Melges converge

The biggest event of the entire 2017 Melges 20 World League season gets underway from the 2 to the 7 October, hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

04 October 2017


The International Melges 20 Class Association will cap off their season with the commencement of the 2017 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

With an impressive fleet of 40 teams from four continents, representing nine nations, with conditions expected to be excellent at the iconic sailing venue.

After a season full of tropical storm action, it appears it has left in its wake idyllic fall sailing conditions and most likely, any threat of a Newport nor’easter will be avoided. Rain is forecast for only one day early in the week, with the remaining days expected to have warm, crisp conditions with a good chance for a legendary Newport seabreeze.

All signs are pointing towards an extremely competitive, hard fought, ten race series.

Leading up to the Worlds, both the North American and European fleets have been battling it out in their respective League Divisions in preparation for winning the ultimate prize, a World Championship title.


In North America, Drew Freides’ Pacific Yankee currently leads the ranking, and all season, proving that his second-place finish in Scarlino, Italy at the 2016 Worlds was no fluke. He is excited about putting on the finishing touches this year.

“As an east coaster at heart, Newport has always been a special place, having raced many regattas here over the past 35 years,” said Freides. “It would be great to perform well in my old stomping grounds. Some might disagree, but I still consider it the home of U.S. yacht racing.”

With a host of other teams to keep an eye on, Freides is among those favoured to do well. Other teams expected to be in the limelight include double World Champion John Kilroy Jr. at the helm of Samba Pa Ti, his son Liam Kilroy on Wildman, Jim Wilson’s Oleander, Daniel Thielman’s Kuai and Rob Wilber’s Cinghiale.

Arriving from Europe in fine form is Achille Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, Jr., and former Melges 20 Gold Cup Champions Dario Levi sailing Fremito D’arja.

Also racing is Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of Stig, Oleg Evdokimenko’s Kotyara, and Vladimir Proshikin’s Nika. They are primed and ready to take on the new North American competition. 2017 World League European Division winner and Euro Champion Igor Rytov aboard Russian Bogatyrs currently leads the overall 2017 World League Ranking.

The Corinthian Division will prove to be the most intense ever as it features big competition. 2016 North American Champion Justin Quigg on Character 2.0 from Canada, and 2014 U.S. National Champ Cesar Gomes Neto sailing Portobello will be in attendance. Pair up these teams with Monaco Winter Series Corinthian winner Johannes Lind Widestram on Intermezzo, John Murphy’s Solas and Ben Wilkinson on Sinful Opportunity and you’ve got the recipe for great fun and top notch, all-amatuer racing.

Tuesday, October 3rd is set aside for final measurement checks at Sail Newport, Pre-World Championship races and opening ceremonies at NYYC. Racing commences on Wednesday, October 4 with an 11.00 warning. The Championship will conclude on Saturday, October 7 with an awards ceremony at Sail Newport.

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