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Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta will kick off the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series

by International Melges 24 Class Association 21 Apr 05:37 BST 21-23 April 2023

Like the good traditions that used to last, has become a nice tradition for the Melges 24 sailors from all over Europe to gather in the beautiful Portoroz in Slovenia for the first regatta of the sailing season. YC Marina Portoroz is hosting this traditional kick-off regatta of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series again this weekend, April 21-23.

It was in 2014 first when Portoroz hosted the season opener of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series. With seven years of experience hosting this event of the Melges 24 European circuit, YC Marina Portoroz and the venue met all the expectations for the organisational level and excellent hospitality to earn the rights to host the Melges 24 Europeans in 2021.

"Marina Portorož and Yacht Club Marina Portorož are pleased to welcome the international Melges 24 fleet back to our marina for another exciting event. After a successful European Championship in 2021, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to host this prestigious event once again," said Luka Prebil, the President of the Yacht Club Marina Portoroz.

"As the president of the Yacht Club Marina Portorož, I would like to warmly welcome all the participants, officials, and spectators. We are proud to be a part of this event and look forward to showcasing our facilities and hospitality to everyone involved. We wish all the competitors the best of luck and hope that everyone has a memorable and enjoyable time at our marina. We are committed to making this event a huge success and we look forward to seeing you all soon!"

A truly international cast is making ready to take the centre stage in the beautiful bay of Portorož, Slovenia. 22 teams from 11 nations - Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Ukraine - will compete in Portoroz. Among entries, there is a reigning European Champion Michele Paoletti's team Strambapapa from Italy, 2021 Corinthian European Champion Lenny of Tõnu Tõniste from Estonia, reigning Corinthian Champion of the 2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series Chinook of Akos Csolto from Hungary and four other teams from the Top Ten of the 2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series: Gilles of Marcello Caldonazzo Arvedi's (ITA), Arkanoe by Montura of Sergio Caramel (ITA), Gill Race Team of Miles Quinton (GBR), Nefeli of Peter Karrie (GER).

The Melges 24 teams will not only have fun on the water and enjoy famous local hospitality but will also earn the first points valid for the reorganized format of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series.

Well known as the Melges 24 European Sailing Series (ESS), since established by IM24CA in 2013, the series was launched aiming to run five to six international regattas around Europe during a season attracting the venues to host the events and to give a boost to the local fleets.

Developments in recent years, Covid, and changes in the political and economic landscape, have not benefited the ESS's scope or participation in regattas.

After deep discussions, IM24CA has decided to transform the ESS into a ranking-based series, including a title championship, various regattas both in North and South Europe, and national championships. Under this distribution, the results of the regattas will be weighted differently in the scoring, and points can be collected according to the location and travel opportunities across Europe. This way, there will be a similar number of regattas in the North and South with the same weighting to give all Melges 24 sailors a better chance to participate and achieve results in the European series.

The foremost objective of creating the new Melges 24 European Sailing Series is that it should be inclusive and accessible to the majority of Melges 24 sailors around Europe. It will provide cross-border cooperation with calendars and with a focus on supporting national associations across Europe showing the spread, popularity, and energy within the class.

Nine races have been scheduled for the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta with the course set out in the picturesque bay of Piran. David Bartol, PRO of the regatta will give the preparatory signal for the first race on midday, Friday 21 April.

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