10 February 2016
Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Dating back to December 2006, the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and Bahia Mar Marina have played host to Melges 32 teams from all over the world who looked to cash in on a reliable venue and world-class race committee. This location delivers the absolute best in one-design, grand prix racing, and for the second act of the Blue Water Series, great weather conditions are in the forecast along with some amazing competition.
Fast forward to 2016, the relationship between LYC and the Melges 32 Class is as strong as ever. The fleet is experiencing a resurgence, and the Gold Cup remains as prestigious as it was at its inception. With an impressive roster of Pro and Corinthian teams, eight races will determine the winner, and move the Blue Water Series standings ever closer to naming its very first overall champion.
Absent from the the U.S. National Championship last December, reigning World Champion Alessandro Rombelli on STIG joins the fleet in Fort Lauderdale. With a new look, and as a result of several team members departing for the America’s Cup, Rombelli remains in World Championship competitive mode, ready to fend off a super-charged fleet for a potential win at the Gold Cup.
Debuting at the Blue Water Series after an almost 4-year hiatus, longtime Melges 32 owner Ben Schwartz and his Pisces team are beaming. This team is ready to shake off some rust and jump into the mix with a great performance here in South Florida. With a team line-up of current and past one-design world champions, Schwartz is welcomed back with open arms, and some close lee-bows.
Newly appointed International Class President Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio on G-SPOT, Richard Goransson’s Inga From Sweden, double World Champ (2013, 2014) Jason Carroll and his charismatic Argo Team, Ed Tillinghast on Dark n’Stormy, Christian Schwoerer and Veit Hemmeter on La Pericolosa, Louisiana’s Chris Wientjes on Stormvogel and Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina Amerikana are among the other participating teams.
And last, but certainly not least are the Devos’ - Dick DeVos at the helm of Volpe, and his son Rick to helm Delta for the very first time ever in the fleet. Experienced and confident, this family-based effort is certainly on the watch list for doing well this weekend.
At the first Blue Water Series event, the Melges 32 fleet embraced youth sailing in a new way, and inspiration all at one time with Corinthian Champs on Team Hydra. Championed by lady helm Morgan Kiss, this energetic, yet tenacious team is poised to keep up the good work, ever lessening a steep learning curve at the turn of every beat and run. So encouraged, that this team is ‘in it, to win it” as they have committed not only to Melges 32 racing for the remainder of the now popular BWS, but also extending to the forthcoming National Championship on August 19-21, and the Worlds on September 29 thru October 2, 2016 hosted by Sail Newport in Newport, RI.
Grant Hood’s Team Quest from Canada returns more determined than ever, this time helmed by John Messenger. This team had flashes of brilliance in the first event, and anticipate more of the same this coming weekend.
YOUTH TO THE HIGHEST POWER
Another historical aspect of the regattas held in Lauderdale, is the inclusion of Take A Junior Sailing day, thanks to the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation (LYCSF). With a complete portfolio of some of the brightest, up-and-coming junior sailors in the country virtually at their fingertips, each Melges 32 team will have a youngster aboard on Saturday, February 13 (weather permitting). Just imagine young sailors having the opportunity to sail with and against the likes of Vasco Vascotto, Jonathan McKee or Mark Mendelblatt. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for these young sailors and the Melges 32 Class is very proud to have them as a part of the 2016 Gold Cup.
Official Gold Cup racing commences on Friday, February 12 and ends on Sunday, February 14.
MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
As with all other Melges 32 events around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 32 Facebook Page. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges32.com.
FULL ENTRY LIST
1.) Jason Carroll/Andy Horton, Argo
2.) Edward Tillinghast/Charlie Enright, Dark n’Stormy
3.) Rick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta
4.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-SPOT
5.) Richard Goransson/Vasco Vascotto, Inga From Sweden
6.) Christian Schwoerer & Veit Hemmeter/Karol Jablonski, La Pericolosa
7.) Benjamin Schwartz/Mike Buckley, Pisces
8.) Morgan Kiss/Alex Post (C), Team Hydra
9.) Jon Messenger/Rossi Milev (C), Quest
10.) Alessandro Rombelli/Manuel Weiller, STIG
11.) Chris Wienjtes/Jake Scott; Stormvogel
12.) Andrea Lacorte/Jesper Radich, Vitamina Amerikana
13.) Dick DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe
For more information about the 2016 Melges 32 Blue Water Series, visit these Official Yachtscoring Event Websites: