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Festival of Sails 2024 LEADERBOARD

Let the racing begin at the 10th 2023 Melges 24 North American Championship

by International Melges 24 Class Association 15 Sep 00:08 PDT 15-17 September 2023
Runner-up of the Melges 24 North American Championship 2019 Richard Reid on his Zingara CAN853 at the Melges 24 Worlds 2022 in Ft. Lauderdale FL USA © IM24CA | Matias Capizzano

The time has arrived and anticipation is high before tomorrow's start of the 2023 Melges 24 North American Championship, which after four years of hiatus will be sailed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this upcoming weekend! Hosted by the National Yacht Club (TheNYC) by a delegation of the Canadian Melges 24 Class Association (CanM24CA) under the authority of the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA), the event will be held from 15 to 17 September.

The last time when the international Melges 24 fleet enjoyed Canadian hospitality, was the Melges 24 World Championship hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with the Canadian Forces Sailing Association and Victoria International Marina as a hosting venue in Victoria, BC back in 2018. That was the venue, where the ultimate stalwart of the Melges 24 - Andrea Racchelli and his team on Altea from Italy claimed their first and well-deserved Melges 24 Worlds' title.

Meanwhile, it was the Grand Traverse Yacht Club in Traverse City, Michigan, USA which hosted the Melges 24 North American Championship in 2019, where another Melges 24 stalwart Travis Weisleder and his team on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team (USA) claimed the title, while Fraser McMillan's Sunnyvale from Canada was crowned as the Corinthian North American Champion. Due to the global pandemic, the next Melges 24 North Americans were postponed twice to finally take place in September 2023.

Scot Zimmerman, a member of the IM24CA Executive Committee and the Event Director of the 2019 North American Championship, will be sailing also in Toronto on his Bad Idea USA717 against the Canadian-U.S. Melges 24 fleet to experience high-intensity sailing on one of the most magical skylines in Canada and in the best conditions of the season. The U.S. Melges 24 Class will be represented also by Megan Ratliff, U.S. Melges 24 Class President and owner of the Corinthian-powered Decorum (USA).

Richard Reid, the owner of Zingara, runner-up of the 2019 North Americans and Vice Commodore - Fleet of National Yacht Club is excited to be hosting the North American Championship in his home club. "It will be a fabulous fall racing on the Toronto lakefront! Racing will happen south of the city and the islands right out on Lake Ontario — early fall breezes and a wide-open venue will make for some great racing."

Scott Blair, Regatta Chair from the National Yacht Club insists: "Our team will make sure that we have just as much fun on shore as on the water, we'll have a few fun surprises for the fleet."

Laura Grondin, the IM24CA Chair is happy to see the Continental title event in North America happening again. "2023 is the 30th Anniversary of the advent of the Melges 24 sailboat and this is the tenth time to race for the Melges 24 North American titles! I especially want to thank our hosts who have waited an additional two years to put on this regatta!" said Grondin.

With the practice race taking place on Thursday, September 14, the North American Championship itself will run from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September. A total of ten windward/leeward races are scheduled, with one race required to constitute the championship. Once six races have been completed a single discard will be introduced.

Melges 24 North American Championship is also event #8 in the series of the U.S. Melges 24 Class' National Ranking 2023 and the third event of the Quantum Melges 24 Great Lakes Cup consisting of four high-profile events across the Midwest District of the U.S. Melges 24 Class.

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