Melges 24s Return to Estonia
From 1997 to 2001 two time Estonian Olympic medalists Tonu and Toomas Toniste owned their first Melges 24s which they raced regularly on the international Melges 24 circuit. In the five years since selling those Melges 24s the Tonistes have tried a number of different boats but at Christmas 2005 they decided it was time to come back to the real thing and buy their third new Melges 24 from Devoti. This spark of interest ignited a small fire and soon other Estonian teams placed their order for new boats and by the end of this season the Estonian Class hopes to have at least 5 boats sailing from Tallinn on the Baltic Sea.
Tonu Toniste has scheduled to take part in 6 races during 2006. Team "Lenny" EST646 will debut at SNIM over Easter and their season will culminate in the first Estonian Championships in the fleet's home town of Tallinn where all Melges 24 crews are welcome. EST646 has serious plans to return to the form they showed during their previous time in the class and hope to regain a top ten position among the European crews.
The Estonian Championship will take place in Tallinn on September 23/24 and will be the final event in the 2006 European Ranking Series. The regatta will also incorporate Nordic Ranking 5 and Finnish Ranking 6 so an excellent turnout is expected. Tallinn is a beautiful and historic city on the Eastern shore of the Baltic which is well served by ferries and flights from around Europe and the Estonian Teams look forward to welcoming visiting Melges 24 crews to their home town for this first ever Estonian Championship. Please contact TONU TONISTE for more information about the Estonian Championship.
To help get the new Estonian Class off to the best possible start the teams are working in close association with the neighbouring Finnish Class. Estonian sailors interested to try a Melges 24 and join the fleet should contact ANTS HAAVEL in Tallinn or TOMI HAKOLA of the Joint Finnish & Estonian Class for more information.
The IMCA wishes the new Estonian Class every success and we look forward to meeting old and new Estonian friends in the coming months.