Raza Mixta and Taki 4 are the new Melges 24 World Champions
After two full years of hiatus in the schedule of the World Championships, the International Melges 24 Class returned to assign a most coveted World Title: it was October 2019 when in Villasimius Luca Perego's Maidollis was crowned World Champion for the second time, and, after that moment the pandemic blocked everything, preventing the dispute of the 2020 and 2021 World Championship and the 2020 European Championship.
Sadly, the final day of the third 2022 Melges 24 World Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. was to be dogged by light winds. After long wait, first ashore and then on the water, the final possible Race Twelve of the championship was started twice - first at 12:15 but was abandoned in three minutes. The second attempt was successful, but due to the major wind shift, PRO Tom Lihan had to abandon the race again. Now past the deadline for starting a race, the victory and World Title were sealed to Peter Duncan's team Raza Mixta (USA) with Victor Diaz de Leon calling the tactics and Erik Shampain, Matt Pistay and Morgan Trubovich in crew. In the Corinthian division, victory goes to Taki 4 (ITA), claiming their fourth Corinthian World Title with Niccolo Bertola, Giacomo Fossati, Giovanni Bannetta, Pietro Seghezza, and Marco Zammarchi.
Peter Duncan, who's first run for the Melges 24 World Title finished with eighth place in Miami Worlds in 2016, was posting nine times out of eleven only one-digit results to the scoreboard, securing its victory with a six-point lead getting his name on the Melges Performance Sailboats Trophy.
"It feels incredible," said Peter Duncan about winning the Melges 24 World Title after the award ceremony at Pier 66. "We were a bit lucky, and we are rewarding for all our hard work what we have been putting into getting where we are. We had a rough day at the first day, except for the third race and after that we just stayed focused and if you do this long enough you know that you can't win a regatta in the first day, but you can certainly lose it, and we came close to the last one. But we hold it together and then the next day was good and from there on it was pretty nice!" was Duncan happy with his team's performance and result.
Harry Melges IV with Finn Rowe, Ripley Shelley, Carlos Robles and Patrick Wilson on Zenda Express finished his first ever Melges 24 World Championship on the second place, tied on points with Monsoon of Bruce Ayres sailing with Jeremy Wilmot, Chelsea Simms, Edward Hackney and Tomas Dietrich, now completing the overall podium.
Fourth place went to IM24CA Chair Laura Grondin with her team of Taylor Canfield, Scott Ewing, Cole Brauer and Rich Peale on Dark Energy followed by Bora Gulari along with Kyle Navin, Norman Berge, Ian Liberty and Michael Menninger on New England Ropes on the fifth.
In the Corinthian division, where Italian Taki 4 team of Niccoló Bertola, already World Champion in Miami, Helsinki and Villasimius, proved „4" to be their lucky number, winning the World Title for the fourth time already! Second place on the Corinthian podium was taken by the 2019 North American Corinthian Champion, Canadian Sunnyvale of Fraser McMillan sailing with Aidan Koster, Alexander Levkovskiy, Ansel Koehn and Kieran Horsburgh. Corinthian podium was completed by Steve Suddath' 3 ½ Men with Steve Burke, Shawn Burke and Jack Smith in crew.
Taki 4 skipper Niccoló Bertola, holding again the perpetual Challenge Henri Samuel Corinthian World Trophy, was happy about their fourth Corinthian World Title, however he admitted that the result in overall ranking were not as good compared to the past years. "The fleet here was very strong, and we did not have a chance to train as much as in past years. But we are anyway happy, and we will work harder to do better result in overall ranking next year!"
Having said goodbye and thanking the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and hosts in Lauderdale Yacht Club, the next Melges 24 title event will be the European Championship, hosted by the Yacht Club Italiano in Genova, Italy between October 22nd and 29th. The next Melges 24 World Championship will be held in Middelfart, Denmark at the venue of the 2015 Worlds, by the end on June 2023.
Melges 24 World Championship 2022 was hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) and organized along with the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) and U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) on May 7-15.