by Joy Dunigan
The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) is proud to usher in what will be the third largest U.S. National Championship in class history. Hosted by Lake Geneva Yacht Club (LGYC) in Fontana, Wisc., forty-five Melges 24 teams from all across America and beyond anticipate a great event packed with awesome competition and camaraderie, while the club will celebrate the end of its 2011 sailing season in grand finale, performance sailboat racing style.
US Melges 24 National Championship
The Midwest District of the Melges 24 Class in the U.S. brings the largest constituency of teams. A whopping 28 entries call Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Montana, Ohio and Missouri home. Other states being represented include California, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, New York, New Jersey and Florida. The USMCA is also quite proud to make the Nationals an international affair by welcoming teams from Canada, Australia and Ireland.
Reigning Melges 24 U.S. National Champion Alan Field on WTF is back, ready to defend his title. Field has always been one of the fleet’s toughest teams on the course and clearly, with a top ten finish at the World Championship this past May, he will be a top team.
Others expected to do well include Charleston Race Week Champion Kristen Lane on Brickhouse, Mike Dow on Flying Toaster, 2011 World Championship runner-up Brian Porter on Full Throttle, Midwest District Governor August Hernandez on High Voltage, Paul Hulsey on Hoodlum Racing, Peter Cucci on Matador, Corinthian World Champion Bruce Ayres on Monsoon, Bora Gulari on New England Ropes/Air force 1, and former North American Champion Argyle Campbell on Rock n' Roll.
With such a strong showing from the Midwest, for sure it will be interesting to see how well the home-court advantage teams such as A Scow legend Tom Freytag on Wicked Feet and long-time E Scow sailor Henry Colie on Babs does. Lake style, performance sailboat racing is sure to mix things up and those that sail in it often will certainly be bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with them.
2011 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship Online Registration is still open, and will be until Thursday, September 29. So, what are you waiting for? Pack the boat, grab your best racing buds and go Melges 24 racing this weekend on Lake Geneva, Wisc! Registration and entries will be accepted right up until the last minute!
Updates from the course: If you are one of the unlucky souls not able to make Nationals in Lake Geneva, you can stay up-to-date with racing via SailingUpdates.com, sponsored by Sail 22. The USMCA will issue periodic updates on the official USMCA Facebook page too.
The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh and considered the most unique one design sportboat in the world as well as one of the all-time greatest and fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. For more information visit the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IMCA) on the web.
US Melges 24 website