In its rich sailing history, Newport, R.I. has played host to just about every famous sailboat race on the planet: the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and countless grand prix World Championship events, not to mention a long and distinguished bucket list of ocean races that every sailor dreams of. The International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) will add to that list with the commencement of the 2017 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club.
With an impressive fleet of 40 teams from four continents, representing nine nations, sailors, friends and families alike will be treated to Newport's best conditions for a full on experience of this iconic sailing venue.
Leading up to the Worlds, both the North American and European fleets have been battling it out in their respective League Divisions in preparation for winning the ultimate prize, a World Championship title.
In North America, Drew Freides' PACIFIC YANKEE currently leads the ranking, and all season long has been letting everyone around him know that his second place finish in Scarlino, Italy at the 2016 Worlds was no fluke. He is excited about putting on the finishing touches this year. Other teams expected to be in the limelight include double World Champion John Kilroy Jr. at the helm of SAMBA PA TI, his son Liam Kilroy on WILDMAN, Jim Wilson's OLEANDER, Daniel Thielman's KUAI and Rob Wilber's CINGHIALE.
Arriving from Europe in fine form is none other than Achille Onorato's MASCALZONE LATINO, JR., former Melges 20 Gold Cup Champions Dario Levi sailing FREMITO D'ARJA, and now big name Melges 40 owner Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of STIG, Oleg Evdokimenko's KOTYARA, and Vladimir Proshikin's NIKA are primed and ready to take on the new North American competition. And more than poised to conquer the season is 2017 World League European Division winner and Euro Champion Igor Rytov aboard RUSSIAN BOGATYRS. He currently leads the overall 2017 World League Ranking.
Racing commences on Wednesday, October 4 with an 11.00 warning. The Championship will conclude on Saturday, October 7 with an awards ceremony at Sail Newport.
We are excited to be a part of the 2017 Melges 20 World Championship and we wish all teams the best of luck!