by Fiona Brown
Melges 24 World Championship 2012 is being held in Torbole, Italy from July 28th to August 4th. Along with the fight for the overall title, that will involve at least ten very strong crews and a good number of outsiders, the stage will also be set for another battle: the one aimed at the conquest of the Corinthian title.
Melges 24 World Championship 2012 logo
Always much coveted, the Corinthian competition, for the non-professional crews, represents an added value: the Corinthians, sometimes capable of performance very similar to those of the professionals, may point to the double success. As usual, the Corinthians will race within the overall fleet, but their results will be scored as a separate competition (i.e., first Corinthian may finish 13th on the water, but he will score one point in the Corinthian results, second Corinthian may finish 19 on the water, but he will score two Corinthian points, and so on).
During the Torbole's Melges 24 Worlds the entry list will count 65 Corinthian crews coming from 17 Nations - a record for the International Melges 24 Class Association - but will not include the defending champion Eachiro Hamazaki, who won the title in Corpus Christi in May 2011. Among the favorites to the win there are Storm Capital Sail Racing, helmed by the solid Norwegian skipper Peter Oivynd, former Corinthian World Champion in 2008 and 2010, the Estonian brothers Tomas and Tonu Toniste sailing Lenny, who won the World title in Hyeres in 2006 and became European Corinthian Champions in Neaustadt (2007) and Aarhus (2011), and their countrymen of Rock City, the Melges 24 owned by Tiit Vihul. Italy can count on a couple of crews that have been showing great consistency lately: Pensavo Peggio di Beppe Zavanone and Alessio Marinelli, fresh from their success in the Corinthian grouping of the Italian Volvo Melges 24 Cup 2012, and SIV Arborea helmed by Lorenzo Gemini, who finished second in the same competition.
All eyes are also on the Californian Robert Harf, one of America's leading Corinthian skippers, who will be debuting in the Old Continent aboard his USA-77, and Michael Good, helmsman of Swiss Team Holcim, the third force in the Corinthian Volvo Cup 2012.
Organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will count a maximum of twelve races, with up to three daily races. Five races are required to made the event valid, although the famous weather conditions, typical of the northern Garda, should make this rule unnecessary.
Melges 24 World Championship website