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2021 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship ready to rumble

by U.S. Melges 24 Class Association 15 Sep 2021 14:22 UTC September 16-19, 2021
Melges 24 teams are steadily arriving on the scene, practicing, tuning, getting everything ready in anticipation of challenging racing conditions and fierce competition © U.S. Melges 24 Class Association

The start of the 2021 U.S. Melges 24 National Championship is only a day away, September 16-19 hosted by the Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.

Teams are steadily arriving on the scene, practicing, tuning, getting everything ready in anticipation of challenging racing conditions and fierce competition.

At the top of the list of notable front runners is seven-time National Champion Brian Porter on Full Throttle going for what could be a record-setting eighth title. Current 2021 National Ranking Series leader and former U.S. National Champion (2016) Bora Gulari at the helm of New England Ropes has the efforts of 2016 World Champions Stu McNay and David Hughes onboard. International Melges 24 Class Chairwoman Laura Grondin racing Dark Energy, Bruce Ayres' Monsoon, and Gold Cup Regatta winner Harry Melges IV sailing Zenda Express are on the radar and worthy of the win.

Deep cut contenders include Mike Dow on Flying Toaster (a Midwest favorite and recently crowned Grand Traverse Invite Champion), 2019 Canadian National/Corinthian Champion Roger Counihan sailing Jaws and KC Shannon's Shaka (2017 Corinthian U.S. National Champion).

The U.S. Melges 24 Class is thrilled to welcome three boats from Canada this weekend — Dan Berezin's Surprise, Jim Pearson's Slippery, and Mike Gozzard at the helm of Rush. Managing this has been anything but easy due to Covid restrictions, but the Class is extremely grateful for their participation and is proud to have them on the starting line.

As always the Class is ecstatic about welcoming new faces to the fleet and this year is no exception. Welcome to the jungle Eric Vigrass, Orrin Keller and Sam Nedeau. You are going to have the time of your life!

As many as 13 teams have completed the rigorous process of applying for Sailor IDs and gaining/renewing sailor classification. As hotly contested as the overalls, the Corinthian Division symbolizes deep, grass roots fun and the competitive spirit of the Melges 24. This year, the all-amatuer teams are stacked and it will definitely be exciting to see who comes out on top.

The U.S. Nationals is No. 8 on a calendar of 10 scheduled National Ranking Series events. Gulari is currently ranked first overall followed by Grondin. Travis Weisleder's Lucky Dog, Scot Zimmerman's Bad Idea and Ayres round out the top five respectively. View full results (preliminary, after seven events)

Nationals also marks the penultimate event of the 2021 Quantum Melges 24 Great Lakes Cup. Dow leads the 4-part series followed by Fred Rozelle's Rustler in second, Zimmerman is third, and Tom Roop's JOMO is currently fifth. The final Great Lakes Cup event takes place in early October on Lake Geneva (home of the Melges 24) in Fontana, Wisc. View full results (preliminary, after two events)

The U.S. Class is getting excited about the 2022 annual racing calendar. A ton of events are on the schedule that will effectively guide teams through the upcoming Winter season and beyond — the ACC/GCC/Bushwacker Cup (November), Bacardi Series (December/January), Key West (January), St. Petersburg (February), back to Miami for the Bacardi Cup Invitational (March), Charleston Race Week (April/May), all leading up to the next World Championship hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on May 9-15, and that is just the beginning.

2022 National Championship Goes to Pensacola, November 10-13
2022 will see the return of robust West Coast and Midwest local racing events culminating at the next National Championship happening on November 10-13, hosted by the Pensacola Yacht Club. The U.S. Melges 24 Class is proud to make this announcement ahead of the 2021 Nationals as Pensacola has proven many times over it's perfect if you are looking for an unlimited supply of Bushwackers, good times, world-class competition and phenomenal race management.

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