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2014 North American E-Newsletter | Summer-Fall

2014 North American E-Newsletter | Summer-Fall

©2013 JOY | IAM20CA

Congratulations to John Kilroy - newly crowned 2014 Audi Melges 20 World Champion! The Nationals, the Worlds and the Audi Sailing Series are complete as are many of the Lake Ontario Series events. Now it is time to look forward to an amazing Canadian Nationals and the North American Championship in San Francisco - a big ramp-up of high anticipation for the next World Championship set to be hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club on September 30 - October 3, 2015!

As we stated in our first E-News, we want to keep the Owners group involved and well-informed. Our goal is to ensure that everyone is aware of, and has input into, Class matters being initially explored or being seriously considered, and understands decisions that have been made.

We want you and your team, as well as prospective Owners, to be well-informed. Please pass this e-mail along to your crew, possible new Owners, interested charterers and Owners who unfortunately have lapsed class memberships.

The remainder of the regatta schedule is now firming up with events planned in each of the four main North American Regions. Additionally, we now have a "blue print" for the North American Schedule which we believe will enable Owners to have visibility well into the future. Setting a logical and practical schedule well in advance and selecting locations which are great sailing venues, with great weather patterns, should enable teams to focus and commit to events. Accordingly at the Class sanctioned level, we are going to focus more heavily on the Winter series in Miami, which is a core strength of the Audi Melges 20 Class, then one or two good spring events where we can showcase the boat and bring the Class together for great on and off the water events and finishing with one or two strong fall events. This Class sanctioned schedule will continue to be supplemented with exceptional Regional Melges 20 summer events. We would envisage that the first Miami event would be the home of the Gold Cup Regatta, Toronto the home of the Canadian Nationals Regatta, San Francisco would be the home of the Pacific Coast Championship Regatta and that in 2016, when the Worlds are in Europe, the North Americans would be in the fall, September, on the east coast at a great sailing venue. Every indication is that the 2016 Worlds would be held in Europe in late summer, most likely late August, but nothing is finalized on that front.


The September 19-21, 2014 Canadian Nationals is now a sanctioned event and we encourage all Owners to consider adding this to their schedule. The three day event will be hosted by the Port Credit Yacht Club and if history is any predictor of the future, there should be good wind on the water and fun on shore. Entry details will be posted online at melges20.com. Be sure to also follow the fleet on Facebook at Melges 20 Canada.

You can get ready for the 2015 Worlds now by racing the 2014 Pacific Coast Championship (PCC) and North American Championship (NAC), both events hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club in San Francisco, California. Owners are reminded that you need to book your accommodations as soon as possible as hotels will get booked up. The Tiburon Lodge is the recommended place to stay. The entry fee for the NAC includes hoisting, launching, boat and trailer storage for the week of the PCCs and the NACs. Premium conditions, great parties and a simply amazing venue awaits teams. Don't miss this event! Entries are steady rolling in! If you have not already, Register Now.

The schedule is set with three great events to be held in December 12-14 2014, February 6-8 and March 12-14, 2015. The March event in particular will be a spectacular Melges only event. It will conclude the Winter Series for the Audi Melges 20 and Melges 24 classes with an awesome Melges Rocks Party all rolled into one great weekend. This should ensure we get great racing, outstanding social events, togetherness off-the-water and significantly better end of season logistics. The Class survey indicated that Melges only events were preferred. Opting out of Bacardi Race Week should ease logistics, making for a better end of winter series event and enable the Class to use CGSC as our focal point for the entire winter series. Stay close to melges20.com as all the details will be published shortly.

The Audi Melges 20 North American Board has decided to sanction this regatta and make it the U.S. National Championship in 2015. We believe it is important to have the Audi Melges 20 participate in the largest one design sailing regatta in the country, especially where we can also make the logistics easier for owners. We had positive feedback from this year's event where the fleet was together at the Carolina Yacht Club (CYC). Many commented on how fun it was to have the fleet in one location rather than being spread out across Charleston Harbor. CYC will be hosting the Audi Melges 20 fleet again in 2015. All Audi Melges 20 launching, hauling and berthing will occur at CYC. Thanks to CYC for hosting us once again!

