by Fiona Brown
The 2012 Melges 24 World and Continental Ranking series featured twenty-one events across Europe and North America, opening with Quantum Key West Race Week and incorporating the Melges 24 World and North American Championships in addition to a host of National Championships and major regional events across Europe and North America. More than 300 competitors from a record breaking twenty-four nations and four continents took part.
Melges 24 sailing action
Always a hard fought competition, this year's World ranking was tighter than ever with Italians Riccardo Simoneschi and Flavio Favini going head to head throughout the season. Simoneschi's experience in the Star and IMS offshore classes, where his victories include World, Continental and Italian Championships, helped him to a narrow 5.1 point victory over former America's Cup helm and Melges 24 World and European Champion Favini. Three-time Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion Oyvind Peder Jahr of Norway sailed an impressive season to take third place, with 2009 Moth World Champion and Rolex Sailor of the Year Bora Gulari fourth. Melges 24 stalwart Andrea Racchelli finished fifth, three time US Olympian Chris Rast, now based in Switzerland, took sixth, Americans Alan Field, Argyle Campbell and Bruce Ayres finished seventh to ninth respectively and Estonia's Ants Haavel rounded out the top ten.
Riccardo Simoneschi also dominated the European Ranking where he closed the season with a 10.6 point margin over second placed Carlo Fracassoli, the reigning Melges 24 World Champion. Flavio Favini filled the third podium position, with Oyvind Peder Jahr fourth and Andrea Rachelli fifth.
In the North American Ranking Alan Field, Argyle Campbell, Flavio Favini and Bruce Ayres declared battle at the start of the season in Florida and took the fight right down to the final event in San Francisco. Field has been dominating the US Melges 24 scene for several years and clearly saw no reason to give any quarter this year, ultimately winning by 8.4 points from Campbell with Favini again third, Ayres fourth and Bora Gulari fifth.
Since its inception in 2001 the Melges 24 World and Continental Rankings have been a huge success and for the 2013 season several exciting new changes are planned including the introduction of an Australasian Ranking and the launch of a brand new Melges 24 Europa Cup series which will feature five international events across Europe. More information on these developments will be published after the International Melges 24 World Council AGM on 24 November.
Full Melges 24 World And Continental Ranking Results
Melges 24 website