by Joy Dunigan
Melges 32 World Championship 2012, hosted by New York Yacht Club, is due to start in less than two weeks. Teams from around the world are beginning to trickle into stunning Newport, Rhode Island. A record-breaking 34 entrants are preparing for the upcoming week that will include a rigorous six days of boat and sail measurement, crew weigh-in, practice and event registration.
Melges 32 World Championship 2012
Jason Carroll's Argo with tactician Cameron Appleton, is one of the hottest North American based teams on the 2012 International Circuit. Team Argo has spent nearly two years sailing together with the same roster and look forward to the most challenging competition they've faced yet.
'There are many strong teams that will all be vying for the top spots, and we hope to be among them.' says Carroll. 'I'm really proud of my team for working as hard as they all have this year to continue to improve. We look forward to testing our mettle against some of the world's best sailors as well as sharing a great week with friends from around the globe.'
In late July, Carroll won his second consecutive U.S. National Championship title, the first owner to ever do so. Team Argo also won the Porto Cervo edition of the 2012 Audi Sailing Series.
'The opportunity to compete for a World Championship title is a dream.' says an eager-to- compete Ryan DeVos, helmsman aboard Volpe with tactician Ed Baird. 'I am honored to be a part of what I know will be a great event, not to mention being able to sail it with my dad. I'm ready. Our team is ready.'
DeVos, 22, is one of the two youngest helmsmen racing at Worlds. The other is his twenty-year old cousin Dalton, steering Delta with Jonathan McKee on tactics.
This may be Ryan's first World Championship, but he has proven on more than one occasion that he is perfectly capable of winning a trophy. In July of 2010, he won the National Championship becoming the youngest person to win a major international Melges 32 event. In 2011, Ryan won the North Americans and just this past April, won the prestigious East Coast Championship in West Palm Beach, ousting Carroll in the tiebreaker. He finished second to Carroll at the 2012 Nationals, and currently leads the USA Sailing Series Circuit Ranking by two points.
Several other boats have a real shot at winning Worlds including 2012 Key West Race Week Champion and Boat of the Week John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti with Paul Goodison as tactician, Gold Cup Champion Steve Howe's Warpath with Morgan Larson on tactics, and Miami winner Alec Cutler's Hedgehog returns with tactician Richard Clarke. 2009 National Champion Andy Lovell on Rougarou with tactician Steve Benjamin will race after an almost two-year hiatus. Former World Champion (2009) Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem with Nick Thompson as tactician cannot be ruled out and last, but certainly not least is the defender - 2011 World Champion William Douglass on Goombay Smash.
'The Melges 32 Class is fielding it's most competitive Worlds so far with a deep group of competitors.' says Douglass. 'The level in this class has certainly been taken up a notch. There are at least ten boats that have a viable chance to win. We believe we are well prepared and look forward to doing all we can to retain the trophy. It's obvious that several teams have their sights on it. Should be a really great regatta.'
Five full days of official World Championship racing is slated to begin on Tuesday, September 25 ending on Saturday, September 29.
The World Championship is the final act of the 2012 USA Sailing Series Circuit.
Full Entry List (Owner/Tactician)
1.) Phil Lotz/Brad Read, Arethusa
2.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo
3.) Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem
4.) Andrea Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda
5.) Michael Dominguez/Andy Horton, Bronco
6.) Joel Ronning/Bill Hardesty, Catapult
7.) Malcolm Gefter/Andrew Campbell, Celeritas
8.) Ed Tillinghast/Allan Terhune, Jr., Dark N' Stormy
9.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta
10.) Makoto Uematsu/Ken Read, Esmeralda
11.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
12.) Terry McSweeny/Seadon Wijsen, Flat Stanley
13.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash
14.) Deneen Demourkas/Kelvin Harrap, Groovederci
15.) Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog
16.) Mark Plaxton/Peter Holmberg, INTAC
17.) Alex Jackson/Charlie McKee, Leenabarca
18.) Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, Mascalzone Latino
19.) Naofumi Kamei/Manuel Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!
20.) Steve Rhyne/Johnny Lovell, Mojo
21.) John Taylor/Jeff Madrigali, Ninkasi
22.) Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces
23.) Daisuke Kimura/Umihiko Arakawa, Quetefeek
24.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima
25.) Richard Gorannson/Matt Humphries, Inga III
26.) Willis 'Andy' Lovell/Steve Benjamin, Rougarou
27.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti
28.) Keisuke Suzuki/Jesper Radich, Swing
29.) Takashi Okura/Eiichiro Hamazaki, SLED
30.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone
31.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe
32.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath
33.) Yukihiro Ishida/Ross MacDonald, Yasha Samurai
34.) Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter, Zetiana