Melges 24 Worlds preview

Hot shots from around the Worlds are currently assembling in Travemunde

Wednesday July 24th 2002, Author: Fi Brown, Location: none selected
With less than a week to go to the 2002 Melges 24 World Championship in Travemuende, Germany, the top Melges teams from around the world are already out on the water practising in the Lubeck Bay race area.

Reigning World Champion Flavio Favini is unable to defend his title due to America's Cup commitments leaving the field wide open for a new Champion.

Heading the list of contenders is Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund, who finished runner up to Flavio at the 2001 Worlds in Key West. To help ensure victory Harry and Jeff have brought in Andy Burdick and Tony Kolb to complete their crew. As well as working with Harry at Melges Performance Sailboats Andy is among the best and most experienced Melges crews in the world while Tony is one of Germany's top sailors and was a bowman on the victorious Illbruck Challenge in the recent Volvo Ocean Race.

Britain's Jamie Lea, helming for Richard Thompson will be determined to see Harry doesn't get it all his own way. Lea, who won the 2001 Melges 24 World Ranking Series, leads the 2002 European Ranking, came fourth at the 2001 Worlds, and has been one of the most consistent performers on the international circuit for the last two years. Lea and Thompson will sailing with their regular crew of Jim Schwerdt and Nigel Young. Another Brit in the running is Stuart Rix, helming for Quentin Strauss. Stuart recently pipped Jamie to the post for the UK National Championship and is currently second overall in the 2002 European ranking.

As always there is a strong French contingent taking part including several potential winners. Philippe Legros, Oliver Ponthieu and Paul Maxime are all currently in the top ten of the European Ranking whilst Sebastian Col makes a welcome return to the helm of a Melges 24 for this regatta.

The Scandinavians are putting forward a strong field including 2000 World Corinthian and 2002 Finnish National Champion Kenneth Thelen of Finland. Fellow Finn Antti Niiniranta and Sweden's Claes Rojning are currently 4th and 9th respectively in the European Ranking and will also be hoping for a good showing in Travemuende.

The German home fleet is also represented by some big names including reigning German National Champion Guenter Tzeschlock and the legendary Alba Batzill, whilst from Italy the guys to watch out for will be Mario Zilliani and Egidio Babbi.

Pre-race races will take place tomorrow and Friday, while the Worlds proper runs from Monday, 29 July to Friday, 2 August with a 10 race series planned. With a full social programme and excellent sponsor support from Volvo Cars, North Sails, Musto, Konig Ludwig beer and the German Melges 24 Class Association the class is set for another fantastic championship.

The entry list

1 AUT 251 Hackl Josef
2 BEL 205 van den Haute Christpher
3 BEL 335 van Damme Marc
4 BEL 473 Spilleboudt Pierre
5 DEN 209 Christiansen Jesper
6 DEN 519 Flindt Mark
7 FIN 236 Thelen Kenneth
8 FIN 253 Perimaa Jakko
9 FIN 289 Niiniranta Antti
10 FIN 434 Hakola Tomi
11 FIN 529 Heikkilä Kari
12 FRA 170 Follin Andrieu
13 FRA 173 Ponthieu Olivier
14 FRA 193 Legros Philippe
15 FRA 252 Douchy Jean
16 FRA 257 Biet Arnout
17 FRA 321 Cruette Jean Francois
18 FRA 322 Champanhac Benoit / Bassard, Didier
19 FRA 358 Marcadet Dany Michel
20 FRA 370 Nicolopoulos Dimitri / Mizzi, Sylvani
21 FRA 375 Lebourdais Francois
22 FRA 384 Lepoutre Pierre-Francois
23 FRA 386 Eude Thierry
24 FRA 387 Sauleau Vincent
25 FRA 422 Arnaud Rémy
26 FRA 424 Bodin Vincent
27 FRA 426 Semaille Bertrand
28 MON 429 Fuchey Antoine
29 FRA 461 di Russo Jacques / Infante, Dennis
30 FRA 470 Lecoq Elaian
31 FRA 472 Jourdain Bruno
32 FRA 475 Col Sebastien / Ligot, Philippe
33 FRA 502 Renault Eric / Nicollet, Alain
34 GBR 326 Hughes Simon
35 GBR 334 Coleridge Simon
36 GBR 340 Henning Michael
37 GBR 359 Musto Keith
38 GBR 403 Argent Dean
39 GBR 405 Lovejoy Paul
40 GBR 410 Harrison Neil
41 GBR 431 Rix Stuart / Strauss, Quentin
42 GBR 437 Lea Jamie / Thompson, Richard
43 GBR 484 Simpson Stuart
44 GBR 496 Woods Joe
45 GBR 527 Dobson Simon / Dellow, Andrew
46 GBR 546 Grogan Nigel
47 GER 191 Tzeschlock Günter
48 GER 234 Schneider Peter
49 GER 263 Welz Wolfgang
50 GER 310 Hase Ulrich
51 GER 327 Wiesner Peter / Schmitt, Gregor
52 GER 507 Batzill Alba / Strosek, Vitorio
53 GER 537 Scheder Dietrich
54 ITA 139 Ziliani Mario / Preti, Adriano
55 ITA 196 Rocchi Guido
56 ITA 421 Babbi Egidio
57 ITA 438 Racchelli Andrea
58 ITA 490 Santoni Silvio / Stimpfl, Gregor
59 NOR 249 Spone Kristoffer
60 NOR 279 Nordenström Nils
61 NOR 341 Arthur Erik / Berntsen, Pal
62 NOR 349 Wathne Jens
63 NOR 357 Toll Carolina / Frich jr, Sverre
64 NOR 366 Mellebye Eivind / Stenshagen, Anders
65 NOR 402 Heje Jorgen G.
66 NOR 506 Kvalvaag Hans Olav / Astrup, Eivind
67 SUI 483 Tiziano Nava / Rossini, Franco
68 SUI 530 Tribò Marco
69 SWE 172 Bergh Torsten
70 SWE 230 Team Syd (Lekland)
71 SWE 235 Berntsson Jonas / Heiding, Mattias
72 SWE 508 Röjning Claes
73 SWE 542 Olesen Mikael / Camitz, Ulf
74 USA/NED 112 Vroon Carlo
75 USA 353 Freytag Tom
76 USA 550 Melges Harry / Ecklund, Jeff

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