Justin Chisholm Appointed IMCA Press Officer

We are delighted to announce that Justin Chisholm has been appointed as IMCA Press Officer. As many of you will know, for the past decade Fiona Brown has acted as joint IMCA Class Administrator and Press Officer, however, as the demands of the two roles grew it became increasingly difficult to combine them, particularly during major events. Following the 2008 Words Fiona asked the IMCA to consider splitting her role to allow us to improve the services we deliver to both our sailors and the media. The Melges 24 has always been a world leader in the quality of its communications and it was agreed that the appointment of a new Press Officer would bring a welcome fresh approach to our communications and help ensure that the Melges 24 remains at the forefront of media attention where it belongs.

Having carefully considered a number of proposals the IMCA unanimously agreed to appoint Justin Chisholm to the post. Justin is a well known face on the Melges 24 international circuit and may be better known to many of you as ‘the big guy’ in Stuart Simpson’s highly successful Team Barbarians crew. Having started sailing at the age of nine Justin has raced a wide variety of dinghies and keelboats over the years. He has competed in three Fastnet races, was a member of the second placed Irish team in the Commodores’ Cup international team competition and actively campaigned his Finn on the UK circuit. He rates his time in the Melges 24 fleet aboard Team Barbarians as the best racing he has ever done and he is proud to have been part of one of the high profile teams in the class.

During his five years in the class he has raced extensively at regattas across Europe and the US, including five World and two European Championships. Despite having clocked up a 2004 UK National’s victory and a close fought second place at the 2008 US Nationals Justin regards the highlight of his career in the Melges 24 class to be leading the fleet around the first mark on the ‘big’ final day at the Cruz Worlds. ‘Massive waves, 35 knots of breeze. We went for the hoist and just took off in a cloud of spray. You don’t forget moments like that. Ever.’

Justin’s burgeoning career as a freelance sailing journalist and editor of the yacht racing website www.offshorerules.com has meant that he now spends more time writing about sailing than actually doing it. His first hand experience in the Melges 24 class and his passion for racing makes Justin the perfect individual to take on the role of International Press Officer and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.

Throughout the year Justin will be providing editorial content for the IMCA E-news and www.melges24.com as well as regular press releases and IMCA Championship reports. One of Justin’s new initiatives for the class is the On The Water Blogs, the first of which was undertaken for the North American Championship in Annapolis. This proved a huge success, as did his Blog from ACURA Key West 2009. Keep watching www.melges24.com, the IMCA E-news and the yachting media for more of Justin’s excellent work.