The 2018 Melges World League, European Division season for the Melges 20 and the Melges 32 will officially start tomorrow on the island of Forio d’Ischia in Italy.
The Melges 32 will open the back-to-back weekends of racing, while the Melges 20 will conclude the first chapter on April 20-22. It will be a first for both fleets on the Forio d’Ischia racing field.
The new venue stirs a lot of curiosity for Melges 32 teams, seasoned and novice alike. Every team is anxious to know just how intense the 2018 season will be, especially with a World Championship title being awarded in Cagliari at the very end in October. There will be a great deal of evaluation to define the hierarchies, the values of strength and above all – how to best gain the points needed to win the Melges World League Championship Series overall.
The Melges 32 Class is all lined up on the quays of the Circolo Nautico Punta Imperatore, with reigning World Champion Pavel Kuznetsov at the helm of TAVATUY with tactician Evgeny Neugodnikov and 2017 Melges World League Circuit Champion, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio sailing G.SPOT (with tactician Michele Ivaldi) primed and ready to go head-to-head once again.
Their biggest and brightest competition involves the usual suspects such as European Champion Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO (who has employed the tactical expertise of Olympic medallist, multiple Melges Class World Champion and three-time Moth World Champ Paul Goodison), and Matteo Balestrero at the helm of GIOGI (with Branko Brcin as tactician). There is also Christian Schwoerer’s LA PERICOLOSA (with the Frenchman Sebastian Col in the cockpit), Fritz Homann’s WILMA with the celebrated Nico Celon on tactics, Jens Kuehne (Jens Van Der Biest, tactician), the young Corinthian team of HOMANIT with Kilian Holzapfel at the helm, and Norway’s Lasse Pettersen (with Matteo Ivaldi as tactician) on PIPPA that anticipate victory as well.
In the Corinthian Division, 2017 all-amatuer Melges World League Champion Martin Reintjes on CAIPIRINHA is poised to defend the title by relying on the experience of the extraordinary Gabriele Benussi as tactician.
One of the main highlights of the forthcoming 2018 season is a wave of new owners who will make their Melges 32 Class debut appearance in Forio. From Poland comes the challenge of Waldemar Salata at the helm of CASINO ROYAL. Two brand new Italian entries will be racing – Manfredo Toninelli at the helm of an Corinthian T.ONE, and DON INO of Luigi Giannattasio (Andrea Racchelli, tactician), and also SKADI, an entry of the Swiss-based Associazione GUST-PAR.
Class veteran and reigning Melges 32 European Champions Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina aboard TORPYONE will be sorely missed at this event, but will be back in action in Scarlino for Act 2.
The Melges World League is strongly supported by Helly Hansen, Toremar, North Sails, Garmin Marine and Lavazza.
The Melges World League has signed and adopted the code of ethics of the Charta Smerarlda strongly promoting the values of One Ocean Foundation.
Full entry list:
1. ITA 186 CAIPIRINHA (corinthian) – Martin Reintjes / Gabriele Benussi
2. POL 204 CASINO ROYAL – Waldemar Salata / Tomislav Basic
3. ITA 235 DON INO – Luigi Giannatasio / Andrea Racchelli
4. ITA 172 GIOGI – Matteo Balestrero / Branko Brcin
5. MON 181 G.SPOT – Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio / Michele Ivaldi
6. GER 215 HOMANIT (corinthian) – Kilian Holzapfel / Jolbert Van Dik
7. GER 229 LA PERICOLOSA – Christian Schwoerer / Sebastian Col
8. ITA 2121 MASCALZONE LATINO – Vincenzo Onorato / Paul Goodison
9. NOR 212 PIPPA – Lasse Petterson / Matteo Ivaldi
10. GER 225 SJAMBOK – Jens Kuehne / Bram Van Der Biest
11. SUI 202 SKADI – Associazione Gust-Par
12. ITA 194 T.ONE (corinthian) – Manfredo Toninelli / Giovanni Arrivabene
13. RUS 223 TAVATUY – Pavel Kuznetsov / Evgeny Neugodnikov
14. GER 193 WILMA – Fritz Homann / Nico Celon
2018 Melges 32 World League schedule
- Event 1: Forio d’Ischia, 13 – 15 April
- Event 2: Marina di Scarlino, 1-3 June
- Event 3: Riva del Garda, 26 – 28 July
- Event 4: Cagliari, 30 August – 1 September
- Event 5: World Championship – Cagliari, 17 – 20 October