Andrea Pozzi Wins Melges 24 World Ranking 2016 and Conor Clarke NorAm Tour, Andrea Racchelli Claims European, and Dave Young Australasian Ranking

Bombarda ITA841 Melges 24 Europeans 2016

March 8, 2017 – IM24CA - Although the 2017 is well underway, the Melges 24 worldwide final ranking results of 2016 have been published now and International Melges 24 Class Association IM24CA interviewed the winners of the rankings. The winners both of the world and continental rankings will be perpetuated to the Melges 24 World Ranking Hall of Fame 

IM24CA together with the national Melges 24 classes holds a number or series, or racing circuits in North America, Europe and Australasia. The World Ranking consists of all IM24CA ranking events in a calendar year. The 2016 Melges 24 World Ranking series featured fourteen events across Europe, North America and Australia including the main title events of the year - Melges 24 World Championship and European Championship incorporating major regional events all around the world.
List of ranking events

“I want to thank all sailors who competed at each regatta of the world ranking series,” said on behalf of the IM24CA Chairman Jens Wathne. “The sailors are the class and the ranking list shows an impressive activity around the world in 2016. I wish to thank many teams undertaking the effort to prepare, travel and participate in these events. I also want to extend my great gratitude to the organizing authorities for making it possible–we hope to see you again in 2017. There is also a big effort made by class members in the national Melges 24 classes around the world. IM24CA is fortunate to have you. Thank you!” 

WORLD RANKING 
Points in the World Ranking were awarded to the owner/helm and the best of three events were counted, as combined from the continental ranking events – six in Europe, four in North America and four in Australia. Bonus points were awarded for the title events – World and European Championships. 207 teams from 27 countries took part.

Andrea Pozzi’s Bombarda ITA841 won the 2016 Melges 24 World Ranking with a three point margin ahead of 2015 World Champion and three-time US Olympian Chris Rast’s EFG SUI684 on the second place. Melges 24 2016 World Champion Conor Clarke’s Embarr IRL829 with 470 US Olympian Stuart McNay helming claimed third placement. Marco Zammarchi’s young team, but already 2016 Corinthian World Champion Taki 4 ITA778 with Niccolò Bertola helming took remarkable fourth, 2016 Worlds’ second Gian Luca Perego’s Maidollis ITA822 having on board three former Melges 24 World Champions in 2012 Fracassoli-Fonda-Ferrari as fifth and Melges 24 stalwart 2015 Worlds’ second  Andrea Racchelli (Altea ITA735) finished sixth, 2016 Worlds’ fourth Bruce Ayres and his Monsoon USA851 took seventh, 2016 Worlds’ and European second Tõnu Tõniste’s Lenny EST790 placed at eighth, John Brown (Blind Squirrel USA537) took ninth and Travis Weisleder (Lucky Dog Gill Race Team USA848) rounded out the top ten.

Bombarda ITA841 in Miami Melges 24 Worlds 2016Andrea Pozzi's Bombarda ITA841 - Melges 24 World Ranking 2016 Winner - surfing the Miami waves at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship - photo (c) Pierrick Contin 

IM24CA: Andrea, you won the 2016 Melges 24 World Ranking with a three point margin ahead of 2015 World Champion Chris Rast. Three results and points counted for this excellent result for Bombarda were the victory at the Kiel Week, second place at the Europeans and tenth position at the Worlds. How do you feel to be listed at the Melges 24 World Ranking Hall of Fame now among such legends like Flavio Favini, Riccardo Simoneschi, Lorenzo Bressani, Jamie Lea and others? What would you like to say about your dedicated team? 
Andrea Pozzi: This achievement is the result of a season spangled with great victories and important placements which represent the direct consequence of a year-long commitment, great teamwork and sacrifices of the whole team. Firstly I would like to thank all the components of the team formed by Giulio Desiderato, Stefano Ciampalini, Nicholas Dal Ferro and Carlo Zermini, the coach Nicola Celon and all the shore team comprised of Federico Valenti, Paolo Figini and Giuseppe Alfieri, thanks to whom it has been possible to achieve this historical outcome. Thanks to everyone that in 2016 has followed and supported us during all our regattas. Also a special mention goes to the Melges 24 class that in every regatta has always shown outstanding organization and availability towards everyone allowing us to spend wonderful days laced with sport, active competitiveness but also great fun and both personal and professional growth. Thanks everyone and–Forza Bombarda! 

The highest ranked Corinthian (professionals not allowed) team in the World Ranking had such a remarkable placement as the fourth in overall ranking. It is Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 ITA778 – 2016 Corinthian World Champion. 

