UK - Calling all existing - and future - Melges 24 owners
March 11, 2020 - UK - by Andrew Hunt - During the 1990s, the UK Melges 24 fleet was regularly getting 30-40 boats at its regattas, as indeed it should have done given what a great boat it is to sail and of course to race. Even after 25 years, in and out of the class, this owner still gets a kick out of seeing the GPS show more than 15 knots when going downhill. It definitely pays to be loud at the leeward mark in big fleets.
Unfortunately, and despite the boat's obvious qualities, the UK class numbers have declined since the 1990s, as other sports boats have arrived on the scene and the top end of the fleet entered something of an arms race as new sails arrived. Since then, the centre of gravity of the class within Europe has shifted to the Italian lakes, although there are still active fleets in Nordic Region, Germany and Austria.
While there are a number of UK-based crews that do regularly travel to these events, it is shame that the class cannot get more numbers out in the UK. To that end, the Class Association is looking to get some momentum into the core of the fleet by organizing new venues for racing. In addition to the group sailing from Ipswich, we are planning events in Southwold on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, and in Brightlingsea as well. If we can get the numbers, a return to the Solent, Torbay, or Scotland could all be possible.
So, if you have a Melges 24, or would like to have one, please contact the class at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you would like to see happen. You don't have to be a rockstar crew with a new boat - although you are very welcome to come if you are - but we do want to build the fleet from the ground upwards.