The International Melges 24 class, for the first time in its history, is heading to the Southern Hemisphere.
Victoria’s seaside city of Geelong will host the Melges 24 World Championship 2014 when a first-class fleet of up to 45 high performance sportsboats will set Corio Bay ablaze from January 29 to February 2, 2014.Prior to the 2014 world title a strong Australian contingent will head to San Francisco in September for this year’s world championship, to try and wrest the trophy down under and then mount a defence to keep the silverware safely locked up in the Asia Pacific region.
Since the launch of the Melges 24 in 1993 there has never been an Asia Pacific Melges 24 World Championship or an Australianteam listed on the honour board. Australia’s strongest link to the upper echelon of world title results came in 2005 when Aussie James Spithill led a USA Melges 24 team to victory in Florida. Spithill went on to become the youngest skipper to ever win an America’s Cup, again sailing for the Americans.
This week the official world championship website was launched.
Shortly the Notice of Race will be released and online entries open via the event website. Class history, the list of past champions, details of Geelong and Victoria as a travel destination for families and friends joining competitors and detailed entrant information will also feature on the official world championship website.
The Melges 24 World Championship2014 will be organised in late January to early February 2014 by Royal Geelong Yacht Club and New TackConsulting in association with the Australian Melges 24 Class and the International Melges 24 Class Association.
Immediately following Geelong’s Festival of Sails, one of Australia’s premiere yachting regattas which will run from 23rd – 27th January and incorporate the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds, RGYC will switch to one-design mode to provide race management support for the smaller but more international sportsboat fleet boasting sailing’s crème de la crème.
Principal Race Officer will be Hank Stuart, the International Melges 24 Class Championship Coordinator, who will be working closely with the local RGYC team.
Recognising the vast distance Northern Hemisphere crews will have to travel, an international competitor assistance package is being offered. The first 10 international competitors to enter online will qualify for a $1,000 cash back to put towards shipping and travel costs.
Worldwide shipping specialist Kuehne & Nagel have provided special shipping prices for teams wishing to travel from Medemblik (Europeans 13) to San Francisco (Worlds 13), on to Geelong (Worlds 14), and back to Europe (in time for Europeans 14 in Balaton).
Thursday 23rd until Monday 27th January: Pre-Worlds (during the Festival of Sails)
Monday 27th& Tuesday 28th January: Measurement and registration
Tuesday 28th January: Practice race
Wednesday 29th January until Sunday 2nd February: Melges 24 World Championship
by Lisa Ratcliff
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8:46 AM Wed 10 Jul 2013GMT
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