by Di Pearson
Australian Class President Warwick Rooklyn is leaving the Aussie summer behind for the chill of Helsinki in an historic event; it will be the very first occasion on which a nation from the southern hemisphere will attend a Melges 24 world council AGM.
Melges 24 North American Champion - Warwick Rooklyn’s Bandit. Day 3 at the 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club, CA, USA, from 22-26 August 2012.
Rooklyn, whose name is synonymous with sailing, will attend the Technical Meeting on Friday 23 November, where one of the mains issues to be discussed is a change to the hiking rule.
On Saturday 24 November the AGM will be held. In terms of the Asia Pacific region, there will be discussions on Australia having its own international measurer, an Asia Pacific Ranking Series and having an Asia Pacific representative on the executive committee.
Embarr, Full Throttle and Bandit fight it out upwind. Day 2 at the 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club, CA, USA, from 22-26 August 2012.
The number one priority though, is to secure the rights to hold the 2014 Melges 24 World Championship at Geelong in Victoria, Australia.
To that end, Rooklyn will be making a presentation to delegates before the decision is voted on.
'It’s been a couple of years of work by the Australian Melges 24 Association, Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) and its partners to get to this point,' Rooklyn conceded.
'This is an important decision that affects the growth of the class in the Asia Pacific region and to truly make it an International class,' he said.
'I am quietly optimistic that things will go well, as we’ve ticked all the boxes that would make an Aussie Worlds a great and memorable event for all competitors and the family and friends who would attend.'
RGYC and its partners have a fantastic track record of running major events. The flat waters of Corio Bay, uninterrupted by shipping, ferries and other marine obstacles, are perfect for Melges 24 racing.
This season’s M24 Australian Championship will again be held in conjunction with the 2013 Festival of Sails, Victoria’s most prominent keelboat event, hosted by RGYC each January.
This increasingly popular class is growing in Australia and has attracted some of the biggest names in the sport.