Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri Lloyd

Melges 24 Australian Open - Best scorecard for Melges 24 founder

by Lisa Ratcliff on 24 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 Teri Dodds
The first points in the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals, one of the Festival of Sails’ opening events, went to Harry Melges and his Star crew from the USA. Melges, who founded the class in 1993 with his brother Hans and crewman Andy Burdick, began their Australian foray impressively with a perfect scorecard.

International teams had no trouble reading the local breeze on day one of the class’ national title on Geelong’s Corio Bay. The Americans were first with two bullets, the Swiss second and Japanese team aboard Threebond, skippered by Tetsuya Matsunaga, third.

The best placed Aussie team in fifth overall was Nathan Wilmot and Heath Walters’ Melges Asia – Kaito.

Federico Michetti, a five-time Melges 24 world champion, arrived last night to join the rest of the Star crew who are racing a brand new Melges 24 built and shipped to Australia for the nationals and next week’s 2014 Gill Melges 24 World Championship.

'Today was fun in good breeze and having those practice starts was handy, 'said Melges. 'Now we just have to keep it going. There are a lot of tough crews here.'

Flavio Favini’s Blu Moon finished second on the pointscore. Still recovering from jet lag from their long flight, the crew are not at full strength yet hints Favini. A scary proposition for the rest of the field.

Wilmot, an Olympic gold medallist in the 470 class, hasn’t steered a Melges 24 at Geelong previously and admits the crew are still putting the boat together. A new crew combination means energy is also being spent figuring out each person’s role, a great reason for holding a national championship just prior to the main event. 'We’ll have it figured out in time for next week,' assured Wilmot.

While waiting for the SE sea breeze in the early afternoon, the 23-boat fleet was offered three practice starts by the accommodating race committee. Principal Race Officer Hank Stuart gave competitors the opportunity to settle their nerves and officials the chance to go through the start sequence without the pressure of a first recorded race.

The trusty sou’easter began to fill in around the edges of Corio Bay’s inner harbour around 2p.m., Stuart upping anchors and moving the course into Stingray Bay on the eastern shore to meet the new breeze.

After a general recall the fleet was more conservative and race one started almost cleanly, Bent Dietrich’s Kleine Rainbow the only boat pinged by the committee.

The steadily building 15-20 knot breeze produced intense and noisy mark roundings, thrilling downwind rides and great camera action in both races of the day.

The Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals is a four-day precursor and a handy form guide – though many of the rated international teams are yet to arrive - for the 2014 Gill Melges 24 World Championship starting next Wednesday 29th January. It’s also one of four Australian championships falling under the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s Festival of Sails’ umbrella.

The Maui Jim Sports Boat division kick-started their series today with two races on the western side of Corio Bay. Noel Leigh-Smith’s Viper 640 called Viper QLD leads Mark Buchbach Stealth 8.5, Raptor, by three points. Cam Rae’s Monkey Business is third overall.

Tomorrow, Friday 23rd January, 2014, the bulk of the Festival of Sails’ 310 entries will arrive at Geelong in the afternoon for the finish of the Melbourne to Geelong passage race. The cannon will fire at 0930hrs off Port Ormond, Elwood, for the34 nautical mile sprint across Port Phillip.

The monohull passage race record is 1 hour and 40 minutes 17 seconds set by Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing in 2006.

On Corio Bay the Morris Finance Sydney 38 Australian Championship will commence with up to three windward/leeward races scheduled tomorrow for the class, the first due to start at 1230hrs.

The Melges 24 and Sports Boats’ series will continue on Corio Bay tomorrow, isolated showers during the afternoon and the chance of thunderstorms replacing today’s glorious summer conditions. The forecast breeze is westerly 10-15 knots tending south westerly 15-20 knots in the afternoon and increasing to 20-25 knots by the Festival of Sails
Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorHelm Events 660x82Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Festival of Sails - Black Betty’s success
Festival of Sails 2014 - Black Betty clinched the Optimum Time Racing Series Division one IRC win. Festival of Sails 2014 - Black Betty clinched the Optimum Time Racing Series Division one IRC win and Victorian IRC Championship in her maiden racing appearance outside of home waters.
Posted on 27 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 - Cruising success
Festival of Sails 2014 - All of the Cruising and Cruiser-Racer divisions wrapped up their racing. In the Festival of Sails 2014 the second round of trophies were presented this morning on the lawn of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the longstanding regatta recognised for being an enduring and loved event at a blessed location, Corio Bay, which is a rare north-facing and protected inner harbour.
Posted on 27 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 - Malice steels to defeat the unbeaten
Festival of Sails 2014 - Richardson said he thought all was lost when Malice parked-up in a lull and Morticia lead In the Festival of Sails 2014 a ‘get out of jail free card’ has been credited for saving the multihull champion Malice from a race defeat that would have proven terminal to any regatta winning hopes.
Posted on 27 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails - Maui Jim Sports Boat series final day
Festival of Sails 2014 - Raptor's success, Viper loves breeze while Raptor is better suited to light air sailing. One of 14 divisions at the Festival of Sails, the Maui Jim Sports Boat series, catering for a plethora of sailing predilections, wrapped up on Corio Bay with the final two races of a 10 race series today.
Posted on 26 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 - Sailing icon inspires fourth successful title
Festival of Sails 2014 - Abrahams' success, It was a hotly contested day on Corio Bay, just 45 seconds separating 38s. Festival of Sails 2014 - It was a hotly contested day on Geelong’s Corio Bay, with just 45 seconds separating the top five Sydney 38s in race eight today and the top three positions shuffling right up until the end of the final race.
Posted on 26 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 - Star rises at the Melges 24 Open Nationals
Festival of Sails 2014 - New star in event. Second on the leaderboard was Flavio Favini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon. Festival of Sails 2014 - New star in event. Second on the leaderboard was Flavio Favini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon with 26 points. Favini and Melges are old rivals on the racetrack with Melges now one-up by nine points in this Australian double-header of open nationals followed by the world title.
Posted on 26 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails - Debutant yachts bring counterparts to their knees
Festival of Sails 2014 - Grand prix racing, Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice sits atop Optimum Time Racing Series Div one At the Festival of Sails 2014 debutant yachts Patrice and Ichi Ban are bringing their older counterparts to their knees in the grand prix racing series, claiming two spots on the podium on the second day of racing.
Posted on 25 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails - Scarecrow dominates in Cruising Division 2
At the Festival of Sails a boat from the 1950s named after a Native American symbol is dominating Cruising Division 2 At the Festival of Sails 2014, on the penultimate day of competition, a boat from the 1950s supposedly designed to sell more plywood in the USA and named after a Native American symbol is dominating Cruising Division 2.
Posted on 25 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails - Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals Day 3
At the Festival of Sails 2014 for the third consecutive day Harry Melges and his crew held off the rest of the fleet At the Festival of Sails 2014, for the third consecutive day, Harry Melges and his crew of Star (USA) held off the rest of the one-design fleet and have inched closer to victory at the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals.
Posted on 25 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 - Sporties on the edge
Festival of Sails 2014 - What do you get when you cross a yacht with a dinghy? The Festival of Sails 2014 is currently underway in Geelong, Australia. What do you get when you cross a yacht with a dinghy? It’s not a joke but rather the definition of a sports boat offered by one of the enthusiasts competing in the eclectic division at the Festival of Sails
Posted on 25 Jan 2014