Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern SparsZhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 4 images and videos by Nic Douglass
Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four
Posted today at 4:30 pm
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 today at 12:09 pm
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
World Sailing - The World Sailing Show - December 2016
December 2016 edition of the World Sailing Show summarising the month in the world of sailing December 2016 edition of the World Sailing Show summarising the month in the world of sailing covering America's Cup, racing in the Southern Ocean and more. Plus, Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Sir Russell Coutts; our tribute to a spectacular year afloat along with news and views from around the world.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Impressive line up for the ClubSwan 50 Class in 2017
With 17 ClubSwan 50s sold to date, 2017 promises to be an exciting first season for Nautor’s newest One Design Class. With 17 ClubSwan 50s sold to date, 2017 promises to be an exciting first season of racing for Nautor’s newest One Design Class. Owners from Europe and Russia are among the first to join this exciting One Design Class.
Posted on 19 Dec 2016
Paul Elvström - a look at the life and times of sailing's Greatest
Noted UK yachting writer and historian, David Henshall takes a detailed look at the life of Paul Elvstrom Noted UK yachting writer and historian, David Henshall takes a detailed look at the life and achievements of Paul Elvstrom, who passed away last week. Henshall sailed against the Great Dane in a Half Ton Cup in Poole in 1981 and recounts that interesting encounter and the lesson learned.
Posted on 13 Dec 2016
SSL Finals - Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih victorious in Nassau
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) have won the SSL Finals 2016 and a lion share of the $200,000 Prize Purse. Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) have won the SSL Finals 2016 and a lion share of the $200,000 Prize Purse. In a dramatic final day, the American pair came with a whisker of being eliminated in the Semi Final and a highly competitive final race, saw three different teams take the lead in an epic display of sensational racing in the tactically challenging Montagu Bay, Nassau, Bahamas.
Posted on 4 Dec 2016
Star Sailors League Final - Day 4
Today was the final day of the Qualification Series at the SSL Final and it didn’t go as well as Josh and I hoped for. Today was the final day of the Qualification Series at the SSL Final and it didn’t go as well as Josh and I hoped for. We ended up where we started the day… in 15th. We had glimpses of upward movement; leading at the first mark of the first race. But I forgot to go back to the well on the second windward leg and ended up eighth in a race that we led in.
Posted on 3 Dec 2016
Ten teams announced for Star Sailors League Finals 2016
Light airs forced a delay to the start of the fourth and final day of the SSL Qualifying Rounds to select ten teams Light airs forced a delay to the start of the fourth and final day of the SSL Qualifying Rounds to select ten teams for the SSL Finals 2016, which take place tomorrow.
Posted on 3 Dec 2016
Star Sailors League Finals - Top three in a world of their own - Day 2
Four races were held today outside Montegue Bay off the east end of New Providence Island. Four races were held today outside Montegue Bay off the east end of New Providence Island. The wind was easterly at 14 knots for the first race dropping to 7 knots for the fourth race. There was a 15 degree persistent shift to the southeast as the day went on.
Posted on 2 Dec 2016