July 31, 2017 – Helsinki, Finland – A cloudy afternoon, characterized by light and shifty breeze, accompanied the first day of racing of the Melges 24 fleet in Helsinki, from today officially involved in the 2017 Melges 24 World Championship organized by the International Melges 24 Class Association together with the Finnish Melges 24 Class Association and hosted by the Helsingfors Segelklubb. Fifty-nine boats from fifteen nations will compete, until Friday, August 4th, to determine who is going to be the next Melges 24 World Champion, after the Conor Clarkes’ Embarr from Ireland that won the title in Miami in 2016. Full press release of Day 1
Despite the light wind conditions, the Race Committee presided by PRO Madis Ausman managed to make the fleet complete two races. The challenge immediately begun: the first victory of the series went to the Italian entry Altea (1-22 today) by Andrea Racchelli, second in the Worlds of Middlefart and winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series. The Italian boat, though, because of a 22nd place obtained in race number two, couldn’t maintain the leadership of the provisional ranking, slipping in sixth place overall after the first two races of the series.
The bullet from the race number two was scored by Monsoon (6-1), helmed by Bruce Ayres with Mike Buckley calling the tactics: the American entry revealed itself as the most consistent boat of the fleet today, obtaining the leadership of the provisional ranking, where it is followed by Gian Luca Perego’s Maidollis (5-10): the Italian entry boasts on board the presence of the renowned couple that already won the Melges 24 Worlds in 2012 with Enrico Fonda calling tactics and Carlo Fracassoli helming
Third place in the overall ranking goes to Ukrainian Vasyl Gureyev’s Barmaley (9-9 overall/3-3 Corinthian) that, thanks to the consistent placements of today, takes the provisional lead also in the Corinthian division. The top-three of the category reserved to non-professional sailors is completed by the reigning World Champions aboard Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 with Niccolò Bertola in helm (11-13/4-5) and Dutch Team Kesbeke/Sika/Gill with Ronald Veraar helming (7-17/1-9).
Tomorrow, second day of racing in the waters of Helsinki, the Race Committee will call the fleet on the race course for a first start at 11:00 am. Weather forecasts expect sunnier and windier conditions than those we had today.
Schedule of the events:
Friday 28th to Sunday 30th of July – Registration & Measurement
Sunday 30th of July – Registration & Measurement, Practice Race, Opening Ceremony
Monday 31st of July to Friday 4th of August – Racing at the 2017 Melges 24 Worlds
Friday 4th of August – Racing + Closing Ceremony