by Fiona Brown
The inaugural 2013 event for the International Melges 24 fleet is this week set for Balatonfüred's Kolsoka Marina, on the shores of Lake Balaton in Hungary. The MVM Balaton Melges 24 Regatta will take place at their lakeside venue from 25-28 April.
Lake Balaton, Hungary
With the forecasters promising good breezes, lots of sunshine and daytime temperatures well into 20s the teams can expect fabulous conditions on the azure waters of Eastern Europe's largest lake. Alongside the usual registration tasks and practice racing, Thursday 25 April will also feature a Tuning Clinic run by reigning Melges 24 World Ranking Champion Riccardo Simoneschi and his Audi Team crew. Racing for the Balaton Melges 24 Regatta will take place from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April under the watchful eye of Race Officer Gert Schmidleitner and his highly experienced team.
Already crews from across Europe have entered with competitors travelling from Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland to join the strong local Hungarian fleet. The fleet also looks forward to welcoming its first competitors from the Slovak Republic in the shape of Daniel Kris and his team aboard SVK828 Infinity.
Ashore the organisers have been working with local suppliers and entertainers to create a relaxed and informal social programme with a truly Hungarian feel. On Friday evening the sailors and their guests will enjoy a Goulash and Hungarian Folk Dancing evening, where the Csopak Folklore Dance Group will not only entertain them but will also be teaching a few dance moves too! On Saturday night there will be a regatta dinner with entertainment provided by the world renowned and award winning Roma Talent Group, featuring young, disadvantaged, stunningly gifted Roma music talents who receive world-class training and mentoring to help them progress a career in music.
Lake Balaton will also play host to the 2014 Melges 24 European Championship from 2 to 9 May 2014 so this regatta provides the perfect warm up and familiarisation opportunity for teams planning to race in next year's Europeans.
The 2013 Melges 24 European Sailing Series will feature five major regattas across Europe as follows:
26-28 April - Lake Balaton Melges 24 Regatta, Hungary (Click here for Notice of Race)
22-26 June - Kiel Week, Germany
26-28 July - Torbole Melges 24 Week
16-24 August - Melges 24 European Championship, Medemblik, Netherlands
6-8 September - Melges 24 Norwegian Open Championship, Hanko, Norway
For more information about the MVM Balaton Melges 24 Regatta please visit Melges 24 Balaton.