Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On the eve of the largest gathering of Melges 32s...


Cleared For Launch In Porto Cervo At Audi Melges 32 World Championship

Porto Cervo, Italy (22 September) - On the eve of the largest gathering of Melges 32s in the world ever, pre-regatta preparations such as weigh-in, sail measurement, boat inspections and interviews with ISAF's classification committee are complete. Thirty entries from eight nations spanning Europe, Australia and the United States are expected to compete. The predominantly Italian fleet features 19 of Italy’s finest, 3 from Great Britain, 3 from the USA and one entry each from Monaco, Czech Republic, France, Australia and Germany.

Teams front and center of the event, and expected to do well include 2009 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series Champion Carlo Alberini on ITA-186 Calvi Network with Gabriele Benussi as tactician and 2008 Audi Series Champion Claudio Recchi on ITA-93 Team 93 with American Jonathan McKee calling tactics. Rendering Recchi fully armed and dangerous is three-time Melges 24 World and European Champion Federico Michetti. Recchi's crew also includes former America's Cup helmsman Flavio Favini who has won his fair share of major championship titles including that of Melges 24 World Ranking Champion in 2008.

Also included in the trifecta of potential winners is Pieter Taselaar on USA-169 Bliksem. Long-time tactician Jeremy Wilmot, alongside of his Olympic champion brother Nathan will join Taselaar as he has clearly traveled to Porto Cervo to win. This phenomenal team has been together since the very birth of the fleet in the USA. They successfully conquered the 2009 Miami Grand Prix and since have been competing in Europe building toward Worlds winning both Scarlino and Cagliari.

The teams enjoyed practice racing today under the careful hand of legendary PRO Peter 'Luigi' Reggio. No doubt, the very first Audi Melges 32 World Championship is in good hands, hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Following a brief skipper's meeting, Melges 32 teams and guests congregated in the pool area of the club for champagne in honor of the championship being declared open.

Racing begins promptly at 12:00 on Wednesday, 23 September with two races planned.

Full Entry List : Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009