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23 March 2006, 12:31 pm
Santa Cruz Yacht Club To Host
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Melges 24 North American Championship 2006
Monterey Bay, California, USA

The 2006 Melges 24 North American Championship will be hosted by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club on Monterey Bay, California, USA. Registration for the event will open on Tuesday 16 May with ten championship races scheduled between Thursday 18 and Sunday 21 May.
Competitors will include Melges 24 teams from across North America as well as several visiting European crews. Reigning North American Champion Argyle CAMPBELL will be defending his title whilst those attempting to snatch his crown will include Brian PORTER'S Full Throttle, fleet newcomer Jim BARKOW and his team aboard USA539, who won their first event in San Francisco a few weeks ago, plus Don JESBERG, Dan HAUSERMAN, Stan ERICKSSON and Bruce AYRES. The European contingent will be led by sailing legend and reigning Melges 24 Corinthian European Champion Alba BATZILL helming for Eddy EICH from Germany. Philippe KAHN'S Team Pegasus will also be well represented with Pegasus 492 - Shark KAHN, Pegasus 505 - Dave ULLMAN and Pegasus 575 - Philippe KAHN all out to play.

The Santa Cruz area and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary represent one of the finest sailing and recreational venues available anywhere on the planet. The experience of the local yacht club in hosting outstanding national and world class events with its informal, friendly and dedicated club members is widely recognised and the seas off Santa Cruz frequently provide the perfect wind and swell conditions for exciting Melges 24 racing. With numerous boats, a tight start line, ten races over four days plus a practice race on Wednesday, there will be plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement. At day's end, exhilarated racers can enjoy the warmth and beauty of the small harbour and the friendly surroundings of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club as they discuss starts, crazy mark roundings and other race highlights.

The 2007 Melges 24 World Championship will also be hosted by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club (1 to10 May 2007) and many of the competitors will be using this regatta as a training opportunity for the Worlds. The combination of two great events on the West Coast in successive years is helping to generate considerable Melges 24 interest in the region. A number of new owners have already joined the class and good second hand boats are in great demand. Interest among existing local owners is also at an all time high with many getting back on the regional and national regatta circuit for the first time in several years. This renewed Melges 24 interest on the US West Coast mirrors a World Wide trend. Both North American and European Melges 24 builders report record sales this year and the few second hand boats that come to market change hands rapidly.

Since its introduction in the early 1990s the Melges 24 has become the world's leading high performance one design sports boat. It offers exciting, demanding and exceptionally competitive sailing and attracts top professional and amateur sailors from around the globe. More than 650 boats are now sailing with fleets in Europe, North America and Asia and more than 30 new boats are launched each year.

Fiona Brown (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Melges 24 World Champion:©Event Media
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