The seventh edition of the Melges 32 World Championship welcomes twenty-two teams to the heart of the Mediterranean in Trapani, Sicily on August 26-30. 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.
The 2015 edition is arguably the deepest Melges 32 Worlds ever with a roster boasting the best helmsman, amateur and professional sailors. While U.S. teams have claimed five of the six titles thus far, there are several crafty, world-class Italian tacticians at home on Mediterranean waters, making it 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, which together claimed the European Championship trophy last 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. Also coming in hot is Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of STIG, who will be joined by the crafty Sicilian tactician Francesco Bruni.
The list of contenders continues and includes 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 a 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
more info ……………… yachtscoring.com