MELGES 24 – Torbole, Italy – 17 July 2012 - Torbole, one of the venues most appreciated by the Melges 24′s specialists, is preparing for what promises to be perhaps the most important event in the history of the one design produced by Melges Performance Sailboats. The World Championship, scheduled on the waters of tha Garda Lake between July 28 and August 4, will bring to the starting line 128+ crews: an unprecedented number for the class, which gathered 126 entrants for the 2006 World Championship in Hyeres, where the winner was Bete Bossini skippered by Nicola Celon.
Since then, the number of nations represented has increased from 15 in 2006 to 22 at this year’s event, to underline the great success enjoyed by the Melges 24 internationally. Widely distributed, capable of embracing five continents – Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania – and constantly growing, as evidenced by the presence of numerous crews from Eastern Europe and the debut of Russia and New Zealand, absolute newcomer in the class.
It takes just a glance at the entry list to realise that, with twenty-four teams, the largest fleet is coming from Germany, followed by the Italian one, which, though missing the three-time World Champion Uka Uka Racing (Santini-Bressani, winner in 2008, 2010 and 2011) still includes many of the favorites for final success. Good numbers also from the Swiss and Dutch fleets, which will deploy nine crews. For the Dutch it will be a good test as they look ahead to the European Championship, scheduled for next year in Medemblik, Holland.
A mention also for the the represantatives of Japan and New Zealand, who face a long journey of nearly twenty thousand miles to reach Torbole and will also face twelve hours jet lag.
The high number of subscribers requires that the Race Committee will initially divide the fleet into four groups – each marked by a different color – who will race each other in a series of round robin races alternating across two different race courses. After six qualifying round robin races, the organisers will use the round robin results to split the competitors into Gold and Silver Fleets and the World Championship will continue with six more races scheduled to determine the final standings of the event.
Looking forward to welcoming the protagonists to the event, Gianfranco Tonelli, President of the Circolo Vela Torbole, host of the event, noted that the club has made a very special investment in both time and money to ensure they provide the very best possible competition and enviroment for the competition :
“We organised a working group that meets three times a week. Hosting the World Melges 24 is a big commitment, but we want to respect the tradition of the Circolo Vela Torbole and of the Garda Lake. The boats will be all moored on the new extension of our floating dock, put in place by the Municipality. We want to be up to the reputation that Torbole has in the world: we are sure that we will have approaching 130 boats because this place is unique and everyone knows that winning here has a different flavor, is worth more”.
Events like the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship are not possible without the most generous support of the event sponsors led by the Municipality of Comune di Nago Torbole and including the Regional Authority of Trentino; TrentoDoc, partner of Circolo Vela Torbole whose excellent selection of sparkling wines will be enjoyed by all; Trentingrana, whose cheese is made using milk exclusively from the Trentino area; InGarda, the touristic company supporting visitors to Lark Garda; and technical sailing clothing supplier Marinepool.
Organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will count a maximum of twelve races, with up to three daily races. Five races are required to made the event valid, although the famous weather conditions, typical of the northern Garda, should make this rule unnecessary.