Apr 10, 2011, 2:04 PM
Post #1 of 1
From Brian Hutchinson:
Re 1994 Melges 24 PCC's
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Re 1994 Melges 24 PCC's, we had a great time on beautiful Lake Tahoe sailing with Tom Leweck for whom Craig Leweck called tactics. As I recall, he and I were "professional sailors" at the time, but that didn't bother the rest of the fleet, since they managed to beat us on a few legs and races. Many of the others actually thanked us for showing up, and I think we all improved our game.
Let's not join those who blame pros for the current level of participation in the Southern West Coast M24 fleet. One glimpse at the European Melges 24 fleets and the resurgence of various US fleets (which has its share of pros) should tell us that it is organization and good venues that helps a fleet grow. The 33-plus, and growing, Pacific Northwest Melges 24 Fleet shows us that a simple 6-event schedule that promotes great venues and encourages family events is what works.
When the first Melges 24 came to town (San Diego) in 1993 it was a breath of fresh air and so a dozen boats sprang up in the local fleet. Mark Reynolds and Vince Brun immediately embraced the Melges 24 and have enjoyed many enjoyable years of racing them. The boat presented an easier way to have fun, since it was twice as fast as the Star and E22 downwind in the bigger breeze. Mechanically, it showed an easy way to get to those speeds, and when it was time to travel, the boat low trailer ride provided an easier way to visit other venues.
Once the current E22 World Championship is over, we will see more of the Southern California sailors get back into the Melges 24 for fun, as will many of the sailors in the America's Cup. (The 2013 Melges 24 Worlds will be held a week after the America's Cup is over.)
Now, enjoy racing against all of the other pros who will dominate the top of the Etchell 22 class at the Worlds. Remember, those who complain once beaten by a pro are usually pro sailors, themselves.