Croatian Melges 24 fleet started its season with holding the first Act of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2022 already in January. Here's the event in Biograd in February. © regate.com.hr

Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2022 will kick off in Rovinj

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31/03/2022 - 14:35
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The International Meles 24 Class Association (IM24CA) is in love with the Adriatic Sea. Some venues are clearly demonstrating this: after the 2021 European Championship, held in Portoroz, Slovenia past September and won by Andrea Racchelli's Altea, the 2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series will start again from the Adriatic Sea, but just a little further in South, in amazing Rovinj, well known pearl of the Croatian shoreline. In addition, not to be underestimated, the fact that one of the largest Melges 24 national fleets is the Croatian one now, able to reach to more than twenty active boats recently, becoming currently the third biggest in the world.

"We are greatly looking forward to an opening event of the European Sailing Series 2022 in Rovinj: it is an amazing place. It has a very special coastline, incredible sailing heritage with lots of amazing features to the waterfront and an excellent marina which is close to the racecourse. I like this city and I have been here for several times, so I have good memories. I hope for a good performance in Rovinj, but the racing is very competitive, everyone is good, everyone can win, but everyone can make mistakes too" said the Croatian sailing rockstar Tomislav Basic, tactician on Panjic CRO739 of Luka Sangulin, overall winner of the CRO Melges24 Cup 2021.

Stjepan Vitaljic, tactician onboard of four-time Finn class Olympian and 2007 America's Cup sailor Karlo Kuret's PointOne CRO561 added: "We are very happy to have the opportunity to meet with some sailors from Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Great Britain, and Germany. This will give us insight about our own progress, as my crew is completely newcomer in the Melges 24 class. I am sure we made good progress but lining up with more experienced crews will show us our good and weak points. We do not have any special expectations: of course, as we are in top three in Croatian fleet, we are also looking to maintain this good trend".

"I think we can be lucky that in our first event this season - despite the very difficult times for all of us - we will see so many boats on the starting line," said Michael Tarabochia, Member Europe of IM24CA Executive Committee and the Corinthian winner of the 2021 Melges 24 European Sailing Series. "It's good to meet friends again and we look forward to Croatian class hospitality!"

The fact that Corinthian teams are sailing together with professionals, has always attracted many sailors to Melges 24 class. All major IM24CA events incorporate a Corinthian Division for amateur crews with fabulous racing.

"Melges 24 European Sailing Series in Rovinj will be the first international regatta in Melges 24 for me as a skipper. I expect not only high-quality sailing and racing, but also the opportunity to learn from all the great sailors present in the class," says Andela De Micheli Vitturi, the skipper of Tutta Forza CRO643.

Paolo Brescia, the owner of Melgina ITA693 and the overall winner of the 2021 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, can't wait to be to sail in the welcoming Croatian waters and has words of appreciation for the ability of the class to make family: "We are happy to see so many teams from so many European countries. This heartfelt participation manifests the desire for a unifying European spirit, which honours the pan-athletic motto ludis iungit. This European event in Rovinj is the paradigm of the sense of community that the Melges 24 Class has been able to build in this last quarter of a century. We are proud to be part of it."

Spotlights go towards Rovinj, where the Melges 24 fleet will sail for the first time in its history between Friday April 1st and Sunday April 3rd and the focus will be on collecting the first points of the 2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series ranking. Hosted by Sailing Club Maestral and docked in the ACI Marina Rovinj, the most modern among the ACI Marina family and for many the most beautiful one, are now thirty boats from seven Nations (Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Great Britain), underlining the strong international profile of this "never gets old" one design class, able to remain attractive and with great number of active boats after almost three decades of sailing activity.

Panjic CRO739 of Luka Sangulin, overall winner of the CRO Melges24 Cup 2021. © regate.com.hr

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Moreover, Rovinj is a not to be missed venue: the church of St. Euphemia is ranked among the most beautiful representations of the Baroque period in Istria and dominates the small coastal town of Rovinj. The bell tower of St. Eufemija is 60 m high and decorated with a copper statue of the saint, which is pushed around by the power of the winds. Grisia Street is a beautiful street with cascading steps that leads up to the plateau of the parish church of St. Euphemia. It belongs to the most recognizable trademarks of the old town of Rovinj. The street is picturesquely cobbled with winding stone staircase.

Croatian Melges 24 class and the event in Rovinj is generously sponsored by Medico, OneSails, EmergenSea, Sailing Point and supported by the event hosts ACI and JK Maestral.

The love story of the Melges 24 class at the Adriatic Sea will continue in Trieste, Italy, where on April 29-May 1 the second event of the European Sailing Series will be sailed, moving after that to the lakes in Austria (Attersee) and to Garda in Italy. Approaching the European Championship, the fifth event of the series will move to the open waters in Imperia, Italy, near to the main venue and event of the season – Melges 24 European Championship to be held in Genova, Italy over 22-29 October 2022.

2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series is scheduled with 6 events:
April 1-3 - Rovinj, CRO
April 29 - May 1 - Trieste, ITA
May 27-29 - Attersee, AUT
July 22-24 - Riva del Garda, ITA
September 23-25 - Imperia, ITA
October 22-29 - Genova, ITA - Melges 24 European Championship

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