Melges 24 Worlds postponed
"The Lauderdale Yacht Club regrets to announce its withdrawal from the organisation of the Melges 24 World Championship 2001. The effect of current world conditions and the uncertainty of events outside the control of the organisers over the next forty days led to the difficult but responsible decision. Lauderdale Yacht Club thanks the International Melges 24 Class Association, sponsors, committee members, and all Melges 24 sailors for their effort toward producing a high quality regatta and for their understanding of this decision."
The IMCA would like to take this opportunity to thank the LYC and its members for their efforts to date in planning the event. Whilst we regret that the LYC is unable to go forward with the event we fully accept their decision in this matter.
Despite the present problems, the IMCA still very much hopes to be able to run the 2001 World Championship, the first to be based on the U.S. East Coast. To that end it is in discussions with Premiere Racing with a view to incorporating the Melges 24 Worlds into the forthcoming Terra Nova Trading Yachting Key West Race Week from 21-25 January 2002.
Key West is always a major event on the International Melges 24 circuit, attracting 60 entries in 2001. The majority of Worlds entrants were planning to stay on in Florida for Key West again this year and so this is a logical alternative for a replacement venue. Premiere Racing's track record in event management is outstanding and their successful history with the Melges 24 class will be invaluable in delivering a true Championship level event.
Clearly, there are a number of technical and logistical questions that must be clarified before a final decision can be made and these questions are already being addressed. The IMCA and Premiere Racing will make a joint announcement about the status of the Melges 24 Class at Key West within the next week.
"We've had a great relationship with the Melges 24 class over the years, providing them with a high quality event every January since 1995," said Peter Craig, President of Premiere Racing. "We are confident about our ability to deliver a top calibre World Championship within the structure of Race Week. Given the shortened lead-time and magnitude of the event as it stands, there certainly are challenges. We'll all have to work creatively to resolve the issues and go forward."
The IMCA would like to apologise to all Melges 24 owners and sailors affected by this change of schedule which has been brought about by events beyond its control. It thanks them for their patience and forbearance at this difficult time and very much regrets the inconvenience cause to them.
Further information will follow as soon as possible.