Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge

Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge Related topics:

23 May 2017




GROSSE POINTE, Mich. (May 21, 2017) – High school sailors battled it out this weekend at the Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge. With cheers and camera clicks from the audience on the bleachers, the Melges 14 put on a big show for the crowd. It was the perfect boat for Stadium Sailing, a brand new format designed to bring the sport of sailing closer to the public eye—literally.


Now that’s a great way to grow the sport.


Melges 14 Stadium Sailing




Sailing can be tough to reach and even harder to watch, but Stadium Sailing has emerged as a solution, propelling the sport into the awareness of new audiences. The Melges 14 attracted lots of power boaters and enthusiasts to watch sailing during the Great Lakes Boating Festival at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.


The Melges 14 proved to be the perfect boat to bring sailing to the masses during this weekend’s event. Made by Melges Performance Sailboats, the Melges 14 is a modern singlehanded one-design racing boat with a comfortable cockpit and open transom. It was awarded Sailing World’s 2016 Boat of the Year – Best Dinghy for its ultra-fast design, three rigs and ability to sail with one person or two. The Melges 14 offers a clear path for scholastic sailors to stay in the sport after graduation.


“For most of these youth sailors, this was the first look at the popular Melges 14. It was really fun to see them get into the boats for the first time and, wow, you should have seen their smiles. The high school teams really had fun,” said Eric Ellison, Head Coach of Detroit County Day, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills High School Sailing Teams.



With a real stake in active recruitment, scholastic sailing is doing its part to grow the base of the sport, getting never-evers into sailboats every season. By designing racing for spectators, the new format in the new class of boats increases exposure and accessibility of the sport. At the Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge, six high schools sailed Melges 14s to put on a show for the public and the parents. Until now, parents and supporters didn’t have an easy, accessible way to get close enough to the action to see what it’s all about. This weekend’s Melges 14 racing at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Sailing Stadium featured a course close to the crowd, ripping off short, intense races using the MarkSetBot, a motorized, remote-controlled buoy developed for Stadium Sailing. The racing was up close and personal.


“I’m part of the powerboat crowd. I was over on the shore looking at the sailing, and the Melges 14 caught my eye, so I came over to see what was going on,” said Jim Tuck of Detroit, Michigan, “The clear sails on these fast boats are really, really cool. I’ve never seen anything like this … They are obviously having a lot of fun. I hear that the [Melges 14] boats are pretty affordable too.”




Grosse Pointe South High School Sailing Team won the event, followed by West Bloomfield and Detroit Country Day.


“I think the Melges 14 is really well designed. I love the self-draining cockpit, which lets you focus on sailing instead of constantly bailing the boat. They’re super fast boats, and they’re just extremely fun to sail,” said Jacob Mackey, a senior at Detroit Country Day.


“They’re really fun. They accelerate super quickly. I also like them because you don’t have to bail. The water just flows right out the open transom. These Melges 14s are totally rad,” said Adrianna ‘Adj’ Lee, a Junior at Bloomfield Hills High School.


“It’s not a Laser and it’s not a Bic – It’s like a really exciting, better hybrid between the two,” said Nicole Millerman, a sophomore at West Bloomfield High School.


“I had a chance at the end of the day to sail one for a few minutes. I have been a Laser sailor for almost 40 years and could feel the difference in the two boats right away. The Melges 14 felt more lively upwind and was much more comfortable in the hiking position. The rig was very controllable and the boat accelerated quickly in the puffs,” said John Walton, Sailing Director of Crescent Sail Yacht Club.


The event was organized by Melges Performance Sailboats and Grosse Pointe Yacht Club as a stop on the Melges 14 Tour and was supported by the Premiere Sailing League and the MarkSetBot.


Melges 14 Stadium Sailing



Built by Melges Performance Sailboats in Zenda, Wisconsin, USA and designed by Reichel/Pugh, the Melges 14 is a modern singlehanded one-design, yet also has the ability to sail with two people. The Melges 14 was honored as Sailing World’s 2016 Boat of the Year – Best Dinghy. The boat is 14 feet and features a large, open cockpit so no bailing is required. The carbon mast and boom complements its modern, flexible sail plan with three rigs: Gold (98 sq. ft.), Blue (85 sq. ft.), and Red (58 sq. ft.). With boats in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Melges 14 is emerging as a true high performance one-design racing boat. It’s speed, quality, durability, comfort and fun wrapped into one dynamic sailing package. Sailors can order a custom Melges 14 dolly, easily car top it or tow it behind any vehicle. It’s perfect as a beach boat, a family-style sailboat or a one-design racing platform. Learn more about at and try one this summer on the Melges 14 Tour:



For more than 70 years, Melges has proudly delivered superior-built scows and sportboats around the world and now offers the Melges 14 and Melges 40. Melges Performance Sailboats provides continuous customer service and product support unlike anyone else. Every Melges boat is signed, sealed, endorsed and delivered race ready by the best, for the best. For more information about Melges Performance Sailboats, visit



Andy Burdick, Melges Performance Sailboats
(262) 275-1110