Although he would deny it, 2003 Melges World Champ Brian Hutchinson is one of the most sought after speed gurus in the world of Grand Prix sportboat racing. The bits and pieces that make up the Hutchinson Sports Hiking System he designed have saved the femoral nerves of countless M24 crews, while the exhaustive approach he brought to developing the tuning of Philippe and Shark Kahn’s Pegasus Racing boats in the mid 2000s revolutionized Melges 24 racing worldwide. Hutch took issue with our ‘From The Ground Up’ piece on the health of the US Class that we posted last week; specifically, that we downplayed the Texas Worlds set for this May, where he’ll be sailing as part of Bora Gulari and George Peet’s “Air Force 1” team. Read on for Hutch’s view, and be sure to check out this interview with Hutch from the International M24 Class site.
Clean’s article last week on the Melges 24 Class missed some key reasons for teams to head to Corpus Christi for the 2011 Worlds after Charleston Race Week.
Few places in the World can approach what Corpus Christie has to offer. Hyeres, France and San Francisco in August are close, but in addition to reliable strong wind (lots of wind turbines on this coast) with temps in the upper 80’s, Corpus has warm water and tons of dolphins. There is a reason that the kite-boarding world chose Corpus for the 2010 World Championships. No wetsuits required, baby!
Less than a day’s drive from Charleston, SC, Traverse City, MI, and most other Melges 24 fleets in North America, Corpus will provide an action-packed week full of screaming spinnaker runs that will stay with us forever. This is a ‘must-do’ race for anyone with access to a Melges 24 – the kinds of rides you get here are something you have to experience before you die.
This is a great opportunity to hone our skills and compete against great sailors in the solid breeze that the boats were made for. Before the regatta begins, Melges Performance Sailboats will conduct a speed clinic on and off the water, so that the fleet gets even tighter. The World’s top teams will be tuning at this clinic; including Air Fore One, Altea, Audi, Blue Moon, Full Medal Jacket, Full Throttle, Monsoon, Uka Uka, WTF and others. San Francisco big-air specialists Kevin Clarke on Smokin’, and Kristen and Peter Lane on the two Brick Houses and others will be among the solid competitors.
The hotels within a walk to the marina are half of what they’d cost on the coast and a month’s rent for a house on the beach is even less. Flights into Corpus via Dallas or Houston are also very competitive. Hope to see you there! -blh