Miami – Alessandro Rombelli and the Italian Stig team of Francesco Bruni, Giorgio Tortarolo, and Tea Faoro are the winners of the 2019 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, Florida. Rhonda Joyce and the Grinning Streak team of Jeremy Edwards and Tony Bowman earn the Corinthian World Championship title. Tight competition characterized the championship; the top four teams were only a few points apart, locked in a tight battle throughout the final day.
Hearthbreaker by Bob Hughes with Federico Michetti and Manu Weiller finished in second place, giving a warm, happy embrace to the Stig team after the finish. Russian Bogatyrs by Igor Rytov with Konstantin Besputin and Anton Sergeev, always a tough team to beat, finished in third place. Daniel Thielman’s Kuai and Vladimir Prosikhin’s Nika rounded out the podium.
Rombelli started the regatta on a difficult note with an OCS in the first race, but constant improvement in the scoreboard throughout the event proved to be successful. Stig won Race Nine by a massive margin – more than one minute before the next boat (an incredible feat in the Melges 20 class). “We are super happy,” said Rombelli, “We have been strong here in Miami; in 2011, we won the Gold Cup, and now we’ve won the Worlds. Miami is the place for Stig. The fleet at the Worlds was very strong with close racing, and eventually we won with a good margin, so we are very very happy.”
The International Melges 20 Class Association extends its deep gratitude to Coconut Grove Sailing Club, the CGSC Race Committee Team of 24 volunteers led by PRO Blake Middleton, Regatta Chair Ron Rostorfer and Dottie Rostorfer, Shake-A-Leg, Melges USA and Melges Europe.
Onward and upward – The Melges 20 Class and the Melges World League now look to Europe and Asia for racing, then back to North America for next winter’s Miami Winter Series. The 2020 World Championship will be in Europe, and the 2021 World Championship will be back in North America.