Villasimius – The biggest, most major event of the season for the Melges 24 Class – Melges 24 World Championship 2019 – is now a short three weeks away from its start. To registration closing date on September 15 the entry list includes the participation of 62 teams representing 15 nations of three continents, among them besides European teams inclusions from Singapore, Canada and the United States.
Shoreside, Marina di Villasimius and Lega Navale Villasimius are fully prepared and already welcoming Melges 24 teams that anticipate a warm-up racing and boat tuning at the pre-Worlds in Villasimius this upcoming weekend. The World Championship itself will be raced from Tuesday 8 October to Saturday 12 October.
For many teams the stakes are high, and the favorites to watch include three Melges 24 World Champions and several podium finishers at past Melges 24 Championship events: Andrea Racchelli’s Altea (Italy), reigning World Champion; 2017 World Champion, Gian Luca Perego’s Maidollis (Italy) with Carlo Fracassoli-Enrico Fonda tandem onboard; 2013 World Champion Brian Porter with his sons onboard of Full Throttle (USA). Even more eager for the title, for sure, are the teams having been on the podium, but not on the highest level yet. Bruce Ayres’ team Monsoon (USA) includes America’s Cupper Mike Buckley as tactician and Federico Michetti, multiple world champion of the Melges 24 and other classes. Kevin Welch’s Mikey (USA), Michael Goldfarb’s Warcanoe (USA), Andrea Pozzi’s Bombarda (Italy) and Richard Reid’s Zingara (Canada) are also top teams with a lot to gain, to name only few.
Great racing is in store for the all-amateur Melges 24 teams. There are numerous teams that have faired well in past World Championships but one team stands out for their recent success as a double winner of the Corinthian Title – Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 (Italy) with Niccolo Bertola in helm with the titles from 2016 and 2017. But they will have some impressive opposition in some strong teams like former double World Champion Lenny (Estonia) of Tõnu Tõniste, former triple World Champion Storm Capital Sail Racing (Norway) helmed by Peder Jahre, 2019 ORC Sportboat Champion Arkanoe by Montura (Italy) of Sergio Caramel, and recent European podium finishers Seven_Five_Nine (Hungary) of Akos Csolto and Gill Race Team (Great Britain) of Miles Quinton with Geoff Carveth in helm, to name a few.
Andrea Racchelli – Altea, reigning World Champion and President of the Italian Melges 24 Class is very happy to see 61 teams entered to the Worlds. “We are reigning world champions and will be very difficult to defend the title, since the entry list is long and full of very strong team from Europe and US. For sure Altea will fight till the end! As the President of the Italian Melges 24 Class I’m very happy that Melges 24 fleet can sail in wonderful Villasimius, I hope that each sailor of this big family will enjoy this awesome place. I know that reaching Sardinia is a bit difficult, but I’m sure, everybody will be happy about this choice!”
Brian Porter – Full Throttle, 2013 World Champion is very much looking forward to racing against stiff competition in Italy. “I have had tremendous experiences sailing in Europe on the Melges 24. I am especially looking forward to enjoying the time with my sons n the boat. Villasimius looks like a beautiful place with a good racecourse and hopefully great breeze!”
Mike Buckley – Monsoon, 2017 Worlds runner-up and 2018 bronze is saying that the Melges 24 class is as strong as ever! “We are excited to race against 60+ boats from around the world for the World Championship. There is something special about racing in Italy so it attracts the best of the best, you have to bring your best to have a shot at winning!”
Niccolo Bertola – Taki 4, 2016 and 2017 Corinthian World Champion is very excited about this event in Villasimius for many reasons. “First, because the Melges 24 World Championship in Sardinia is the best you could ask for sailing, and also because I like the idea of “closing” the season with a World Championship. There will be 60+ boats racing from around the world – all the best teams will be in Villasimius and this will make it hard and exciting. The pre-Worlds will be very important for us to get back in shape after two months break and to understand the racing area. I can’t wait to start!”
Tõnu Tõniste – Lenny, 2015 and 2006 Corinthian World Champion is saying that the level of the competition will be very high. “There are World Champions Maidollis and Altea from Italy on the list, as well very strong top teams from the United States. Also, among the Corinthian teams there are all strong teams from the recent title events what happened in Europe, present – Taki 4, Gill Race Team, Storm Capital Sail Racing, Team Kesbeke and us. Lately, Corinthian teams have been showing strong competition against the pro teams and I hope, that may be this time one of the all-amateur teams will reach the overall podium.”
Jens Wathne, the Chairman of the International Melges 24 Class, helming Party Girl (Norway), is excited about the upcoming title event. “With only few weeks away, most of the teams are starting the final preparations for the ultimate title of the class. Some teams take the opportunity to race at the pre-Worlds to have local knowledge and to run the championship crew through the paces. The fleet is looking forward to warm weather sailing in turquoise waters of Villasimius with a well-organized championship under Micro Babini’s supervision. The Italian National Class Association has also worked hard to make this championship the best possible. Personally, I am looking forward to this grand finale of the season. Also, I would thank all the teams from 15 nations for making the efforts to travel and participate in the championship. Safe travels!”
The Melges 24 World Championship 2019 is the final event both for the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2019 as well for the Italian Melges24Tour 2019.