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Melges forges new partnership with Melges Ireland

by Melges Performance Sailboats 22 Aug 2023 04:04 PDT
Melges forges new partnership with Melges Ireland © Melges Performance Sailboats

Melges Performance Sailboats is delighted to announce the opening of Melges Ireland. Melges Ireland is the newest international dealer of the Melges 15, Melges 14, and Melges 24.

The effort is led by John Sheehy, a lifelong Dublin Bay sailor and the mover for bringing the Melges 15 to Dublin Bay. At Sheehy's behest, a container of a dozen Melges 15s made its way to private owners at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in May 2023.

"As a father of three boys, wanting to get back into dinghy sailing, I was looking for a boat that was stable enough to take my kids out, allowed for one-design racing with old team race crews and was super fast, easy and fun," explained Sheehy. "When I saw the Melges 15 win Sailing World's Boat of the Year Award in 2022, it caught my attention. A call to Eddie Cox at Melges, along with feedback from US team racing friends, confirmed that the Melges 15 was the boat I had been searching for."

Since the arrival of the fleet of Melges 15s in Ireland, the group has been racing weekly with plans for frostbiting in the off-season.

The fleet has a new annual prize for fastest speed - the Top Gun Award. "So far, I have sailed at 14 knots with my 11- and 10-year-old. Now, the Irish speed record is over 19 knots set by one of Ireland's best dinghy sailors, sailing with his dad."

Melges Ireland also took a boat on a five-stop demo tour around the country, with the boat heading to the National Yacht Club this week.

The Dublin Bay Fleet scheduled its first training regatta with Cox from Melges on September 16-17. Cox, who has led the design and testing of the M15 from the start, will be adding some expert tips and lessons based on what's working to date with the 650+ boats that are already racing in the US. With friendly rivalries already cemented, the Irish National Championship will be hosted October 7-8 at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club, Dublin.

The boat is already proving itself as a true crossover boat on Irish waters, according to Sheehy. The hull shape was designed in consultation with Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design with the goal to maximize stability while still maintaining an easily driven hull form in lighter wind. This means the boat is stable enough for beginners and older sailors while having the performance to keep better sailors coming back for more.

The boat is already proving itself as a true crossover boat on Irish waters. The hull shape was designed in consultation with Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design with the goal to maximize stability while still maintaining an easily driven hull form in lighter wind. This means the boat is stable enough for beginners and older sailors while having the performance to keep better sailors coming back for more. It's proving a hit with families where all sorts of combinations such as spouses, parent/child, cousins, and siblings have already been sailing in Ireland.

One family owner, Theo Lyttle said "When I first heard about the possibility of the Melges 15 coming to Ireland, I wondered if this could be the new dinghy class for Ireland. Well, I am happy to say I think it is. It's fast, easy to sail, and, dare I say, comfortable. All my family have been sailing in the Melges 15. I think it's going to be a great boat to get people back into dinghy sailing."

Visit www.melgesireland.com for more information on offerings, news and demos.

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