Conor Clarke’s Embarr IRL829 with Sturart MacNay helming — Melges 24 World Champions – photo (c) Pierrick Contin –

Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 helmed by Niccolon Bertola – The Melges 24 Word Champion 2016 – photo (c) Pierrick Contin –

December 3rd, 2016 – Miami, FL, U.S. – As a result of an amazing Championship, with all placements of the series – apart from one – within the fifth position of the ranking, the Irish 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 amazing recoveries when the start wasn’t so good. It’s imperitive to have a closely-knit crew to succeed in events of such importance: “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 about the technicalities: “Of course we have good sailors on board, our Olympians are amazing, but it’s also about attitude and knowledge of the surroundings. We’ve been in Miami for a while trying to understand the local conditions and benefit 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 had on board a couple of former Melges 24 World Champions in 2012. Fracassoli-Fonda was at helm and tactic respectively, plus Giovanni Ferrari and Stefano Lagi. They 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, causing them to slip 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 manage to show all their potential 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. That was 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, sailing together with the owner were 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. 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 – Decorum – Megan Ratliff
4. AUS812 – ACCRU – G. Nixon / K. Nixon
5. NED827 – Team Kesbeke/SIKA/Gill – Ronald Veraar

Full results

Day 5 photos – (c) Pierrick Contin

Event Press Officers – Mauro Melandri and Silvia Gallegati – Zerogradinord
Event photographer – Pierrick Contin,
Event Media Coordinator – Piret Salmistu, IM24CA

2016 Melges 24 World Championship is supervised by the Regatta Chair Randy Draftz, well known as the organizer of the Charleston Race Week for twenty years, in co-operation with the US Melges 24 Class Association (USMCA) and the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA). Race Management Services will be provided by Coconut Grove Sailing Club.

Schedule of Event: 
November 26-28 – Registration and Measurement
November 28 – Practice Race and Opening Ceremonies
November 29 – December 3 – Racing at the Melges 24 World Championship
December 3 – Prize Giving and Closing Ceremonies

Worlds website

IM24CA website: 
USMCA website:
Worlds in Facebook:
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IM24CA Flickr: 

Race Day Five video highlights edited by Zerogradinord and Mauro Melandri

2016 Melges 24 World Championship – Miami – Day 4 – photo (c) Pierrick Contin