A runaway victory of 31 points clear in a fleet of 72 boats in the International Melges 24 World Championship in Florida made Conor Clarke of Dun Laoghaire’s Royal Irish YC the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for November. With a crew of all the talents led by Clarke, Embarr’s exceptional performance off the wind was the outstanding feature of a very complete campaign.
As a result of an amazing Championship, with all placements of the series – apart from one – within the fifth position of the ranking, the Royal Irish Yacht Club team of Embarr IRL829 (2-75/DNS) has been crowned at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship.
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance: "It's not jus"We work physically very hard downwind, hiking as if we were sailing upwind and this gives a great help to us, especially when you have wavy conditions as it has been during this World Championship - declared the owner of Embarr, Conor Clarke, who went on explaining how to about the technicalities: of course we have good sailors on board, our Olympians are amazing, but it also about attitude and knowledge of the surroundings. We've been in Miami for a while trying to understand the local conditions and benefit at the most from them. We've worked hard and our dream has come true", Clarke concluded. On board of Embarr together with the owner have sailed David Hughes, Stuart McNay, Maurice O'Connell and Aoife English.
With a gap of 31 points, Maidollis 3 ITA822 (5-15) by Gian Luca Perego, that was having on board the couple of former Melges 24 World Champions in 2012 Fracassoli-Fonda at helm and tactic respectively plus Giovanni Ferrari and Stefano Lagi, ensured the second position in the overall ranking, with a total score of 69 points. Third place went to Brian Porter's Full Throttle USA849 (8-2) with Andy Burdick, Sam Rodgers and Matt Woodworth in the crew, that managed to surpass Monsoon USA851 (3-7) that had the same overall score but worse partial results.
Disappointment filled in for Bora Gulari's Air Force One/West Marine Rigging USA820 (1-75/DNF) that, after having won the first race of the day, was still in place even for the second place on the podium, but got a BDF in the last regatta of the series, in this way slipping to the fifth position overall. It could have been a better World Championship also for Chris Rast's EFG SUI684 (13-8), World Champion in 2015 and European Championship in 2016, who didn't though manage to show all its potentialities and closed the event with an overall 13th place.
The Italian team Taki 4 ITA778 (1-7) secured its victory in the Corinthian division, exactly as it has been for Embarr, after the eleventh race of the series, disputed this morning in conditions of moderate and shifty breeze that forced the Race Committee to interrupt the race a few minutes after the start.
The crew of Marco Zammarchi kept working hard after the third place obtained in the Europeans of Hyeres and sailed very good races all through the World Championship, showing an amazing ability to adapt to the different sailing conditions of these days. On board of Taki 4 were sailing together with the owner: Giacomo Fossati, Matteo De Chiara, Niccolò Bertola and Giovanni Bannetta, with the support of Niccolò Bianchi as coach.
Only during the twelfth and last race of the series it has been possible to determine the rest of the podium of the Corinthian division: second place eventually went to Tõnu Tõniste's Lenny EST790 (5-6) with Toomas Tõniste, Kalev Tanner, Maiki Saaring and Andres Rohtla in the crew, World Champion in 2015 and European vice-champion in 2016, while third place went to Megan Ratliff's Decorum USA805 (2-11). This last crew by Megan Ratliff was also awarded as best female-skippered boat of the event and in this crew were sailing Megan's brother Hunter Ratliff, Zachary Hernandez , Alex Simon and Christopher Stocke.
The event found its conclusion with the prize giving ceremony that took place in the Jungle Island Plaza, at the attendance of many crews. After a few days of rest, the organizing machine will be activated again, already thinking about the 2017 Worlds of Helsinki. In the meantime, it has been announced that the 2018 edition of the Melges 24 World Championship will be held in Canada: there are very positive future perspectives for a class that seems to have found its rebirth.
Overall Results Top 5 of 74; 12 races, 1 discard)
1. IRL829 Embarr - Conor Clarke/Stuart McNay
2. ITA822 Maidollis 3 - Gian Luca Perego/Carlo Fracassoli
3. USA849 Throttle - Brian Porter
4. USA851 Monsoon - Bruce Ayres
5. USA820 West Marine Rigging - Bora Gulari
Overall Results (Top 5 of 37; 12 races 1 discard)
1. ITA778 - Taki 4 - Marco Zammarchi
2. EST790 - Lenny - Tõnu Tõniste
3. USA805 - Megan Ratliff - Decorum - Megan Ratliff
4. AUS812 - ACCRU - G. Nixon / K. Nixon
5. NED827 . Team Kesbeke/SIKA/Gill - Ronald Veraar