Marinepool support Melges 24 Worlds
In just three months time the International Melges 24 fleet will gather in Tallinn, Estonia, to prepare for its 2010 World Championship and lining up to support the event as title sponsor is sailing clothing and marine fashion specialist, Marinepool.
More than 80 teams from at least 15 nations are expected to compete in the 2010 Marinepool Melges 24 World Championship, to be hosted by the Kalev Yacht Club over 5-12 August at its base in the Pirita Olympic Harbour, originally purpose-built for the 1980 Olympics and offering outstanding facilities. Sailing will take place on the Bay of Tallinn where the varied conditions are likely to make this one of the most challenging Melges 24 World Championships ever.
Teams keen to train on the World Championship race area are invited to take part in the Estonian Open Melges 24 Championship, which will also be hosted by the Kalev Yacht Club over 30 July-1 August. Racing will be run by Worlds PRO Lars Nyqvist, on the championship race area in the Bay of Tallinn making it the perfect warm up opportunity.
Registration for the 2010 Marinepool Melges 24 World Championship will open on Wednesday 4 August, and this will be followed by tune-up racing on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 August with the World Championship racing running from Saturday 7 to Thursday 12 August with 12 races scheduled in total. The event will also feature a full social programme allowing the Estonian hosts to demonstrate their legendary hospitality and love of a good party!
An Introduction To The Competitors
Among those expected to compete in the 2010 Marinepool Melges 24 World Championship are reigning Melges 24 European and 2008 World Champion UKA UKA Racing Team, owned by Lorenzo Santini and helmed by Lorenzo Bressani. To date the only helmsman to win two Melges 24 World titles is the legendary Vince Brun and Bressani and the UKA UKA team clearly have their sights set on equaling that record.
Also confirmed as attending is Bressani's Melges 24 nemesis Flavio Favini who will once again be helming Blu Moon for Switzerland's Franco Rossini. For the past two years Favini and Bressani have been trading places on racecourses around the globe and, having won his first Melges 24 World Championship in 2001, Favini is equally keen to get his hands on the Trophy for that elusive second time.
For some years the Italian teams have been dominating the Melges 24 scene but the early season Melges 24 Volvo Cup events have produced interesting results indicating that the Italians are less likely to have it all their own way this year. One of those threatening to break the Italian domination is local hero and Estonian Olympic Silver Medalist Tonu Toniste sailing Lenny. A regular face in the class for some years, Toniste has been showing excellent form this season finishing fourth at the most recent Melges 24 Volvo Cup event in Scarlino. With a home waters advantage and huge local support he will be hoping to become the first Estonian to win the Melges 24 Worlds.
Another Baltic region competitor to look out for will be Norwegian Volvo Ocean Race turned Star sailor, Eivind Mellaby, whose Full Metal Jacket crew finished third at the 2010 Melges 24 Worlds in Annapolis. Having recently placed eighth at the Star Worlds in Rio de Janeiro and with many years of experience in the Melges 24 as well as a fondness for light airs he will definitely be one to watch.
Alongside the top European teams entries are also expected from Japan, Australia, the Republic of South Africa and the USA. Although brand new to the class three time South African Olympic Finn Class representative Ian Ainslie has shown some impressive speed on his first few outings this season and will have high hopes of a podium finish. Japan's Tetsuy Matsunaga, who represented his country in the 470 Class at the Beijing Olympics, made his first appearance on the International Melges 24 scene at the 2009 Europeans where he showed formidable potential. Having now spent a year honing his skills in the boat Matsunaga has his eye on becoming the first Asian winner of the Melges 24 Worlds.
Close competition is also expected in the Corinthian (all amateur) division. In Porto Cervo in 2008 Norway's Sivert Denneche was tactician aboard the Corinthian World Championship winning Melges 24 Terra Eindomsmeging. In Hyeres in 2009 he helmed Storm Capital Racing to victory in the Corinthian Melges 24 European Championship. In 2010 Denneche and his Storm Capital Racing team will be in Tallinn and he has his sights clearly set on taking that Corinthian Melges 24 Worlds Trophy. Tonu Toniste may have other ideas however, as he too will be racing in the Corinthian Division and must long to be the first person ever to take both the Overall and Corinthian titles in the same year.
Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Marinepool is one of the top producers of sailing clothing, deck shoes, maritime fashion and accessories world wide with more than 2,000 retail partners and outlets in 38 countries and is the biggest producer of life jackets for the leisure market in Europe. "The Melges24 Class is an ideal partner for Marinepool," said Christoph Stadler, Communication Manager, Marinepool. "It is one of the most competitive classes in the world, great fun to watch and sail, tough on the athletes and the equipment and a class where the level of competition is so high that meticulous preparation and top gear can make all the difference. No wonder that many teams in the class are using Marinepool sailing gear".