Melges 24 boats moored at the Middelfart Marina, Denmark for the Melges 24 Worlds 2023 © Mick Knive Anderson

Melges 24 boats moored at the Middelfart Marina, Denmark for the Melges 24 Worlds 2023 © Mick Knive Anderson

Middelfart welcomes 2023 Melges 24 World Championship fleet


25/06/2023 - 15:57

The days of registration, measurements, and inspections are underway at Middelfart Marina, Denmark for the Melges 24 World Championship 2023 to be raced from June 27 to July 1 off Middelfart on Little Belt (Danish Lillebælt). The Melges 24 World Championship 2023 are organised by GoSail in conjunction with Fredericia Sailing Club and in cooperation with the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) and the Danish Melges 24 Class Association. 

GoSail and Middelfart Marina, with a strong support from the local municipality Middelfart Kommune, who also hosted this event eight years ago, have been waiting these days to come for more than two years because of the postponement of the international regatta schedule during the pandemic years. 

Søren Laugesen, CEO of GoSail and Event Director said that it was a bit challenging to plan the event well ahead because of the uncertain times, but it worked out. 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 local municipality Middelfart Kommune and strong local supporters such as Bunker One, Sport Event Denmark, Destination Fyn - Visit Fyn, Middelfart Marina, Fredericia Sejlklub. Having two events – Melges 24 Worlds and Women's Match Racing Championship – back-to-back, the same way as eight years ago, eased the planning and organization and we are on course to have a great event!" 

The organizing machine is working in full swing: for events of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities are being organized right down to the smallest detail. 

With David Bartol from Slovenia, representing the International Melges 24 Class as a Championship Coordinator Europe leading the Race Committee as a PRO, with the local Danish knowledge of an IRO Chritstian Lerche, there is great leadership and regatta experience prepared to deliver a fantastic event with a pleasant and fun experience to all participants. 

IM24CA Chief Measurer Branko Parunov from Slovenia is a WS International Measurer, and he is a Chief Equipment Inspector and Event Technical Committee Chair. International Jury team chaired by Howard Elliott from Australia 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. 

Melges 24 Class sailors and teams are well assisted and taken care of by a Class Administrator Piret Salmistu, for whom the World Championship in Middelfart eight years ago was the first Melges 24 World Championship to support and work for. Doing it with the same local organizing team and having this experience from the past, gives her a great confidence of a successful event. 

Backing up this group is a huge pool of volunteer helpers who have given up many hours of their time to make the 2023 Melges 24 World Championship in Middelfart experience as smooth, efficient, and enjoyable as possible. 

Laura Grondin, IM24CA Chair is very excited about the upcoming event. „Having sailed a few days now in Middelfart, I can confirm that it will be a great venue for our World Championship - good breeze, easy access to the race-course and some challenging current.  I thank the GoSail and Fredericia Sejlklub and the Danish Melges 24 Class for hosting the Worlds and for waiting for two extra years because of the pandemic.  With the reigning World Champion Peter Duncan, and the both the World Champion and Corinthian World Champion of the 2015 Worlds here in Middelfart – Chris Rast and Tõnu Tõniste, as well as many other fantastic sailors on the starting line, we will have a very competitive and fun event, no doubt!"

The current entry list promises a very challenging championship, where 47 teams from 13 nations will sail for the most coveted Melges Performance Sailboats Trophy, which now is even more precious and when the Melges 24 Class has said goodbye to a Legend – Buddy Melges, who gave us the best performance boat, the MELGES 24! 

Introduced in 1993, built by Melges Performance Sailboats and designed by Reichel/Pugh in the United States, the Melges 24 is celebrating 30 years of racing this year. The inaugural World Championships were taking place in Torqay, UK with 95 boats from 14 nations competing. Vince Brun, Ian Walker, Simon Fry and Simon Russell were the first ever crowned Melges 24 World Champions back then, while Vince Brun is in Middelfart now to support and coach Drew Freides' team of Pacific Yankees from US, who were winning the pre-Worlds training regatta two weeks ago. 

It's a great news for the class to see here in Middelfart the newest "baby" in the fleet – hull #867 built in Europe by the Yacht Service in Szczecin, Poland, called Razjaren and sailing under Croatian flag owned by Lukasz Podniesinski, will touch the water here for the first time. Buddy's rich legacy is fully alive, kicking and celebrated at the Melges 24 Worlds! 

As an important task and a mission for the local municipality and Sport Event Denmark, the Melges 24 Worlds 2023 will leave as small as possible CO2 footprint to the environment under a slogan "reduce, reuse, recycle, refurbish". This means not using the courtesy cars for the regatta officers, promoting the use of refurbished bikes, eliminating single used plastic, using pant-cups for the beer and drinks, not giving goodie bags and limiting printed paper documents.

Therefore the Official Notice Board of the event is online and accessible via event website and via Regatta App downloadable in App Store and Google Play when you'll look for "Melges 24".

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