By Tracey Walters
Melges 24 teams are busy in preparation around the country for the sixth Melges 24 Australian Championships in January. Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) will host the Championships in conjunction with the popular annual regatta event the Festival of Sails.
Last November it was confirmed at the IMCA (International Melges 24 Class Association) AGM in Helsinki that RGYC will host the 2014 Melges 24 World Championships, the event running during and following the Festival of Sails. The Melges 24 Worlds have only ever been held in Europe or the USA, this is a big accomplishment for the RGYC, the Australian M24 Association and the builder/distributor Melges Asia Pacific.
The upcoming Championships in Geelong will give owners new to the Australian fleet the opportunity to get acquainted with Corio Bay and get some valuable one design race time in prior to the 2014 Worlds. One team keen to test themselves in the Australian fleet is AUS 514 Adrenaline owned by Hamish Nicol. After living in the USA for the last fourteen years Hamish has moved back to his birthplace of Adelaide.
Hamish purchased Adrenaline not long before moving back to Australia after stepping down from his J105 and up from an Nacra F20. Adrenaline was USA 514 and campaigned by its former owners successfully on the US East Coast for a number of years before being laid-up in 2009. Recommissioned by Nicol in the US early in 2012 the boat then came to Australia to join the growing South Australian fleet.
Adrenaline will be helmed in Geelong by Brett Young, former World Tasar Champion and most recently successfully running the campaign for Andrew Saies’ “Two True”, corrected time overall Hobart winner in 2010.
The South Australian Melges 24 fleet were tested recently when Adelaide Sailing Club ran a sprint series for the class the first weekend in December, over three days. A busy weekend of racing for the club and 35 knots on the Saturday kept everyone busy Dan O’Connell Foxtrot leading at the end of the five race series.
Hamish Nicol commented on the growth of the class “The boats are fantastic, Adelaide has the best sea breeze in the world and I’m committed to help build the class in South Australia”.
Adrenaline will be amongst a strong line up at Geelong including five South Australian teams looking to claim the Australian Champion title.