The seventh edition of the Melges 32 World Championship organized by B.Plan Sport and Events (BPSE) in cooperation with Melges Europe, welcomes twenty-two fiercely competitive teams to the heart of the Mediterranean in Trapani, Sicily.
Flanked by an arid backdrop with mountains jutting out from the sea, and crystal blue waters providing an idyllic race course. Trapani truly is a ‘bucket list’ venue and the perfect battleground for the fifth stop on the 2015 Audi-Tron Sailing Series, serving as the highly prestigious Melges 32 World Championship.
‘We are proud to offer another great World Championship with a competitive fleet consisting of passionate owners and talented crews sailing at the highest level. The Melges 32, with a strong class organization, perfect balance of big names, newcomers and experienced owners showcases one-design racing at it’s best.’ says Jason Carroll, President of the International Melges 32 Class. ‘These twenty-two teams are ready to write a new and exciting chapter in the amazing history of this fantastic Class. I want to thank all the teams who have chosen to be here in Trapani and those who are working for the success of this event; Audi, the main sponsor since our first Worlds in 2009, Sailing Series organizer BPSE in cooperation with Melges Europe, and last but not least the local authorities of the City of Trapani for their warm hospitality. This World Championship is going to be epic!’
The 2015 edition is arguably the deepest Melges 32 Worlds ever with a roster boasting the best helmsman, amatuer and professional sailors. With three different winners at the previous four stops on the circuit, picking a winner is an arduous task. Choosing a team from the U.S. could be a popular option as the ‘Stars and Stripes’ have claimed five of the six titles thus far, but with several crafty, world-class Italian tacticians at home on Mediterranean waters, it is truly anyone’s title to grab.
Looming large on the minds of the fleet is the presence of two-time, current World Champion, the American team of Argo helmed by Jason Carroll with Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Securing titles in Porto Rotondo (2013), then again in Miami (2014), Jason and the Argonauts have returned to Italy with one mission in mind – to become the most dominant Melges 32 team in the history of the class.
Trying to slow down the force from the USA are several well-seasoned teams including Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissima with the wiley Vasco Vascotto on tactics. Claiming the European Championship trophy last year, Tomasini Grinover is looking to create a triple crown of his own by securing the 2015 Audi-Tron Championship Series, and the prestigious World Championship title all in the same calendar year.
Scoring second overall in the 2014 Worlds, the colorful characters on Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina’s Torpyone will be skippered by Edoardo’s son Lorenzo Lupi along with 2010 World Champ tactician Lorenzo Bressani. Earlier this year, they won the second act of the Audi-Tron Sailing Series in a tight battle in Portovenere and now, are looking to dance their way back to the top of the podium in Trapani.
Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of STIG comes in hot going two-for-two of the Audi-tron Sailing Series. The ultimate weapon for Rombelli is the name of his tactician, the crafty Sicilian Francesco Bruni that has the capabilities to unlock the secrets of Trapani more so than any other tactician.
The list of contenders continues and includes the reigning 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series Champions, the Russian team of Synergy GT with Valentin Zavadnikov at the helm and Andy Horton as tactician. From Sweden comes the challenge of Richard Goransson’s Inga from Sweden with Michael Buckley on tactics. And from the small Island of Bermuda, Alec Cutler will drive his Melges 32 Hedgehog alongside of recently crowned Melges 24 World Champ Chris Rast on tactics.
Looking to retain the World title, the North American fleet has a few bullets in the chamber both hailing from the same extended family; Ryan DeVos on Volpe with tactician Mark Mendelblatt, and his younger cousin Dalton DeVos on Delta will be supported by the legendary Jonathan McKee.
Representing Japan, Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai with tactician Hamish Pepper, and Keisuke Suzuki’s Swing with Nicolai Sehested on tactics are ready to battle every race and can make a surge at anytime. These long-time Melges 32 veteran racers cannot be counted out.
Hailing from Turkey and enjoying his first full season in the Melges 32 Class, Ahmet Eker continues his steep learning curve, and is excited about applying lessons learned earlier this season to his World Championship bid.
Finishing second overall in Portovenere, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G Spot with Branko Brcin on tactics has 0a podium finish in his sights. The lone German entry of Wilma will be helmed by Fritz Homann and will rely heavily on tactician Nico Celon (also a former Melges 24 World Champion) to improve their chances of a great finish. Rounding out the Russian contingent, Pavel Kuznetsov and his Tavatuy team are always a challenge on the racecourse.
The Italian fleet carries the largest representation of the nine nations racing in Trapani. Filippo Pacinotti’s Brontolo HH is a cornerstone of the European fleet having been racing in the Class since 2009. Andrea Ferrari’s Spirit of Nerina, Roberto Mazzucato’s Margherita, Mauro Mocchegiani’s Audi E-Tron Fratelli Giacomel, Andrea LaCorte’s Vitamina, Edoardo and Vanni Pavesio’s Fra Martina, and fleet newcomer Marco Cali at the helm of Lea are all lined-up ready to dethrone Carroll and his Argo team.
Full Entry List
1.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton; Argo
2.) Mauro Mocchegiani/Tomasso Chieffi; Audi E-Tron Fratelli Giacomel
3.) Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona; Brontolo HH
4.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee; Delta
5.) Ahmet Eker/Levent Peynirci; Eker
6.) Edoardo Pavesio/Diogo Cayolla; FRA MARTINA
7.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin; G-SPOT
8.) Alec Cutler/Chris Rast; hedgehog
9.) Richard Goransson/Michael Buckley; Inga From Sweden
10.) Marco Cali/Francesco Cruciani; Lea
11.) Roberto Mazzucato/Gabriele Benussi; Margherita
12.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto; Robertissima
13.) Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata; Spirit of Nerina
14.) Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni; STIG
15.) Keisuke Suzuki/Nicolai Sehested; Swing
16.) Valentin Zavadnikov/Andy Horton; Synergy GT
17.) Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeny Neugodnikov; Tavatuy
18.) Lorenzo Lupi/Lorenzo Bressani; Torpyone
19.) Andrea LaCorte/Jesper Radich; Vitamina
20.) Fritz Homann/Nico Celon; Wilma
21.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt; Volpe
22.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper; Yasha Samurai
by Melges 32