strong turnout in Europe, the US M24 Fleet has struggled mightily in the past 18 months to get boats on the line. Fleets in Key West and St. Pete, once a mainstay of the US schedule, have dropped from 40 or 50 boats to 20 boats, while last year’s National Championships was down in the low twenties, with the upcoming 2010 US Nationals likely to get even fewer. Is this the end, or just the low spot in a cycle with a new beginning on the way?
We spoke with new US M24 Class President Steve Kopf, owner of ‘Blur’ about the situation for 35 minutes to find out what his plan is. Check it.