by Fiona Brown
Melges 24 North American Championship 2012 is being hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club from 22 to 26 August. Online entry is now open at the event website.
Melges 24 North American Championship 2012
The oldest North American Yacht Club west of the Mississippi, The San Francisco Yacht Club is widely recognized as the premiere yachting facility on the US West Coast. Its tranquil waterfront setting in beautiful Belvedere Cove, with extensive shoreside and marina facilities and a stunning view of the San Francisco skyline, is the perfect venue for major championships and the club has a well-established relationship with the Melges 24 Class.
Melges 24 - Melges 24 North American Championship 2012
Racing for the North American Championship will take place on San Francisco Bay's legendary Berkeley Circle, an easy sail from the club's marina. San Francisco's famous strong wind sailing conditions are the perfect match for the Melges 24 and the Class is thrilled to be returning to this ever popular venue.
With teams traveling from across the US as well as from Australia, Japan, Chile and Europe for the regatta, the standard of competition is expected to be extremely high. The US west coast Melges 24 fleets have seen an enthusiastic resurgence of interest in recent years and alongside the familiar faces there will be plenty of new names looking to challenge the old guard for this biennial title.
In the build up to the regatta the United States Melges 24 Class has created a full program of west coast events aimed at making the road to the North American Championship as easy as possible. The trail kicks off this weekend with the CSR Marine US National Championship in Seattle from 15-17 June. On July 7 teams have the opportunity to sail on San Francisco Bay with the second event in the Silver Cup series, run by The San Francisco Yacht Club. On August 3-5 the teams will take part in the US Pacific Coast Championship, being run in association with the Columbia Gorge One Design Regatta at Cascade Locks, Oregon. Then on August 18-19 San Francisco Melges Race Week, hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club, will act as the official warm up event for the North Americans. For those based in the San Francisco area there is also a series of Class regattas with much of the racing located on the Berkeley Circle. Full details of these regattas can be found on the US Melges 24 Class Association website.
'Making it easy for the sailors to attend is key to the success of our regattas' explains USMCA President Chris Farkas. 'With the schedule this year we've aimed to insure that our members can enjoy great racing and maximum fun along with minimal hassle and lowest possible expense. Recognizing that everyone's time is limited we've responded to the members' needs by fitting the North American Championship into a long weekend, and we've programmed the warm-up events to keep mileage to a minimum and racing to a maximum. And to add to the excitement on San Francisco Bay, the America's Cup World Series will be held the same weekend, providing another great viewing choice for friends and family.'
This year's North American Championship is the first step on the road to the 2013 Melges 24 World Championship, which will be hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club from 30 September to 5 October 2013. Further details of that event will be available shortly via the Melges 24 Class Association website.
'We're thrilled to be hosting both the 2012 North American and 2013 World Championship for the International Melges 24 Class. Our association with the fleet goes back many years and we've been honored to play a part in the recent resurgence of the local fleet by providing great racing venues as a run up to the championship events. We have a hugely experienced team who are raring to go and we're looking forward to two fantastic events.' Says The San Francisco Yacht Club's Regatta Chair Angie Lackey Olson.
The San Francisco Yacht Club and the San Francisco Melges 24 Fleet are ready and waiting to welcome competitors and offer any assistance or advice needed. The Notice of Race is published and Online Entry is now open with an entry deadline of 30th July (late entries will be accepted but will be subject to a 50% late entry surcharge). The Event Website also carries lots of useful supporting information including accommodation details and logistics information.
Melges 24 North American Championship website