Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Quest 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
X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 2Dubarry 2016 660x82 1Zhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

International Viper 640 Class becomes the newest World Sailing Class
In November 2016, World Sailing approved Intl Viper 640 Class’s application to become a recognized World Sailing class. In November 2016, World Sailing approved the International Viper 640 Class’s application to become a recognized World Sailing class. The International Viper 640 Class Association, at the same time, adopted an international constitution and signed a contract with World Sailing confirming the Class’s international status.
Posted on 22 Feb
UK Flying 15 celebrates 70th anniversary at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
To kick start their 70th Anniversary year the UK Flying Fifteen Association are asking everyone to join them To kick start their 70th Anniversary year the UK Flying Fifteen Association are asking everyone who sails an International Flying Fifteen or keelboat, to join them at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 04-05 March (Alexandra Palace, London), to get the celebrations under way.
Posted on 20 Feb
Brisbane Etchells – Chocolates over boiled lollies anytime
So the original Bert Bryant saying, ‘Gone from Chocolates to Boiled Lollies’, came out of horse racing in the 60s. So the original Bert Bryant saying, ‘Gone from Chocolates to Boiled Lollies’, came out of horse racing in the 60s. It refers to looking good, then ultimately not doing so well. Now in sailing, when you talk about those ever-so-easy-to-eat, chocolate covered, little and skinny liquorice sticks, it means wins. Yep. They’re bullets.
Posted on 19 Feb
Australian Etchells Championships images by Dinghy Fever Photography
Dinghy Fever Photography provided this gallery of images from 2017 Australian Etchells Championships RPAYC. Dinghy Fever Photography provided this gallery of images from 2017 Australian Etchells Championships RPAYC.
Posted on 18 Feb
MC38 Australian Champs - Record MC38 fleet vie for national supremacy
A record nine MC38s fling open the door to another year of dynamic one design racing with the class’ national title A record nine MC38s fling open the door to another year of dynamic one design racing with the class’ national title on Pittwater hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club February 17-19, 2017.
Posted on 16 Feb
Class championships to feature at Sydney Harbour Regatta
Battle lines will be drawn when a variety of classes hold their championships at NSW’s largest keelboat event Battle lines will be drawn when a variety of classes hold their championships at NSW’s largest keelboat event, the Sydney Harbour Regatta, to be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club over the weekend of 4-5 March.
Posted on 14 Feb
Treasures of the sailing scene united in 'hidden class connection'
Joining the hidden class connection means getting connected with a Magic Marine store nearby the home base of the class. Joining the hidden class connection means getting connected with a Magic Marine store nearby the home base of the class.
Posted on 8 Feb
Andrea Francolini was at the RSYS Milson Silver Goblets for Etchells
Andrea Francolini at the RSYS Milson Goblets for Etchells The magnificent work of Andrea Francolini continues. He was at the last day of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Milson Silver Goblets regatta for Etchells. It is sailed over the course of the week as a twilight regatta and then has multiple races on the final day, Saturday. It usually attracts a fleet of 30+ Etchells from NSW and also Interstate.
Posted on 4 Feb
Record SB20 fleet expected for Banjo’s Crown Series Bellerive Regatta
A fleet of more than 40 SB20 one-design sports boats, including several mainland crews, is expected to contest The Crown Series will be sailed over the weekend of 18-19 February with the keelboat divisions also contesting a twilight race on the evening of Friday,17 February, joined on Saturday and Sunday by SB20s, trailable yachts and off-the-beach dinghies and catamarans.
Posted on 2 Feb
Etchells Championships at Brighton in March
The 2017 Victorian Etchells Championships will be hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club over the Labour Day weekend The 2017 Victorian Etchells Championships will be hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club over the Labour Day weekend, March 11-13. Some close racing for a very competitive fleet is anticipated.
Posted on 2 Feb