Taki 4 ITA778 in Miami Melges 24 Worlds 2016The highest ranked Corinthian team in the Melges 24 World Ranking 2016 - Marco Zammarchi's Taki 4 ITA778 with The Challenge Henri Samuel Trophy at the 2016 World Championship prize giving in Miami - photo (c) Pierrick Contin

IM24CA: Three best results scoring this placement for Taki 4 were the seventh place at the Europeans, 15th place at the Worlds achieving the title of the Corinthian World Champion and victory from the Austrian act of the European Sailing Series. What can you say about your remarkable season and about your team? 
The helmsman of Taki 4 Niccolò Bertola: 2016 was the first season for Taki 4 with this crew. On board of Taki 4 were sailing together with the owner Marco Zammarchi Giacomo Fossati, Matteo De Chiara, Niccolò Bertola and Giovanni Bannetta, with the support of Niccolò Bianchi as the coach. The beginning of the season has been great with the victory of the second event of the European Sailing Series in Austria and the season finished with the beautiful Corinthian World Champion title won in the wonderful Miami waters. We improved day by day analyzing every single hour spent on the boat and mostly thanks to our coach Nicco. I'm really happy with the season but especially with the team, great teamwork, great friends and great sailors! In the wake of this enthusiasm we hope to replicate success of the last season in 2017 and maybe even get some extra satisfaction!

The second best Corinthian team in the World Ranking 2016 is Tõnu Tõniste’s Lenny EST790–2016 silver of the Worlds and Europeans, with the eighth placement. 2013 Corinthian European Champion, Eelco Block’s Team Kesbeke/Sika/Gill NED827 is the third best Corinthian team with the eleventh placement in the ranking. 
View the World Ranking Results

NORTH AMERICA 
Three events – US and Canadian Nationals, and World Championship - were counted for the Melges 24 NorAm Tour 2016. Additionally, Melges 24 Madness Regatta in Miami was added to the World Ranking as the fourth North American event. 115 teams altogether were ranked at the NorAm Tour 2016.  

Conor Clarke’s Embarr IRL829 claimed a safe victory of the Melges 24 NorAm Tour 2016 with only two strong results out of three events. Irish-American team including 470 US Olympian team Stuart McNay-Dave Hughes, Irish Maurice "Prof" O’Connel and Aoife English and Morgan Reeser as a coach took a Melges 24 took a Worlds title with 31 point margin and a race to spare. Strong second position at the US Nationals secured to Embarr a Melges 24 NorAm Tour victory with 35.7 point margin ahead of Kevin Welch’s Mikey USA838, getting the best result of the series winning the Canadian Nationals. Mikey’s placements were eight and sixteenth at the US Nationals and the Worlds respectively. Winning the US Nationals with a young team, Melges 24 stalwart Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging USA820 ended the Miami Worlds at the fifth position, slipping into this place from the second position with the final race. These two results out of three of the series were high enough for Bora to be placed as the third best at the Melges 24 NorAm Tour 2016. 

Embarr IRL829 Melges 24 World Champion 2016The winner of the Melges 24 NorAmTour 2016 - Conor Clarke's Embarr IRL829 victorious with the Melges Performance Sailboats Trophy at the prizegiving of the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship in Miami - photo (c) Pierrick Contin

IM24CA: Conor, you won the 2016 Melges 24 NorAm Tour with a great margin taking part from two events out of three only – you were second, but very close to win the US Nationals and won the Worlds with a huge margin. How do you feel to be listed on the Melges 24 World Ranking Hall of Fame now? 
Conor Clarke: On Embarr we are thrilled with the World rankings. They give teams a chance ro compare their performance throughout the year and offer an overall goal for teams. Congratulations to the lead teams, it takes a lot of hard work to achieve any high ranking. 
iew the Melges 24 NorAmTour 2016 results

EUROPE 
Six regattas in five countries throughout the Europe were held to complete the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series including the Marinepool European Championship. Forty eight single races of the six events with eight discards were considered for the scoring of the ranking. A total of 88 teams from 19 nations, including 64 Corinthian teams, took part in the series.  

Andrea Racchelli’s Altea ITA735 in overall ranking and Miles Quinton’s Gill Race Team GBR694 in Corinthian division were the winners of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2016. The second placements in overall and Corinthian divisions took respectively Gill Race Team and Michael Tarabochia’s White Room GER677. David Rowen’s Imagine GBR557 in overall and Oleg Dyvinets’ Marusia UKR819 in Corinthian ranking rounded out the Top Three in Europe.  

