Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Melges 32 Fleet Prepares For East Coast Championship

11 MAY 2010

Rye, N.Y., 11 May 2010 - The spring Melges 32 racing season officially shifts into gear this weekend at the American Yacht Club (AYC) in Rye, N.Y. for the fifth of nine USA Sailing Series events — the East Coast Championship (ECC). Thirteen high-quality teams have assembled to race, almost doubling the attendance from 2009.

Red hot and favored to do well, 2009 Melges 32 World Champion Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem with tactician Jeremy Wilmot will be in attendance. Taselaar fled back to the US sailing scene last March, at the Miami Grand Prix, looking competitively sharp as ever. He’s fresh off of the 2010 Audi Sailing Series Scarlino event, where he declared victory over 17 entries. 2009 Gold Cup Champion Rod Jabin on Ramrod is well-armed with reigning Melges 24 World Champion Chris Larson on tactics. Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca will be one to watch. Recently appointed Helmsman & Trimmer for Puma Racing’s 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean campaign, Rob Greenhalgh will serve as tactician. International Melges 32 Class President Jeff Ecklund on STAR will also attend with Jeff Madrigali on tactics. With each event, Ecklund is always looking for inventive and creative ways to diversify his team. Local AYC junior sailor, thirteen year-old Walter Florio will be an official member aboard STAR. Florio could very well be considered Ecklund’s lucky charm, as he was the junior aboard 2009 ECC Champion Jim Swartz’s Take A Junior Sailing Day crew.

The success of the Melges 32 in the Northeast is apparent and momentum continues to build. Eight of the 13 entries call this region home, including Jason Carroll on Argo, Ed Tillinghast on Dark n’ Stormy and Geoff Pierini on Shakedown. Teams from Newport, R.I. will be out in full force, such as Malcolm Gefter on Celeritas, Michael Dominguez on Bronco and Phil Lotz on Arethusa.

A full schedule of on- and off-the-water activities are planned for the event. Registration and weigh-in happens on Thursday, May 13. The first day of racing takes place on Friday, May 14, with an incredible Bliksem after-racing party planned at AYC between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 15 will be big as the 2010 ECC carries on Melges 32 tradition with Take A Junior Sailing Day. This very special opportunity allows AYC youth and junior sailors to get a real taste of what high performance, one design racing is like alongside of some of the greatest sailors in the world. Later that evening, an exquisite dinner will be held at American Yacht Club for all competing teams. Sunday will conclude with the final races and an awards ceremony.

Full Entry List
1.) Ed Tillinghast/Charles Enright, Dark N’Stormy
2.) Jason Carroll/John Baxter, Argo
3.) Malcolm Gefter/David Franzel, Celeritas
4.) Rod Jabin/Chris Larson, Ramrod
5.) Michael Dominguez/Anthony Kotoun, Bronco
6.) Jeff Ecklund/Jeff Madrigali, STAR
7.) Phil Lotz/Russ Silvestri, Arethusa
8.) Alex Jackson/Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca
9.) Pieter Taselaar/Jeremy Wilmot, Bliksem
10.) Kip Meadows/Andy Horton, roXanne
11.) Geoff Pierini/Max Skelley, Shakedown
12.) Stuart Simpson/Nigel Young, Team Barbarians
13.) Robert Hughes/Charlie Ogletree, Heartbreaker

Full Crew List
Official Event Website