Please select your home edition
Edition
Bavaria C57 728x90

Melges 24 World Championship - Teams prepare for Belvedere action

by Fiona Brown on 27 Sep 2013
. ©
Professional and amateur crews from across the United States and around the world are converging on San Francisco Bay for the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013, which takes place from September 30 to October 5 at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, California.

Melges 24 world championships always deliver a compelling mix of high performance sailing and close tactical racing and the renowned breezy conditions of San Francisco Bay mean this latest edition is set to be a humdinger. As ever at Melges 24 international events, the entry list is a heady mix of top professional and pro/am crews and talented 'Corinthian' (no professional sailors allowed) teams.

Amongst those Corinthian competitors is Australian Kevin Nixon, whose 'Accru' crew are already in San Francisco and have been training hard to familiarise themselves with the local conditions. Nixon, who has purchased a US boat for the event, says getting time on the water together has been important for his crew who haven't sailed together since the Australian National Championship this January.

Nixon said he and his crew were excited to be part of the upcoming action. 'We are a family team consisting of my wife Glenda, daughter Bonnie, son Daniel and niece Grace from New Zealand,' Nixon told us. 'We started sailing socially and then got hooked on the racing and now we are keen to do events all over the world. We don't sail together too often and that is why we have entered in the Corinthian Division.'

Nixon, who was delighted to arrive in California in time to catch some of the America's Cup racing, said that racing in Melges 24s on San Francisco Bay had been on his 'bucket list' for some time and he expected the Corinthian competition to be as red hot as usual.

'To be able to see the America's Cup is a plus, so we have already achieved a big part of the goal,' he said. 'I am sure there will be a very high standard of competition. History in the Melges 24 shows that a Corinthian usually finishes in the top ten overall, so you would expect that to happen again or be very close.'

Nixon also hopes his crew's expedition to the United States will help them prepare for the 2014 Melges 24 World Championship which takes place next year from January 26 - February 2 in beautiful Geelong, Australia.

Nixon said preparations for that event, the first time a Melges 24 World Championship has been hosted in the southern hemisphere, are going well and he had this to say to potential competitors still contemplating making the trip. 'I would say come down to Geelong. The championship is pretty much ready to go. As far as the race track goes, it is fantastic with a little bit in it for everyone. Geelong sees a varied range of conditions and outside of the sailing it is a great tourist destination.'

Demonstrating the truly international nature of the Melges 24 class itself and the draw of the 2013 championship, two Chilean teams will be competing this year. One of them - Corinthian competitor Pablo Gallyas on 'Gallyas Marine' - says he and his crew have been training hard with their local Melges 24 fleet most weekends recently, as well as individually spending time in other performance boats like 49ers and F18 catamarans to further sharpen up their high speed skills.

Like many other worlds competitors, Pablo will be using the Rolex Big Boat Series, which gets underway today and provides a warmup event for the worlds, to round off their pre-championship training. 'We arrive in San Francisco on September 26 and will go directly to the Big Boat Series,' he told us. At 38 boats from a dozen nations, the Melges 24 fleet is by far the strongest racing in at Rolex Big Boat Series this year and the teams will be making the most of this final tune up opportunity.

Pablo, who will be racing at a Melges 24 world championship for the first time - and who will also be making the trip to Australia for the 2014 Championship - said that he was not sure what to expect other than that the level of competition would be high. 'We also expect to have a great time flying in the strong San Francisco Bay winds!' he added. 'Our team goal is to finish in the first half of the fleet.'

Unlike Pablo, Bermudan competitor Alec Cutler on 'Hedgehog' is no stranger to the top end of the Melges 24 world championship fleet. The last time the worlds were held in the USA - 2011 at Corpus Christie, Texas, another windy venue - Cutler finished one place off the podium after being firmly in the hunt all regatta. Cutler's crew have been on sparkling form this year and at another Sperry Top-Sider sponsored event, Charleston Race Week, they topped the leaderboard - an omen for great things this time perhaps?

The Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship runs from 30 September to 5 October. Registration will take place on Monday 30 September and Tuesday 1 October. There will be practice racing on Tuesday 1 October and Championship Racing will run from Wednesday second to Saturday October 5th. In addition many of the teams will be taking part in the Rolex Big Boat Series which will act as a warm up event for the worlds from 26-29 Melges 24 Worlds website
Pantaenius - Fixed ValueBakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

Farr 40 OD Trophy - Newcastle throws up Day 1 challenges for Farr 40s
Skipper of Estate Master Martin Hill/his tactician David Chapman used their big swell experience in a different class The skipper of Estate Master Martin Hill and his tactician David Chapman used their big swell experience in a different class to their advantage on the opening day of the Farr 40 Newcastle One Design Trophy.
Posted today at 10:09 am
Quantum Key West Race Week heads down to the wire in four classes
Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining. Tomorrow's lone race for all classes will decide the winner Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week. Tomorrow's lone race for all classes will decide the winner in the 52 Super Series, J/111 Class, J/70 Class and the ORC Class.
Posted on 20 Jan
Australian Finn Championships images by Dinghy Fever Photography
With so many British flags the casual observer could be forgiven for thinking there was a colonial uprising taking place With so many sails sporting British or Australian flags the casual observer could be forgiven for thinking there was some kind of colonial uprising taking place on the water.
Posted on 18 Jan
Inaugural GC32 Championship coming up next month
A joint gathering of the international fleets of GC32 one design foiling catamarans is to take place in Muscat This will be the first occasion ever that the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleets have combined to lock horns on the race course.
Posted on 18 Jan
Newcastle hosting Farr 40 One Design Trophy for the first time
The national body Australian Sailing gave the class pre-season approval to race offshore in a controlled environment The national body Australian Sailing gave the class pre-season approval to race offshore in a controlled environment, but each time they’ve tried to incorporate an offshore day within a weekend series, high winds have kept the fleet confined to inshore racing.
Posted on 18 Jan
Australian Etchells Championships images by Dinghy Fever Photography
Dinghy Fever Photography was on the water and provided this gallery of images from final day's racing. Dinghy Fever Photography was on the water and provided this gallery of images from final day's racing.
Posted on 17 Jan
Magpie swoops twice at Etchells Australian Championship
Magpie’s training partners Iain Murray, Euan McNichol and Richie Allanson finished second overall by three points. Magpie’s training partners Iain Murray, Euan McNichol and Richie Allanson finished second overall by three points.
Posted on 15 Jan
Crewmates deadlocked at the Etchells Australian Championship
Taylor and Murray are deadlocked on opposing boats at 16 points apiece with Taylor leading the series on a countback. On board the Oatley family’s supermaxi Wild Oats XI they are crewmates. Skippers Graeme Taylor and Iain Murray are deadlocked on opposing boats at 16 points apiece with Taylor leading the series on a countback.
Posted on 13 Jan
Bigger kids entertainment program at Festival of Sails
The family entertainment program at the fast approaching Festival of Sails has been expanded this year The family entertainment program at the fast approaching Festival of Sails has been expanded this year, including a more varied line up to appeal to a wider age group of children. The hugely popular Shoreside Festival – presented by Geelong Connected Communities - is a major highlight of the 2017 Festival of Sails, kicking off on January 21 and running through to Australia Day.
Posted on 11 Jan
2017 Top of the Gulf Regatta. Open for entries.
The 2017 edition of Top of the Gulf Regatta is now open for entries The 13th edition of the Top of the Gulf Regatta, presented by Ocean Marina, Jomtien Beach, Thailand, is open for entries. The event will run 4-8 May. TOG regularly attracts more than 250 boats, with classes for Optimists, 420, Lasers and beach cats, ocean multihulls, IRC rated monohulls, cruisers and Platu One Design. Organisers already report strong interest and early sign-ups.
Posted on 11 Jan