Charleston – Earlier this month, the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) confidently announced it would move forward with conducting the 2021 World Championship on April 9-17 in Charleston, S.C., immediately following Charleston Race Week (read full statement). My how time flies. As hard as it may be to believe, it has been a full year since the originally scheduled event was officially postponed due to the progressing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our goal is to ensure opportunities for our sailors to sail and race their boats, where and when they can — safely,” said Laura Grondin, IM24CA Chairwoman. “We understand that perhaps not everyone will be able to attend or travel as easily as in the past, but many can. Charleston offers some of the most exciting and challenging racing conditions in the world, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to compete.”
Early Spring weather makes Charleston the ideal venue for World Championship racing. While the Class prefers racing inside the harbor, the event maintains the option to race offshore in which case, every boat will be towed. In every other case, towing to the race course will not be permitted.
“We are working very hard to make sure this event is the absolute best it can be,” says Randy Draftz, 2021 Worlds Regatta Chair. “We are putting all the necessary protocols into place to make it enjoyable and safe for everyone. The racing on Charleston Harbor will certainly be spectacular, and with Charleston Race Week serving as a warm-up to Worlds, teams will have lots of opportunities to prepare, tune and adapt.”
“We are poised and ready to assist teams who want to race. We can help with issuing travel invitations and/or helping teams make their plans in Charleston, for both Charleston Race Week and Worlds. Whatever we can do to help, we are here.”
Can’t travel with your boat? For those experiencing tighter border restrictions than others, the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) has procured a very nice selection of used boats available for charter in the U.S. which can be found online at usmelges24.com.
The early entry deadline for Worlds is February 28, 2021, with the final entry deadline for Open and Corinthian teams on April 3rd, so there is still plenty of time to register, plan and participate.