As one of the most popular one design classes in the country and more than 100 fleets in North America, the MC Scow is an attractive option for those looking to sail solo or with a crew. Veteran of more than 10 one-design classes, David Van Cleef shares why he finds the MC so appealing.

What sailing have you done in the past?
I have competed in several one design classes over the past 40 years including Lightnings, J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, Thistles, Lasers, Sunfish, Melges 24s, and many other non-one design boats to include wooden classics and super yachts.

Where do you sail currently?
My home sailing club is Columbia Sailing Club located on Lake Murray in South Carolina. I am the Sailing Director at Columbia Sailing Club, so I get little time to do my own sailing; but when I do, I love cruising with my family on Otis, an O’Day 34, and getting out on Cheeky Monkey, MC 2306.

What attracted you to the Melges MC? 
Prior to selecting the MC, I was looking for a competitive class with big fleets. I enjoy the strategy and technical aspects of sailing required in big fleets and the events throughout the winter as well as nationals were very appealing. Through the media coverage of events, I felt like I could learn techniques and best boat handling practices before ever even owning the boat. I also find that being able to sail with one or two people in varying conditions is an advantage and as my son gets a little older, I hope to begin to sail with him.

After doing some of the MC Regattas how do you feel about the racing, the people and overall vibe of the class?
The overall vibe of the class is exactly what I was looking for – a great group of people, competitive sailing, and a strong class association.  The resources available from the class association are second to none.

What tricks have you learned in your first few events?
I have learned a ton over the past three events, which is the fun part of sailing for me. My top three takeaways so far are:

  1. Angle of heel is a big deal especially in lighter conditions.
  2. Raise the board and drop the traveler in heavier conditions for speed.
  3.  In transitions from lulls to puffs, crack off the mainsheet to accelerate and then trim in and point. While all of this is not new, the MC reminds me quickly to pay attention to boat handling.

What are your plans for the 19/20 season?
I plan on sailing both the Train Wreck Regatta and Midwinters in the Spring in preparation for the 2020 Nationals in Lake Geneva, WI next Summer. I will add crew for both events to improve my performance in heavier conditions. I really look forward to being on the starting line with 100+ boats.

To learn more about the MC Scow, visit Interested in starting a fleet? Contact the Melges Team for information on fleet specials.

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