A Message From Int Melges 24 Class Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi

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10 December 2010

From International Melges 24 Class Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi

Dear Fellow Melges Sailors,

This is my first message as International Chairman of the Class.

I would like to thank all the many of you who have been so supportive to me with messages, mails and calls following my election.  Thank you for your warm welcome.

I did a similar job in the past for many years in a very complicate environment and I promised myself not to do it again BUT it has been impossible to resist to the gentle and firm request of the Executive (thank you Gunter and Tomi!) on one side and to the love I have for the Melges 24 on the other.

I'm sailing in many different classes and many different ways but the atmosphere of the Melges 24 is really a good one and at the same level of some of the most renewed sailing classes and cultures.

This gives me and all the Executive the enthusiasm to work on the project to exploit the class at international level promoting the growth as much as possible in new areas or countries. We will try to achieve it with a "country by country" kind of approach, trying not to act randomly but taking advantage of the day by day opportunities.

We have already set a calendar of the major events for some years in advance to give the time to build fleets in the relevant areas and to give time to all to plan in advance.

2011 Melges 24 World Championship - Corpus Christi, Texas, USA - May 11-21
2011 Melges 24 European Championship - Aarhus, Denmark - July 22-28
2012 World Championship - Scarlino, Italy - TBC September 2012
2012 North American Championship - San Francisco, California, USA - August 19-25
2013 European Championship - Medemblik, Netherlands - Date TBC (during middle part of year)
2013 World Championship - San Francisco, California, USA - Date TBC (during second half of the year)
2013 Australasian Championship - Sydney, Australia - Date TBC (during first quarter of year)
2014 World Championship - Sydney, Australia - Date TBC (during first quarter of year)

The concept is to endorse a "turn over" concept to be present in every developing areas.  We hope this will be suitable and that the already big existing fleets will demonstrate their support to the Class with the biggest possible participation in these events.

A healthy International Class is a guarantee of success and survival for everybody.

It is my experience that just one policy doesn't fit to a truly international class: the are at least 3 different geographical areas to be considered with different approaches.  The old Europe has the most consolidated system that may need to be fine tuned trying to implement International cooperation. Distances are not as big as in the USA or Oceania and if we focus on participating and highlighting the big events we can expect a good development. 

The USA has different problems mainly due to the really big distances in just one country. This is historical, but, the good news is that there is a new enthusiastic and experienced team of USMCA Officers that have already started to work in the right direction. The idea is to create more "regional events" to enable an easier participation at local level as a path to then participate in at least one big event.  But to set the first goal in becoming the "Regional Champion" maybe a good way to give to the most a title to sail for and to have fun for.

I definitely want to have the USA back to "real Numbers" in the fleets!

Oceania are "the new kids on the blocks" and we hope that to have a World Championship in their continent in 2014 will encourage the existing fleet to expand and to be at the start with many of their excellent sailors. There are a lot of positive signs from that area that has excellent sailing conditions for the Melges 24.

We will also try to track all the produced boats and to have them listed with their last owner and club so that we can have a better idea where all the boats are at the moment and push them to participation.

A new Website is on the way to arrive soon

On this basic program we will also try to take advantage of the new ISAF advertising code that, in its last version, finally gives to the Classes a concrete possibility of promotion through fundraising and sponsorships.

On other issues we will prize stability for the moment.

With the existing weight rule we have a rule that works and there will be no change for the moment, never the less we should keep on investigating other possible formulas.  I tell you, as I made a big battle in the past to be the first class president ever to introduce a weight rule system, I'm very sensitive on this matter. A perfect rule doesn't exist as each one of the possible ones have different pros and cons. Probably the best one is the tighter one but this may take out for the Corinthians all the fun by keeping them under the stress of checking their weight all the week long. Any how we will investigate further if there is something better.

On the Corinthian matter I honestly think that what we have is the best formula possible. It is nice to sail all together and to prize the real Corinthians. Sometimes we may not agree on the Status of someone but this is in the hands of ISAF and more than that in the fairness of the competitors.

Last but not least I believe in sharing the management of the Class together with all my fellow Executive Officers and the Two Vice Chairmen with specific tasks to each one of us.  Thanks to them we form a great enthusiastic team that share the philosophy to diminish rumours and chattering to be focused on actions, but we need your support, particularly in this troubled times, to push the class forward to maintain the well renewed status of "best one design class in the world".

See you soon on the water
Riccardo  Simoneschi
IMCA International Chairman

National Class Administrators and Webmasters are kindly asked to urgently forward this information to their members and post the notification to their websites, in their own languages where necessary.