In addition to the successful regional regattas that will continue to be held in San Francisco and Toronto, the Class has asked the Canadian Fleet to schedule a sanctioned Canadian Nationals Regatta in the May/June time period to maximize participation, attendance and to ensure coordination between the sanctioned summer and fall events in 2015. This time period is when the Canadian summer series has historically held 2-3 events so teams should be able to attend up to three Melges 20 events within the Spring/Summer time frame.

2015 FALL
The Class will focus on San Francisco for two significant sanctioned events in 2015. The Pacific Coast Championship (PCC) will be held on September 28-29, and the Worlds will be held immediately following on September 30 - October 3. The Board decided that this schedule, while tight, is best option available as it provides six days of highly competitive racing, is an incentive to make the trip west and should ensure that the San Francisco clubs can handle the overall regatta logistics successfully. Be aware, after a number of comments from Owners, we did investigate the possibility of moving the 2015 Worlds into the early part of September but have decided to not change the dates as it would directly conflict with a number of other regattas, including the Rolex Big Boat Series regatta in San Francisco and would impede the ability of the San Francisco clubs to logistically handle the regatta.

While the Audi Melges 20 is a great, fun boat with a solid core of racing enthusiasts in North America and in Europe, Russia and Japan, we believe it is important to continue to look for ways to support and grow the Class. In summary, here are a few of the initiatives being worked on and/or implemented in the near term.

* A social night at each sanctioned event where the entire fleet is together
* An attempt to get the fleet berthed together during all sanctioned events
* The European fleet has done an excellent job of obtaining a regatta series sponsor which helps make each series event special and we are looking for a similar opportunity in North America
* Class coaching at the first Miami Winter Series event, priority will be given to the lower half of the fleet in terms of specific coaching, but video and commentary will be available to all the night of the skippers meeting and after the first day of racing
* Melges Talks videos for the class website, IAM20CA YouTube and Vimeo channels to help take some of the "technique" mystery out of the class
* Including up-to-date tuning guides from each of the class sail makers on the class website
* Guidelines on reasonable market based charter rates
* Class membership relaxed for family members and charters/potential new Owners
* A clear listing of charter boats available, in region, for the various sanctioned events displayed on each regatta registration website

Any additional ideas anyone has in order to make our class better are definitely welcome. As the Class grows and expands geographically, the governance structure has to keep pace; and to that end the Board is considering how to ensure that new countries and significant regional fleets are well represented. We are looking into how we can add representatives immediately from under represented regions and countries, to the current North American and Europe Regional Board structure, as well as how we might in the future add Asia a new region providing that the Class continues to grow at a high rate there.

Our goal is to ensure that we continue to have a one design class with clear and observed measurement rules, while continuously exploring areas in need of improvement. To that end, we will ensure that we have a level playing field in all sanctioned events by measuring boats, including equipment, weight etc.

We have looked carefully at the Sail Limitation Mark rules, reviewed the survey feedback and have concluded that while the spirit of the rules need to be maintained, they have to be tightened and clarified in order to ensure fairness. In summary, while participation will continue to be a key element of the rule moving forward, there is serious consideration underway to change or clarify that (i) the "sail buttons" gap between new and existing boats should be reduced, (ii) the time period for earning sail buttons should be changed from a calendar year basis to a rolling 12 month time period, and (iii) that while all sails have to be class legal, Sail Limit Marks are not required in non-sanctioned events.

We encourage and would love to get your feedback. Are we on the right track? This is your class. What do you want to see happen to increase our strength and participants at regattas?

Let us know good, bad or just plain ugly!

Rob Wilber, International Vice President/North American Fleet President (USA)
Richard Davies, North American Board Member (USA)
Paul Currie, North American Board Member (CAN)


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