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Melges Racing Interview with Rob Wilber

Melges Racing Interview with Rob Wilber

We are thankful to have Rob Wilber participate in our Melges Interview this month. Rob went on a Melges adventure back in 2009 when we first introduced the Melges 20. Rob chartered a Melges 20 for a regatta in Miami. From that point on his sailing has changed in many ways. Rob has been a die-hard Melges 20 class enthusiast. We are thankful to have him on the Melges Team, racing Melges Boats. Melges President, Andy Burdick, touched base with Rob for this month’s Melges Racing Interview.

AB: Rob, what was it like sailing the Melges 20 for the very first time? Keeping in mind the background of sailing prior to the Melges Racing you have done?
RW: WOW!!…… That’s all I could think about. It was 15 to 18 knots and the M20 was like driving a Ferrari. Quick, responsive and pushing all my adrenaline buttons. I was immediately addicted. Living on the edge of a wipeout, which we had a few, was so much fun that I didn’t want the ride to end.

AB: What has kept you so involved and motivated in the Melges 20 Class?
RW: The addiction to drive the best one-design boat in the world and the ability to get the same incredible adrenaline rush again and again. But that is one half the reason. My fellow owners are incredible. Fun, nice people. Always willing to share expertise or lend a hand in the boat yard. The result of both halves is world-class competition at the highest level.

AB: You have sailed the Melges 32 and you recently purchased a Melges 14 to sail for fun. What is a common thread of the Melges Boats you have sailed?
RW: Every Melges boat has been meticulously thought out — that’s good for me and my busy life. All the boats deliver that thoroughbred feel when sailing one. They are powerful, reliable and confident.

AB: You campaign your Melges 20 in the USA and in Europe. Melges Europe has done such a wonderful job expanding the Melges brand and giving people the opportunity to race Melges Boats all throughout Europe. What would be your 2-sentence motivator to get people to go and race in Europe?
RW: The venues in Europe are so picturesque, the wine and food are always fabulous and the European owners all share the same qualities of my fellow enthusiastic US Melges owners. The big fleet racing maintains the level of competition and your families will love it there!!!

AB: We just wrapped up the Melges 20 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island. Fun to race out of the New York Yacht Club. You won a race at the World Championship which is really exciting. What was that feeling like?
RW: Winning a race at the Worlds for me was a fantasy come true. The pride in my crew was a great sense of accomplishment. All our hard work and time on the water helped us to get there. The best part is looking back after you crossed the finish line and everyone is behind you. Holy Moly we beat them all !!!! Our next goal is to walk into NYYC a World Champion.

Thank you for participating in the Melges Interview Rob. We appreciate you being such a strong Melges supporter.


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