21 for the Melges 32 Gold Cup
On December 3-5, the International Melges 32 Class Association will usher in yet another classic Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club.
21 teams have traveled from all across North America, Great Britain and Italy to compete. Among those poised for victory are defending Gold Cup champion Rod Jabin on Ramrod with 2009 Melges 24 World Champion Chris Larson serving as tactician. One of Jabin's top adversaries will be 2010 Winter Series and European Champion Joe Woods with tactician, Olympic Laser gold medallist Paul Goodison on Red . "The pressure is on." said a very relaxed and smiling Jabin prior to Wednesday afternoon practice. "Our team is a little different this year, but we're looking forward to some great racing, so it should be fun." Jabin debuted in the Melges 32 class at the '09 event beating Woods by a single point.
Other teams expected to do well include Kip Meadows and tactician, multiple match racing champion Andy Horton on roXanne; the young and energetic 2010 U.S. National Champion Ryan DeVos on Volpe pairs up with the extraordinary Ed Baird on tactics; East Coast Champion Alex Jackson on Leenabarca will be assisted by Volvo Ocean Race sailor and 18ft skiff/International 14 World Champion Rob Greenhalgh's tactical expertise, and Italian Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica will employ the talents of Michelle Paoletti.
Newcomers to the fleet include Alexis Michas with tactician Mark Mendelblatt on VIVA; A Scow-boy Joel Ronning on Catapult with tactician Bill Hardesty and from the UK Oscar Strugstad will be joined by tactician Andy Beadsworth on Dawn Raid.
"The class is thrilled to be back in Ft. Lauderdale for Gold Cup." commented International Chairman and Class President Jeff Ecklund, who will take the helm of STAR. "This is the best fleet of grand prix performance yachts to be a part of right now. Our World Championship in San Francisco produced a record-breaking 32 Melges 32s further proving the health of the class. It’s really awesome to see a fleet as robust as this, and it seems that with almost every event we see new faces."
"We are also quite excited about our Take A Junior Sailing Day program at Gold Cup." continued Ecklund. "21 lucky youth sailors will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Saturday, December 4 to sail with and against the very best in the sailing world." Ecklund has been a strong supporter and advocate of the Lauderdale Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program, as well as a driving force behind its integration with the Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta. A complete list of junior sailors and the boats they will sail on will be published shortly.
Full Entry List
1.) Phil Lotz | Dalton Bergan, Arethusa
2.) Jason Carroll | Dave Ullman, Argo
3.) Michael Dominguez | Anthony Kotoun, Bronco
4.) Joel Ronning | Bill Hardesty, Catapult
5.) Malcolm Gefter | Jon Mollicone, Celeritas
6.) Oscar Strugstad | Andy Beadsworth, Dawn Raid
7.) Dalton DeVos | Chris Rast, Delta
8.) Lanfranco Cirillo | Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
9.) Bob Hesse | Brad Boston, Lake Effect
10.) Alex Jackson | Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca
11.) Steve Rhyne | Charlie Smythe, Mojo
12.) John Taylor | Andrew Campbell, Ninkasi
13.) Rod Jabin | Chris Larson, Ramrod
14.) Joe Woods | Paul Goodison, Red
15.) Kip Meadows | Andy Horton, roXanne
16.) Geoff Pierini | Max Skelley, Shakedown
17.) Jeff Ecklund | Harry Melges, III, STAR
18.) Stuart Simpson | Nigel Young, Team Barbarians
19.) Alexis Michas | Mark Mendelblatt, VIVA
20.) Ryan DeVos | Ed Baird, Volpe
21.) Steve Howe | Morgan Larson, Warpath