Scarlino, Italy - The wait for the International Melges 20 fleet is over and tomorrow, the trigger on the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship taking place at Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino will be pulled.
Starting on Wednesday, August 24, the challenge and fight for the Class’ most prestigious trophy will be in play — the names, numbers and colors alone represented and best explain the importance of this event.
The colors of those fifteen national flags symbolize 56 teams that are set and ready to race on Thursday, August 25 (thru Sunday, August 28) on a race course set by Club Nautico Scarlino.
Among the many names are champions who routinely compete in the Melges 20 one design fleet such as John Kostecki, tactician aboard Michael Illbruck’s Pinta, Cameron Appleton will call tactics for Achille Onorato on Mascalzone Latino Jr., alongside Alessandro Rombelli will be Paul Goodison on STIG, Flavio Favini will call the shots aboard Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai, and Morgan Reeser will once more assist Californian Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee.
Of course these names also include that of John Kilroy, Jr. and his son Liam. John, at the helm of his famous Samba Pa Ti will attempt to further extend his unbeaten record run in the World Championship challenge having won in 2014 (Riva del Garda), and again in 2015 (at home in San Francisco, CA). Considered one of his greatest opponents is Liam, a talented helmsman in his own right and currently looks to be among the fastest in the fleet as he won the 2016 Open Russian Championship that was held in Scarlino last weekend.
The list of contenders for the title is, as never before, extremely wide displaying an even playing field of performance which only confirms, this event truly belongs to anyone.
Other favorites include Guido Miani’s Out of Reach from Monaco (Gabriele Benussi, tactician) who has managed to capture victory at almost every major event with the exception of a World Championship. Richard Davies’ Section 16 (Chris Rast, tactician) is among the strongest teams of the European season and perhaps considered an underdog.
Russia is by far the largest fleet in attendance and looking to secure a win, because up until now, the stage has been dominated by Italy and the USA — Francesco Farneti on ITA-157 in 2010. Rombelli in 2011, Dario Levi on Fremito D’Arja in 2012, John Taylor’s Ninkasi in 2013 and then Kilroy in both 2014 and 2015.
The Melges 20 World Championship will include 10 races over the course of four days. The first warning signal is tomorrow, Thursday, August 24 at 12:00.
MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
As with other Melges 20 events in Europe and around the world, World Championship racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 20 Facebook Page.
Race reports, press releases and photos will be made available online each day post racing at melges20.com.
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