by Joy Dunigan
The 2013 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship takes place this weekend in coordination with Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, symbolizing more than two decades of the very best in ultra-competitive, one design performance racing. Teams have traveled from more than ten states across the USA, and giving the event a wildly international and diversified spin, others have converged from around the world to represent Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Norway.
Starting line action - 2013 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship
As always, the robust fleet of thirty-seven have attracted some of the world’s greatest sailors including the young and vibrant 2011 ICSA National Champion and All-American skipper Taylor Canfield, multiple Congressional Cup and 2009 Melges 24 World Champion Chris Larson helming Scott Holmgren's Rosebud, World Champion crew members Richard Clarke, Mike Wolfs and Curtis Florence look to power-up Alec Cutler's Hedgehog, and highly decorated Moth World Champion, 2011 U.S. National Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari are just to name a few.
The fleet balances out perfectly with a heavy Corinthian Division. Of the thirty-seven teams racing in Charleston, thirteen have qualified for the heated all-amatuer running.
'It's incredible to see this fleet, standing strong in Charleston, at an event that continues to grow in participation.' commented Circle 3 PRO Hank Stuart.
'This is just one of many 2013 events that will enable teams to fine tune their efforts for the forthcoming World Championship in San Francisco, CA on September 30 - October 5, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club. More than two dozen boats are already registered for the Championship which gives great indication that it will be a big event.'
The Official Website for the 2013 Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship is online and registration is open.
Three days of racing is scheduled and the current weather forecast indicates the potential for perfect Melges 24 planing, breeze on racing conditions.
Alec Cutler, Hedgehog - 2013 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship
Bruce Ayres, Monsoon - 2013 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship
Argyle Campbell, Rock n' Roll - 2013 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship
Bora Gulari, New England Ropes, West Marine Rigging - 2013 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship
Full entry list
1.) Nate Duer, Balogney Blowout (C)
2.) Guy Mossman, Battle Rhythm
3.) Mike Krantz/Jeremy Tudor, Betty
4.) Derek Ratteray/Richard Thompson, Black Seal
5.) Dan McGraw, Blue Steel (C)
6.) Don Wilson, Convexity
7.) Cate Muller, Das Kleine Boot (C)
8.) Kevin Gillman, Giddy Up
9.) Curtis Jazwiecki, Gnarly Ruca (C)
10.) Alec Cutler, Hedghog
11.) Tony Stanley, Hermes (C)
12.) August Hernandez, High Voltage
13.) Frank Davenport, Hocus Pocus
14.) Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing (C)
15.) Rob Britts, Hot Mess (C)
16.) Roger Counihan, Just Add Water
17.) Bent Dietrich, Kleine Rainbow
18.) Chris Field, Leda (C)
19.) Catharine Evans, Mojito (C)
20.) Mike McGagh, Mojo
21.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
22.) Bora Gulari, New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging
23.) Ben Moon/Steve Liebel, New Wave (C)
24.) Mike Keefe, OXYJEN
25.) Jens Wathne, Party Girl (C)
26.) Argyle Campbell, Rock n' Roll
27.) Cary Seigler, Rocksteady
28.) Chris Larson/Scott Holmgren, Rosebud
29.) Marc Bailey, Screaming Mimi
30.) Dan Berezin, Surprise
31.) Stephen Boho, The 300 (C)
32.) Jeff Wittenberg, Tom Slick
33.) Todd McKenzie, Buckshot
34.) Marc Steyn, Vapour Trail (C)
35.) Ian Schillebeeck, Vollebak
36.) Alan Field, WTF
37.) Marty Jensen, Zig Zag
Melges 24 Class website