Another Gold CupLauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Early attendance estimates indicate that more than 30 teams will compete, potentially making the Gold Cup the largest Melges 32 regatta to date.
"The Melges 32 is an incredible boat, hence why we have witnessed unprecedented fleet growth in the USA and Europe," said International Melges 32 Class President Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-32 Star. "The class is more than ready for an event like this. The Gold Cup will be a first class regatta encompassing three days of really great racing against the best sailors in the world. The entire fleet can look forward to enjoying top-notch facilities and warm hospitality set within a very private and intimate location. LYC and the class are focused on delivering an exquisite yachting experience."
2007 Winter Tune-Up Regatta winner Michael Illbruck (Munich, Germany) on GER-4014 Pinta Racing is among the teams planning to attend. "Sailing in Ft Lauderdale is fantastic. We are very much looking forward to sailing against some great competitors including Vincenzo Onorato. I have sailed with and against him before. I am really looking forward to that. This event also offers a perfect break from the Northern European winter too," said Illbruck while sailing at the Rolex Big Boat Series held in San Francisco, Calif. last September.
The Gold Cup replaces the historic Winter Tune-Up Regatta, that for the last two years has served as one of the most unique sailing events in North America, if not the world. One intriguing attribute is 'Take A Junior Sailing Day'. This aspect of the event program is still very much intact, as each team will be paired with one of America's top junior sailors on Saturday, December 6th. No other class offers opportunities such as this - race against the world's most renown yachting personalities while simultaneously sailing with the next generation of aspiring youth sailors.
"Lauderdale Yacht Club is once again very excited to host the Melges 32 fleet," says Lang Ryder, 2008 Gold Cup Regatta Chair. "This has been a fantastic event for the past two years. Elevating the event to Gold Cup status has attracted some of the best sailors and boats from around the world creating a once in a lifetime opportunity for our junior sailors. Thank you to the Melges 32 class and the competitors for making this unique event possible."
The 2008 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta commences the 2009 racing season early. This event is the first of three International Melges 32 Midwinter Championship Series events. The second event is ACURA Key West 2009 on 19-23 January, followed by the Miami Grand Prix on 5-8 March.