Can’t Beat The Original
11 November 2014
With over 20 years of sportboat supremacy, Melges 24 sailors convene in Davis Island, Florida for a National Championship grudge match.
Tampa, FL - The 2014 Melges 24 U.S. Nationals on the serene waters off Davis Island will once again draw some of the top helmsman around the U.S., Europe and Australia, and will be the ultimate test of teamwork, tactical prowess and boatspeed. Andy Burdick, President of Melges Performance Sailboats, who helped launch the very first Melges 24 in 1993 comments on the longevity of the Melges 24, “We are really looking forward to the fleet getting together and racing for the National Title in Davis Island. The Melges 24 continues to attract people from around the world, and with 20+ years of racing there is a solid new and used boat market, so we continue to see new faces every year, along with class members that have been with us since the very beginning in 1993. To think we have been racing Melges 24s at this high level for 20 years is a testament to the class, its owners and the boat itself.”
ONE DESIGN HOT-SPOT
Located just miles away from the bustling city of Tampa Bay, Davis Island Yacht Club (DIYC) is a refuge for sailors looking for world-class racing within the confines of a major U.S. city. Over the past few years, DIYC has emerged as a mecca of one-design racing for sailors in the country looking to escape the frozen north and get their racing fix. Enclosed by land on all sides, the racing area feels more like a large lake than the open ocean, and it doesn’t take long to figure out the shifts are similar to lake sailing as well. The dead flat water and sailing in Davis Island at times can give sailors the feeling of Icarus riding a cloud.
2013 World Champion Brian Porter on Full Throttle has experienced this venue before, and was anxious to get back for the Nationals, “Sailing in Davis Island is a lot like the lakes we race on in the summer; flat water, shifty and a lot of fun, no lead is ever safe and you are never out of a race. And the Yacht Club on Davis Island has a really fun vibe. We are really looking forward to the Nationals, sailing against 35 other teams, and hanging with the fleet after racing.”
PRO-AM MASH UP
The fleet for the Nationals will see almost identical numbers for Professional and Corinthian teams which provides a real test for the Pros, and some solid motivation for the amateurs. The Melges 24 has always provided the opportunity for any sailor looking to rub shoulders with top level sailors, and the 2014 Nationals is no different.
Corinthian helmsman and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) president Rob Britts breaks down the thrill of racing the Melges 24, along with having his team ready to do battle, “The Melges 24 is the testing ground for top amateur sailors in the country and we can’t wait to get the Nationals started. Each race is a battle as we not only have to do our best for the overall result, but have to keep our eyes on our Corinthian competition as well. It is a lot to keep track of while racing!”
As Class President and Davis Island Member, Britts commented further, “On behalf of the Davis Island Yacht Club and the USMCA we are excited to have teams from all over the USA and a few select international teams join us for the 2014 U.S. Melges 24 Nationals. This weekend will prove to bring some exciting racing as the class kicks off its Winter Circuit as a lead up to the 2016 World Championship. We welcome all our friends and family to the "Sailingest Club in the South."
Racing for the 2014 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship trophy kicks off on Friday morning and concludes Sunday afternoon. For sailors competing, there will be daily debriefs from the racing each day, along with an owners meeting on Friday evening. DIYC is revealing its brand new tiki-bar which will get well used this weekend.
FOLLOW THE RACING
Three incredible days of racing are in store for 2014 U.S. National Championship competitors. Plenty of great action on- and off-the-water can be expected — and the class will capture it all! Be sure to bookmark the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Website and watch for the latest racing updates at the USMCA’s Official Facebook Page.