Andrea Racchelli and Altea ITA735 - Melges 24The winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series - Andrea Racchelli and Altea ITA735 - with the perpetual trophy of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series at the end of 2016 European series in Luino - photo (c) Piret Salmistu

Gill Race Team GBR694 - Melges 24The best Corinthian team of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series - Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team GBR694 celebrating their Corinthian division victory at the Marinepool Melges 24 European Championship in France - photo (c) Pierrick Contin

IM24CA: Andrea, you won the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2016 with a very nice margin. You missed only one event (Austria) out of six during the season in Europe and with consistent racing the margin ahead of the second place was 42 points. How do you feel to be listed at the Melges 24 World Ranking Hall of Fame now among such legends like Flavio Favini, Riccardo Simoneschi, Lorenzo Bressani, Nicola Celon, Jamie Lea and others? What would you like to say about your dedicated team? 
Andrea Racchelli: For me and all my crew it is a great honour to be in the hall of fame. 2016 was a good season for us with the first place in Riva (valid also as the Italian Championship). Unfortunately we did not sail very well in Hyeres for the Europeans and in Miami for the World Championship, but the good results in the other European Sailing Series’ events (Portoroz, Kiel and Luino) gave us the leadership in the European ranking. 
We sail Melges 24 since 2001 and this is the first time we are at the top of the ranking. Of course one of the most important things is the strength of our team with very good sailors working onboard. Enzo Bonini is my historical sail trimmer, we sail together since 1992 and during all this Melges seasons I think he missed just two events! Alberto Verna and Michele Gregoratto are also part of the team since many years, and during this season many other friends sailed with us - Anne Soizic Bertin, Matteo Ramian, Giorgio De Mari, Andrea Serpi, Tiziano Auguadro, Filippo Togni, Fabian Gielen, Ernesto Brianza, Michele Azzoni, Riccardo Degl’Innocenti, Marco Petrillo. And of course without Altea, that is our sponsor since 1997, nothing would be possible! 
Melges 24 is for me the best one design class and during these years many top level sailors joined the class. To race against all of them has been a great pleasure and honour. I really hope the class will grow in the next years, we will have great events in Europe in coming years and I think many teams can be interested to jump (or jump back) into the class! 
View the Results of the European Sailing Series 2016

AUSTRALIA 
Four events completed the Australasian / Asia Pacific Ranking in 2016 - South Australian Titles, Australian Championships, NSW State and East Coast Championships. 16 teams altogether were taking part from the events in Australia. 

Dave Young on No Comments and Kraken AUS746/655 claimed the victory of the 2016 Asia Pacific ranking taking part as the only team from all four ranking events. Achieving sixth, fourth, seventh and third positions at the events respectively his team secured the top leading position with fourteen points ahead of Stephen Girdis’ +GST AUS762 who’s lead ahead of Andy Wharton’s Accrewed Interest AUS807 was sixty two points. 

Dave Young and Kraken AUS655 - Melges 24The winner of the Melges 24 Australasian / Asia Pacific Ranking 2016 - Dave Young and Kraken AUS655 at the Helly Hansen Melges 24 Australian Nationals in Blairgowrie in February 2017 - photo (c) Ally Graham

IM24CA: You were the only team in Australia not missing any of the ranking events – this is a huge effort and commitment which has been paid off with the Asia Pacific Ranking 2016 victory! What can you say about your season 2016 and your team?
Dave Young: The first half of the 2016 was a fun season for the No Comment crew where we had a mix of good friends and family making up our core crew for all the major events. Later in the season I patterned up with a close friend Tim Cummings to campaign our new boat Kraken and continued the fun of travelling to all major events and mixing it up with the rest of the Australian M24 sailors. Luckily we have understanding families and a good core of sailing mates to be able to pull off all the travelling required to get to the various events. It doesn't matter what location we sail at we are always welcomed and manage to have a good time whilst maintaining solid competiveness on the water with some of Australia's top sailors - this is the beauty of sailing a Melges 24 down under.  
View the Results of the Asia Pacific Ranking 2016

Since its inception in 2001 the Melges 24 World and Continental Rankings have been a huge success and for the International Melges 24 Class Association it’s great to see so many teams from different countries taking part. The highlights of the 2017 season will be definitely Melges 24 World Championship in Helsinki, Finland at the end of July-beginning of August and Melges 24 NorAm Championship in Gorge, U.S. in July.  

View the initial Melges 24 2017 events schedule and ranking events all around the world - TBC

Melges 24 fleet in Miami Worlds 2016Melges 24 fleet at the Melges 24 World Championship 2016 in Miami - photo (c) Pierrick Contin