Melges 24 South Australian State Titles.
by Tracey Walters
A group of East Coast Melges 24 crews are making the 16 hour trip from Sydney to Adelaide to compete in the inaugural event this weekend. Some are transporting their boats home from the Nationals in Geelong a fortnight ago via Adelaide. Others crews had a taste of success at Geelong and are looking to improve.
Hosting the event is the world class sailing facility, Adelaide Sailing Club , home to the newest fleet of Melges 24’s in Australia. The three day event will follow the same popular format as the NSW State Titles, a highly competitive seven race series kicking off with twilight racing on the Friday night followed by two days of one design racing.
Sponsors of the event include Riviera, Copyworld and Adelaide Shores Accommodation, supporting the extremely popular international Melges 24 State Titles and the growth of the relatively new Adelaide fleet.
The racing will be held on the Gulf St Vincent, a large inlet in South Australia bordered by Yorke Peninsula to its west and the Fleurieu Peninsula on its east side. The summer temperatures in Adelaide can get very hot, forecast south to south Easterly breeze up to 25 knots on Saturday will challenge the fleet.
The hometown crews on board Gary Shanks Outrage Us and Dan O’Connell Foxtrot will be keen to flex their muscle in a fleet missing Nationals winner Bandit. Another team with home advantage is Etchell sailor Jason Ward and his crew including Heath Walters from Melges Asia Pacific.
Heath commented 'I always knew the Melges 24’s would take off in Adelaide, the conditions are perfect, it was just a matter of getting some motivated like minded sailors on board, which we have in the SA crews. I’m really looking forward to some great racing this weekend, I know they’ll give us a run for our money'.
'Adelaide Sailing Club have really welcomed the Melges 24 class and it’s great to provide another event for owners that’s not on the East Coast' said Heath. Melges 24 Association of Australia website
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5:42 PM Thu 9 Feb 2012 GMT
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