Big fleet racing in store for 2019 Melges 24 U.S. National Ranking Event No. 2 — 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week
April 9, 2019 - Charleston, S.C. USA - The start of the second event of the 2019 U.S. Melges 24 National Ranking Series is just days away with thirty-seven teams registered for the Sperry Charleston Race Week regatta. Melges 24s from all over the country are excited to be traveling to Sperry Race Week, an event well known for being supported by a massive league of dedicated volunteers, offering the finest in race and regatta management, loaded with tons of southern hospitality. Spectacular shoreside activities include beach parties, an open Goslings Rum Bar and live music each day that keeps teams faithfully returning every year.
Sperry Charleston Race Week is Event No. 2 in a series of eight national ranking events. Current Series leader Andrea Pozzi at the helm of Bombarda is not present in Charleston, which means that the remaining top five seeds — Brian Porter on Full Throttle, Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon, Travis Weisleder’s Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team and Kevin Welch’s MiKEYwill go head-to-head in an effort to take the Series lead.
Same thing holds true for the feisty, yet highly-motivated, all-amateur division. With only three of the top five Corinthian Series leaders racing, and additional competition from the likes of Patrick Croke’s Crazy Train with his young daughter Brigette at the helm, Duane Yoslov’s Looper, Paul Bergendahl’s Ripcord and not one, but two Mudratz youth sailing teams — Evan Spalding on Equal Opportunity and Jack Derry in charge of Opportunity. Corinthians always puts on a show, an inner-fleet rivalry that is as suspenseful as the open division with a whole lot of fun and bragging rights mixed in.
Overall, the U.S. Melges 24’s Southeast District (12 teams), followed by the Midwest (11 teams), then the Northeast (10 teams) bring the largest concentration of fleet representation to Charleston. With the 2019 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship taking place on May 22-26 hosted by the Fairhope Yacht Club in Fairhope, Alabama, and the North American Championship hosted by the Grand Traverse City Yacht Club in Traverse City, Michigan on August 15-18, clearly teams are getting ready for battle in hopes of capturing one or more of the Class’ most prestigious trophies.
It’s also important to note that Charleston has been selected as the location for the 2020 Melges 24 World Championship, happening May 1-9. This weekend’s championship will most certainly set in motion an enthusiastic, year-long momentum as teams across the country and around the world ramp up their programs.