Marina Portoroz, Slovenia © Zerogradinord

Marina Portoroz, Slovenia © Zerogradinord

Melges 24: Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta to Set Sail on Friday


10/05/2024 - 06:37

It's that time of the year again when Portoroz beckons the international Melges 24 fleet as the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2024 makes its next stop in this picturesque Slovenian coastal town. Following the exciting season opener in Trieste, Italy, just three weeks ago, the Marina Portoroz will be abuzz with activity starting Friday, May 10. Organized by Yacht Club Marina Portoroz in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class, this event, steeped in tradition, will feature 25 entries representing 8 nations.

Ten years ago, in 2014, Portoroz hosted the season opener of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series for the first time and has stayed in the calendar of the series for all these years, making its return again ion May 9-12. The warm hospitality of Marina Portoroz and Yacht Club Marina Portoroz promises to deliver another unforgettable event, a sentiment echoed by the Event Coordinator, Branko Parunov, also known as the International Melges 24 Class Chief Measurer.

"Our Melges 24 fleet in Slovenia may be modest in size, but the presence of teams from eight countries underscores our commitment to providing top-notch hospitality, from race management to shore events and our renowned dinners," remarked Parunov. “I’m grateful to all the teams who again and again return to Portoroz!”

This year, sailors can anticipate an enhanced racing experience with the introduction of Smartmark Buoys on the race course, ensuring smoother and faster race management than ever before. Post-sail gatherings featuring pasta and beer will be a staple of the event, complemented by culinary delights crafted by Master Chef Darko Klemen at Brunch Bar Štrega and restaurant Gostilna Mama Marička. Thanks to the generous contribution from Marine store Skipper Portoroz, three fortunate boats will each receive a set of Melges 24 Class legal inox anchors with inox chain and 40m anchor rope, all neatly packed in a dry bag.

Adding to the festivities, the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series prizegiving ceremony will take place during the traditional dinner on Friday evening. Alongside the 25 crews in attendance, this ceremony will honor the podium teams with medals and perpetual trophies of the series, which is now on its 12th edition.

The competition promises to be intense, featuring some of Europe's most formidable teams poised for victory. Among them are seven of the top 10 ranked teams from the 2023 series, including the reigning overall and Corinthian champion Akos Csolto’s Chinook (HUN), the determined runner-up Luka Sangulin’s Panjic (CRO), and the formidable Miles Quinton’s Zhik Race Team (GBR). These seasoned contenders will be joined by the triumphant winner of the recent Trieste event, Razjaren skippered by Ante Cesic (CRO), ready to challenge the field.

Adding to the excitement, stalwart competitors such as Michael Tarabochia's White Room (GER), Peter Karrie’s German-Italian crew on Nefeli, Paolo Brescia’s Melgina (ITA), and two notable Corinthian teams – Sergio Caramel's Arkanoe (ITA) and Antonio Masoli's Vertigo (ITA) – will further intensify the competition. While Michele Paoletti's Strambapapa (ITA) will grace Piran Bay, Paoletti has once again graciously entrusted the helm to a promising group of young sailors led by Leonardo Centuori. This talented crew recently clinched third place overall and second in the Corinthian division at their home event in Trieste, showcasing their potential to contend on the international stage.

Today marked the commencement of onsite registration at Marina Portoroz at 3 p.m. The skipper's briefing is scheduled for Friday morning at 10:30 a.m., followed by the first warning signal from Principal Race Officer David Bartol at noon. Nine races are scheduled over three days of racing, with the discard rule coming into play after five races.

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