Sailors Ready for Battle: Melges 24 U.S. Nationals Kick Off Road to World Title

1 July 2024 - Santa Barbara, CA, USA - With each passing day, the U.S. Melges 24 Class gets more and more excited for the start of the 2024 National Championship on July 12-14 in the picturesque city of Santa Barbara, California. After months of meticulous planning, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club (SBYC) is ready to host this highly anticipated event, which marks the beginning of the 2024 West Coast racing series. Post Nationals, the series continues with the Pacific Coast Championship on August 3-4 and culminates with the World Championship on San Francisco Bay from August 17-24. It concludes on September 20-22 with the Canadian Nationals in West Vancouver, Canada. With two national championships bookending the series, the excitement and competition are expected to be extremely high as each event unfolds.

The Nationals have successfully attracted a fleet of 23 boats, with up to 15 teams qualifying to race in the all-amateur division. While the fleet is predominantly composed of local California boats, the event will also welcome teams traveling from Lake Tahoe, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and as far away as Colorado and Ontario, Canada.

TINKA of Kathrin Wagner
TINKA of Kathrin Wagner

“The Melges 24 is the most fascinating boat I have skippered in regattas. The lean class rules encourage focusing on racing tactics and getting the boat as fast as technically possible,” says Kathrin Wagner, owner of the Melges 24 Tinka. “At only 106 lbs, I totally rely on the competence and dynamics of the crew to be competitive with other boats. Our team of four ladies and the kite trimmer always keeps a supportive team spirit and has lots of fun. We have increased our donut consumption to get up to weight, though.”

Beautiful Santa Barbara conditions promise world-class racing, with first starts scheduled each day after 1 PM to take full advantage of the classic afternoon breeze. This will provide plenty of opportunities for fun downwind runs for the fleet to enjoy. Off the water, participants can look forward to a fantastic social schedule, including evening hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a beach party, and a hosted dinner on Saturday night.

“The south-facing coastline along the Santa Barbara channel guarantees a great breeze all year round, which helps sharpen our sailing and racing expertise in various conditions,” Wagner continued. “A bit further from the shoreline, we usually have steady winds and not too much impact from currents. In my opinion, teams with a diverse skill set and flexible mindset will do very well in the Nationals.”


Santa Barbara's charm extends beyond the racecourse, offering stunning coastal views and a vibrant community atmosphere. The Nationals will be as much about the camaraderie among the fleet as it will be about the competition.

Santa Barbara YC harbour
SBYC overlooks the Pacific Ocean and in close proximity to Santa Barbara harbor. It's charm extends beyond the racecourse, offering stunning coastal views and a vibrant community atmosphere.

“SBYC has been an amazing partner to work with,” says U.S. Melges 24 Class Admin Joy Dunigan.“They have been working really hard to make sure teams enjoy this Championship to the fullest, including opening their homes and extending free accommodations to teams that need them. The Class is really thankful for all their efforts and impeccable hospitality. SBYC is first class.”

Registration is still open for all West Coast series events. Are you game? Come race with us!

Here are some quick links to register:
U.S. National Championship (July 12-14)
Pacific Coast Championship (August 3-4)
Diversified® World Championship (August 17-24)
Canadian National Championship (September. 20-22)

2024 U.S. National Championship will be hosted by the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and designated as North American Ranking Series event number 6, the Nationals promise spectacular racing, good times, great friends, and enduring memories.