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Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2023 concludes

by International Melges 24 Class Association 28 Nov 2023 03:51 PST 17-19 November 2023
Melges 24 World Championship 2023, Middelfart, Denmark, June 2023 © Mick Anderson

The Melges 24 European Sailing Series has successfully concluded its thrilling 2023 season, marking a significant milestone for the iconic Melges 24 boat as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The series, featuring 13 events in the ranking, witnessed the participation of 101 teams from 15 countries, showcasing the enduring popularity and competitive spirit of this renowned sailing class. Chinook, helmed by Akos Csolto (HUN), secured overall and Corinthian titles, followed by Luka Šangulin's Panjic and Mataran 24, led by Ante Botica, from Croatia.

The Melges 24 European Sailing Series (ESS) regattas took place across picturesque locations in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Denmark, and Norway, providing sailors with diverse and challenging conditions that tested their skills and determination. From the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean to the stunning fjords of Norway, each event in the series offered the competitors a unique and unforgettable experience. With a similar number of regattas in both regions - South and North, the series aimed to ensure that all Melges 24 sailors had an equitable chance to participate and achieve results in this prestigious European sailing series.

The 2022 Corinthian champion of the series, Chinook, helmed by Akos Csolto (HUN), secured both overall and Corinthian titles. In the final two events in Croatia, local teams Luka Šangulin's Panjic and Mataran 24, led by Ante Botica, had an opportunity to break into the top three overall. Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team (GBR), initially leading the ranking before the final event, faced misfortune with a mast break on the second race day, settling for fourth overall and second in the Corinthian category. Lukasz Podniesinski's Razjaren (CRO) claimed the fifth spot overall, while Michael Tarabochia's White Room (GER) secured sixth overall and completed the Corinthian podium.

Peter Karrie's Nefeli (GER) and reigning Melges 24 World Champion Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee (USA) demonstrated strong performances, holding onto seventh and eighth places in the overall ranking with limited event participation. Ninth place was secured by Børre Hekk Paulsen's Helly Hansen Lisa 2 (NOR), while the reigning Melges 24 European Champion, Michele Paoletti's Strambapapa (ITA), rounded out the Top 10.

The winner, Akos Csolto, reflects on the achievements of Chinook in 2022 and 2023 and outlines ambitious plans for the future: "In 2022, during the end-of-year award ceremony of the European Championships in Genoa, the joy of receiving the ESS Corinthian Trophy fueled our determination. At that moment, we resolved to build on this momentum and set our sights on an even more illustrious trophy for the 2023 season. Achieving a historic win for a Hungarian team in the Melges 24 European Sailing Series brings us immense pride. I commend my team for their dedication and hard work.

Looking ahead, we are resolute in our commitment to continue sailing our Melges. The Melges 24 class stands out as the most technical and enjoyable among the 20-30 feet one-design keelboat classes, boasting a significant high-performance element. It provides a platform for continuous learning and improvement, a prospect we embrace wholeheartedly."

Miles Quinton of Gill Race Team: "Entering the final ESS event, we were confident despite tight competition with Chinook and White Room. Following our success in Split with a 6-point lead over Chinook and a 16-point lead over Mataran 24 and Panjic, we believed we could secure the title. A mixed first day set the stage for an exciting, windy second day in Trogir - the final event of the ESS. Unfortunately, during Race 4, a halyard issue led to a broken mast. Despite a dangerous situation, we jury-rigged a forestay and received support from the Croatian class members, allowing us to compete on the final day. We are disappointed that gear failure, not racing, determined the ESS title we hoped to replicate after the 2017 and 2015 victories. Nevertheless, proud of a team that never gives up, we look forward to returning next year stronger than ever."

Michael Tarabochia, Member Europe in IM24CA Executive Committee and the owner of White Room (GER): "The IM24CA board underwent a strategic reassessment of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series in response to the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. Recognizing the shifting preferences of sailors, especially regarding travel, a collective decision was made to revamp the series with a focus on accessibility. The concept of bringing the regattas closer to the sailors and expanding events in Northern and Southern Europe took shape, ensuring broader participation from owners and their teams.

I am extending my gratitude to all members of the IM24CA board and national Melges 24 classes' representatives for their collaborative efforts, support, and effective teamwork, which has successfully realized this initiative in the 30th year of the Melges 24 class. We are committed to refining and enhancing the scoring system for the upcoming season. The inaugural season has affirmed that we are on the right path."

2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series Overall Results: (top ten)

  1. Chinook HUN850 - Akos Csolto - 128,20 (Corinthian)
  2. Panjic CRO739 - Luka Šangulin - 126,90
  3. Mataran 24 CRO383 - Ante Botica/Ivo Matic - 125,25
  4. Gill Race Team GBR694 - Geoff Carveth/Miles Quinton - 120,50 (Corinthian)
  5. Razjaren CRO867 - Ante Cesic/Lukasz Podniesinski - 117,75
  6. White Room GER677 - Luis Tarabochia/Michael Tarabochia - 112,20 (Corinthian)
  7. Nefeli GER673 - Peter Karrie - 95,10
  8. Pacific Yankee USA865 - Drew Freides - 93,95
  9. Helly Hansen Lisa 2 NOR697 - Kristoffer Spone/Borre Hekk Paulsen - 93,30 (Corinthian)
  10. Strambapapa ITA689 - Michele Paoletti - 93,25

Corinthian 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series Overall Results: (top five)

  1. Chinook HUN850 - Akos Csolto - 128,20 (Corinthian)
  2. Gill Race Team GBR694 - Geoff Carveth/Miles Quinton - 120,50 (Corinthian)
  3. White Room GER677 - Luis Tarabochia/Michael Tarabochia - 112,20 (Corinthian)
  4. Helly Hansen Lisa 2 NOR697 - Borre Hekk Paulsen/Kristoffer Spone - 93,30 (Corinthian)
  5. Lenny EST790 - Tõnu Tõniste - 89,05 (Corinthian)

View complete results of the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series (PDF)

The Melges 24 European Sailing Series has once again demonstrated the class's ability to attract top-level competition and create memorable experiences for sailors and fans alike. As we reflect on 30 years of excellence, the Melges 24 community looks forward to many more years of thrilling competition and camaraderie. The class's enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless design, versatility, and the passionate community surrounding it. The International Melges 24 Class Association thanks the organizing clubs and national Melges 24 classes for their dedicated efforts in hosting the events.

As the Melges 24 boat celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023, it continues to prove that it is "alive and kicking," maintaining its reputation as a high-performance and dynamic sportboat that attracts sailors worldwide.

The Melges 24 is timeless. To this very day, it symbolizes a forever modern, fun approach to sportboat racing and all the people, past and present, that have made it the ultimate 'it' boat.

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