The schedule is locked in for the 2018 Melges World League (MWL). The champion system ranks Melges 20 teams from around the world. Get ready for eleven months of competitions that will feature the best teams in One Design sailing.
The first points of the season were awarded this past weekend at a fleet-favourite venue of Miami, USA. Drew Freides and his PACIFIC YANKEE team came hot out of the gates and currently sits in first place after the North American Division event. Many of last year’s protagonists put their name on the board in striking distance to the top. NIKA and MASCALZONE LATINO JR are hot on Freides’s trail and will not give the Yankee team any breaks.
Also in attendance was one team who dominated last year’s European season as well as the 2017 overall record holder – They go by the name of RUSSIAN BOGATYRS, helmed by Igor Rytov, a real leader of the strong and numerous Russian teams.
The Melges 20 World League ranks three divisions, Europe, Asia and North America, and gives teams 17 sanctioned events that hold equal opportunities to gain valuable MWL points. Awards are given to top teams in each division as well as overall. In addition to the sanctioned events, the Melges 20 Class offers the possibility to all its owners and teams to race in other events around the world as a moment of competition and fun without the competitive pressure of a World League regatta, in order to satisfy the needs of any type of crew.
“We are thrilled to present a great new season of racing to all of our Melges 20 teams,” said Harry Melges III of Melges Performance Sailboats. “We are confident that the second edition of the Melges World League will bring great excitement and fun to everyone, and we welcome all the new teams this year that have chosen our fleet.”
“The positive feedback we received last year prompted us to re-launch the league with even greater force for 2018,” said Federico Michetti of Melges Europe. “There are many surprises and innovations awaiting our crews at the World League regattas. We are excited about the introduction of new locations designed to ensure the best racing and maximum entertainment. All in the usual spirit of great friendship, fair play and fun – a formula that makes the Melges 20 worldwide fleet unique and inimitable.”
After the first three opening events between February and April in the United States, the Melges 20 World League will shine the spotlight on both Japan and Italy, the first events of the respective Divisions set at Hayama (14-15 April) and Ischia (20-22 April).
Of course, the World League calendar also includes the Melges 20 World Championship that returns to Italy in October of this year on the Cagliari race track.
Helly Hansen is the official sponsor of the Melges World League.
Garmin is the official timekeeper of the Melges World League European Division.
Melges World 20 World League 2018 Events:
- MIAMI, February 9-11
- MIAMI, March 16-18
- CHARLESTON, April 12-15
- HAYAMA, April 14-15
- ISCHIA, April 20-22
- CHARLESTON, May 19-20
- SAGAMI BAY, May 19-20
- MARINA DI SCARLINO, May 25-27
- LERICI, June 22-24
- RIVA DEL GARDA, July 20-22
- CAGLIARI, September 6-7
- SAGAMI BAY September 29-30
- CAGLIARI October 6-7
- CAGLIARI October 10-13
- HAYAMA October 23-24
- HAYAMA November 22-25
- MIAMI November 30 – December 1
by Hannah Noll