Setting The Table
2 October 2014
Miami, FL - Entering its sixth World Championship season, the International Melges 32 Class Association has raced at arguably every world-class venue on the globe, has seen the most respected pro and amateur sailors on its courses and most importantly, learned valuable lessons of what owners and sailors want so that the Melges 32 continues to be strongest one design grand prix sportboat on the planet.
In just a few short months, South Beach Miami will welcome over 25 teams to the 2014 Melges 32 World Championship and provide an open door to its crystal blue waters, rolling seas, epic sailing conditions, over-the-top restaurants and nightlife. South Beach has teed up a first class event as it looks to supplant Porto Cervo, San Francisco, Palma, Newport and Porto Rotondo as the premiere Melges 32 World Championship venue.
Leading up to the main event, two additional regattas are scheduled in South Beach that will help ease logistical expenses while getting teams familiar with the venue on- and off-the-water. A class-supported training regatta will take place October 17-19, followed by the longest standing Melges 32 regatta, the Gold Cup on November 7-9.
In an effort to promote a welcoming, grassroots, open environment amongst the fleet, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club Cup in October will allow teams to work with a coach provided by the Melges 32 Class, experiment with settings and techniques, hoist sails without using buttons and polish their sailing in a relaxed, racing atmosphere. In the words of Class President Jason Carroll, "No single team in this class has all the answers - consider that in five years of racing we've had five distinct World Champions. We all stand to improve as racers through the synthesis of our ideas, and that's what this regatta is about."
Longtime sailor and "keen eye" Andreas Josenhans will serve as the fleet coach and will be spreading the wealth from top to bottom to ensure every team participating in the training weekend leaves improved heading into the Gold Cup. The mission of the Melges 32 Class is to provide fair, balanced, exciting one-design racing on a grand prix platform. Learning from previous seasons, class leadership is exploring every avenue to level the playing field and ensure that the one design spirit of the Melges 32 is protected.
While many North American sailors are shrink-wrapping their race boats for the winter, the Melges 32 class is just getting ramped up for an epic battle in the months ahead. Looking at the list of registrants for Worlds, the fleet is surging back to strong numbers, and almost every previous World Champion will be competing in South Beach. It is not easy to remain at the top, but the Melges 32 Class embraces that challenge as it continues to provide its owners, sailors and volunteers with an unforgettable sailing experience.