Record Numbers Race in World Ranking Series
All 22 regattas in the 2006 World Ranking Series have now been completed and this year's series brought us some fantastic sailing, an incredibly close competition and a record entry of 358 boats (that's more than half the Melges 24s built to date!). The points for each regatta are weighted based on the number of boats racing and in the World Ranking competitors count their best four scores from the combined North American and European series, while in the North American and European Rankings competitors count their best three scores from that region.
We are delighted to announce that the 2006 Melges 24 World Ranking Championship title goes Francois Brenac and the Partern & Partners team of Philip Ligot, William Thomas, Christian Ponthieu and Thomas Allin of France. It was an incredibly hard fought series and second place went to World Champion Nicola Celon and the Italian crew of Bette who finished just 5.2 points behind them. Chris Rast, helming for the Swiss Blu Moon team took third with fellow Swiss Jean Marc Monnard in fourth and Italy's Sandro Montefusco fifth.
In the European Ranking Nicola Celon and his Bette crew of owner Ezio Amadori, Manuel Giubellini, Ralmondo Tonelli and Alberto Bolzan turned the tables on Brenac and the P&P team taking the series from them by 5.8 points. Third place goes to Sweden's Claes Rojning with Jean Marc Monnard and Sandro Montefusco again finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The North American Ranking goes to Brian Porter and the legendary Full Throttle crew which includes Harry Melges, Andy Burdick and John Porter. Dave Ullman and Bora Gulari had a fantastic tousle for second which Ullman eventually won by just 0.1 points (now that's what we call close) while Argyle Campbell took fourth and Paul Hulsey fifth - the first all American top five in the North American Ranking for some years.
As we congratulate our Ranking winners we must also take this opportunity to recognise all the Melges 24 teams that travel the globe and make the International Melges 24 Ranking Series one of the strongest in the world. We had a record entry this year with 358 boats competing in the World Ranking, 208 in Europe and 181 in North America so congratulations to everyone who took part and helped spread the Melges 24 word far and wide.