Geelong, Australia To Host First Southern Hemisphere Melges 24 Worlds In January 2014
28 November 2012
One of the most exciting decisions of the IMCA World Council AGM on Saturday was the confirmation that the 2014 Melges 24 World Championship will take place in Geelong, Victoria, Australia in January. Less than an hour from Melbourne, Geelong is a stunning waterside city surrounded by some of Australia's best beaches and visitor attractions. The multi-million dollar Waterfront Geelong area with its host of cafes, restaurants, shops and even a fully restored art deco seawater baths will be the shoreside backdrop for the championship with racing taking place on Corio Bay, where hot sun, warm water and a cranking sea breeze are the order of the day.
The Australian Melges 24 Class and it's partners are developing some very special deals to ensure travelling to the Geelong Worlds is a very attractive proposition for overseas teams of which more shortly. Already the Australian Class has grown to 25 boats and with another 14 months still to go plus the draw of a major championship in the offing this number will grow with many top sailors in other classes already on standby for the chance to race against the best the Melges 24 fleet has to offer.
The event will be hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club whose reputation for world class regatta management is second to none. The legendary Geelong Race Week - combining competition on our World Championship race area with a classic relaxed and fun Aussie vibe ashore - will host the 2014 Australian Melges 24 National Championship/Pre-Worlds, ensuring that for those making the long haul from Europe and North America the trip will be truly worthwhile.
The provisional schedule for the event is:
Australian Nationals – Pre Worlds – Festival of Sails
Thursday 23 January - Registration
Friday 24 to Monday 27 January - Geelong Week/National Championship Racing
Melges 24 World Championship
Tuesday 28 January - Registration
Wednesday 29 January - Registration, Invitation Race and Opening Ceremony
Thursday 30 January to Sunday 2 February - Championship Racing.
Already the Australian Fleet has put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes for this event securing fantastic support from the regional authorities and other local sponsors. More details of this will be published shortly.
Speaking on behalf of the host club, Commodore Andrew Neilson said - "Royal Geelong Yacht Club is delighted to host the Melges 24 2014 World Championship. I would like to thank the Australian and International Melges 24 Associations for showing their support for having the event in the Asia Pacific region. I look forward to welcoming both National and International competitors to our great club and the City of Geelong. I can assure all participants that they will have great racing on the waters of Corio Bay with an afternoon sea breeze providing exiting conditions for sailing. Our race management team and associated infrastructure are well equipped to handle this significant sailing event.
"Competitors will experience our Festival of Sails regatta immediately prior to the World Championships. This regatta is the largest keelboat regatta in the southern hemisphere and the state of Victoria’s oldest sporting event."
"I am looking forward to working with the International and Australian Melges 24 Associations to delivery this World Class milestone event for the Class. See you all here in January 2014."
So start packing your bathers and practising your "G'days" coz we're on our way to the Land Down Under folks! Further information and an event website will be published very soon.
Fiona Brown IMCA