Melges 24 Worlds momentum builds ahead of May showdown

2011 Melges 24 World Championship will be hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club from 16-21 May.

Four warm up events iare taking place before the Worlds in Key West, Miami and Charleston and the Road to Corpus Christi series has been specially designed to prepare the fleet for the Worlds.

Sailors from across North America as well as a number of the top European teams are comepting.

With two events now completed - Key West in January and the Miami Winter Regatta at Coconut Grove - Italy's Riccardo Simoneschi sailing Audi is leading the series overall from Chicago's Brian Porter and his Full Throttle Team. Third place is held by Guy Mossman of Charleston aboard Battle Rhythm, with Florida based Canadian Rob Butler in The Beaver fourth and Italy's Flavio Favini, helming Blu Moon for Switzerland's Franco Rossini, fifth. The remaining events in the series are Bacardi Miami Sailing Week from 10 to 12 March and Charleston Race Week from 14 to 17 April, after which it's full steam ahead to Corpus Christi. Full results from the Road To Corpus Christi Series are available here.

Whilst the Melges 24 sailors focus on their training, the organizers at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club are working equally hard to ensure that the teams will enjoy an outstanding World Championship. The highly experienced Race Committee is led by PRO Mark Foster who brings a wealth of local knowledge and extensive championship experience to the event.

'Corpus Christi is a strong wind venue and we are expecting spectacular conditions for the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds.' notes Mark Foster. 'The windy conditions make Corpus Christi Bay a challenge for the sailors, while our Race Committee is building on experience already gained through running events like the 2002 J/22 Worlds & 2006 J/80 Worlds to ensure we can give the Melges 24s the very best possible racing.'

Regatta Chair Teri Ficken and her team are also hard at work ensuring that everything shore side is ready and raring to go. 'We've got great logistical partners for this event.' Notes Teri. 'The Valls Group is assisting teams with any container shipping; Ainsworth Trucking is ready to help with over ground transport; we already have storage facilities lined up for those who want to arrive early or leave there boats here for a period after the regatta; and we have special accommodation rates with the Omni Marina Tower Hotel. We've also been working closely with the Corpus Christi Area CVB, the Corpus Christi Marina and the City of Corpus Christi to assure the success of this event.'

IMCA International Measurer David La Mere and Chief Equipment Inspector Greg Turman are heading up the team in charge of registration, limitation and measurement checks and as usual the ISAF Classification Commission representative will be present to conduct registration interviews with the Corinthian crews. Good registration and measurement controls have always been a priority for Melges 24 Championships and this event will be no different.

As well as great racing Corpus Christi prides itself on its legendary Texan hospitality and with an Opening Ceremony to get things underway, daily post-racing socials and prize giving's, a fantastic midweek party at the Texas State Aquarium and a Gala Awards Ceremony on the final night there will be plenty of fun to be had. Also, within walking distance of the venue, downtown Corpus Christi provides a wide variety of restaurants and shops for your evening's entertainment.

For friends and family travelling with the teams Corpus Christi offers miles of golden beaches plus attractions such as USS Lexington - a World War II aircraft carrier; Padre Island - the largest remaining natural barrier island in the world; the Heritage Park & Cultural Centre; Corpus Christi Botanical Garden and the Great Texas Birding Trail, plus shops, restaurants and galleries galore. All that and great weather too!

Melges 24