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Melges 14 at the Olympic One Person Dinghy Sea Trials

by Sail-World.com 16 Mar 13:14 PDT 11-14 March 2019
Melges 14s at the Olympic One Person Dinghy Sea Trials in Valencia © Melges

Melges' Eddie Cox was on the ground at the Sea Trials for the selection of Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Events which took place between 11th and 14th March in Valencia.

We spoke to him about his views on the trials and to learn more about the Melges 14 itself.

"We were excited to be given the opportunity to show why we think the Melges 14 is such a great platform for high-level single-handed sailing. The venue itself was good; it would have been great to have seen some heavier winds for a few of the days, but we think we had a good range of conditions and it was a fair test of the boats," said Eddie.

The Laser dinghy was unveiled in 1971, so it is high time to re-evaluate whether a design this old should be the Olympic single-hander.

"It's time to make a change and have a more modern hull shape. We really feel at Melges that having a boat that's fun for people to go out and sail in because it's fast, fun and comfortable is key for sailing as a sport and to help the sport grow."

Through the years there have been various single-handers which have come into the dinghy market, but recently we have seen a few new designs come to the fore, including the Melges 14, RS Aero and D-Zero, all gaining a following.

"There's a hunger for change world-wide. At Melges we're able to supply the boat on a global scale and we're open to allowing for new builders and different suppliers to build the boat at a fair and competitive price for them, so we think we're well positioned to satisfy global demand for the boat."

The 2019 Melges 14 World League is already under way with the Melges 14 Midwinter Championship already in the books and some great events lined up.

"We're really excited about the World League, it's going to be a lot of fun for everyone. We already have very competitive, social regatta series for the Melges 32 and Melges 20, so the Melges 14 is a continuation of what we do in those classes, both in North America and Europe, accumulating points over the season to become World League Champion. Our hope is that it will drive worldwide participation with Europeans travelling to America to compete and vice versa. Also Australians, Japanese and South Africans travelling to events in Europe and America we're really excited about it all this season."

Melges' heritage is in the Scow classes, but more recently has been concentrated on the fast keelboats such as the Melges 20, 24 and 32. With the 14 there is a feeling of Melges going back to their roots and the team are clearly excited about what the boat provides.

"Our roots are in Scows, and this is definitely harking back to being able to go sailing by yourself and sailing anytime you want - the boat is just really fun to go and have a sail in. There's a lot you can get out of the boat to make it go fast. The more you sail it, the more you can get out of it."

You can find out more about the Melges 14 at www.melges14.com

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