2022 Melges 24 World Championship: ready for a wonderful event
The time has almost come for the International Melges 24 Fleet to get back out on the water. With a little more than one week to go until the start of the 2022 Melges 24 World Championship, the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) are excited to see the World Championship finally happening again, since the 2019 Worlds in Italy was canceled as a result of the pandemic.
Taking place on May 7-15 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) is making final preparations to welcome some of the World's and North America's toughest Melges 24 runners and riders. And, part of the arrangements includes signing on some of the industry's best regatta partners and organizers, on- and off-the-water.
"We are very fortunate and extremely grateful for the great support of our sponsors," says Event Chair Tom Lihan from LYC. "It is because of contributions from well-known and industry-recognized partners such as West Marine as Event's Gold Sponsor, North Sails, Goslings Rum and Visit Lauderdale as Silver Sponsors and Harken Derm, Fat Tire, and Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation as Bronze Sponsors, the 2022 Melges 24 Worlds are on course to be a great event!"
With the first day of racing quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities are being organized right down to the smallest detail.
With Tom Lihan leading the event organization team and Race Committee team as PRO; and Carol Ewing representing the International Melges 24 Class as a Championship Coordinator, there is great leadership and regatta experience prepared to deliver a fantastic event. Both Tom and Carol are confirming that delivering a pleasant and fun experience to all participants is the main focus of the Club and Class.
IM24CA Chief Measurer Branko Parunov from Slovenia is a WS International Measurer and he will be a Chief Equipment Inspector and Event Technical Committee Chair. In 2021, Branko oversaw registration for the Melges 24 Europeans held in Portoroz, Slovenia, and he's looking forward to overseeing his first Melges 24 World Championship. Worlds' Technical Committee includes also IM24CA Technical Committee Chair Mike Gozzard from Canada – together they will keep a close eye on registration and measurement procedures on behalf of IM24CA to check that one design rules are upheld. International Jury team chaired by Tom Rinda will be out on the water each day and hard at work in the protest room each evening ensuring fair play by the Class Rules and Racing Rules of Sailing. Tom is there also for representing World Sailing in case of Categorisation questions to support Corinthian entries.
Melges 24 Worlds ashore and afloat will be covered by photographer Matias Capizzano from Argentina. Since 1998, Matias has covered sailing regattas around the world from Optimist to the Olympic Games London 2012 and Rio 2016, and Bacardi Winter Series regatta in Miami, being familiar also with Melges 24 class.
Backing up this group is a huge pool of volunteer helpers who have given up many hours of their time to make the 2022 Melges 24 World Championship in Fort Lauderdale experience as smooth, efficient, and enjoyable as possible. "I hope that everyone feels comfortable enough to find our team approachable as we are all out there working for the Class with the ultimate aim being a fun, fantastic event for all! This is what the participants are here for," said Tom Lihan.
The current entry list promises a very challenging championship, where it will be very difficult to predict the composition of the podium until the very last races.