Preview: Largest Ever Melges 32 World Championship
Melges 32 World Championship 2012
New York, USA
Thirty-four Melges 32s representing eight countries have registered to compete for the class' most coveted title at the largest ever Melges 32 World Championship to be hosted by New York Yacht Club from 20-29 September.
William Douglass' Goombay Smash 2011 Melges 32 World Champion
As expected, the final field of competitors is one of the strongest and most talented laden including twenty-one teams from the United States, six from Japan, four from Italy and one each from Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Turkey, Switzerland and Sweden.
One team in particular that has great aspirations of victory in Newport is Mascalzone Latino owned by Italy's Vincenzo Onorato, current leader of the 2012 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series and European Champion.
"We have sailed in Newport many times and have won two major international titles here." says Onorato. "Now, I am really proud to come back with my Melges 32 team. I am satisfied with the first part of the 2012 season, and the Mascalzone Latino team is ready for the most important appointment of all - the World Championship, organized by the New York Yacht Club. We have been sailing a lot this year in the U.S. and we have participated in every Audi Sailing Series event completed thus far."
With 2008 470 Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Wilmot as tactician, and the additional likes of Alberto Bolzan and Andrea Ballico, Onorato is clearly prepared to position himself to win.
Onorato's next greatest rival from Europe is fellow Italian owner Lanfranco Cirillo aboard Fantastica. Cirillo, endearingly referred to by everyone in the fleet as 'Momo', packs a real punch of consistency with Michele Paoletti as tactician, Niccolo Bianchi and Claudio Celon forming the core of this very successful Melges 32 team.
Winner of the 2011 Audi Sailing Series, Cirillo knows what it will take to be victorious. "We have been sailing a lot this year, but in Newport, we go to have fun."
Italian standout boats Bombarda, owned by Andrea Pozzi with tactician Gabriele Benussi and Torpyone, owned by Edoardo Lupi with Branko Brcin on tactics are making a first-time, North American appearance.
The Japanese will also be well represented at Worlds with an impressive six teams. "The Melges brand is fairly new to Japan and becoming more and more popular everyday." says Melges Japan representative Kan Yamada. "The Melges 32 is great fun and offers up the very best one design racing competition in the world. It is just incredible to have Japan represented in this arena."
From Keisuke Suzuki aboard Swing with tactician Jesper Radich, to Roberto Tomasini Grinover'sRobertissima locked and loaded with the legendary Vasco Vascotto on tactics, the European and Australasian offense looks promising.
The 2012 Melges 32 World Championship will present five days of competition and a fantastic social events schedule. Onsite registration will begin on 20 September, Pre-Worlds warm-up competition will be held on 20 and 23 September, and five days of full on World Championship racing starts on 25 September running through 29 September. Worlds never fails to be an event of epic proportions with excellent, competitive racing.
Post Worlds, the final chapter of the 2012 Audi Sailing Series concludes in Naples on 19-21 October.
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