Currently we have 4 teams registered with more and more interest being generated everyday. Our youth championship committee chairman is Kevin Jewett who brings with him 25 years of sailing and youth coaching experience. This will be the first time anything like this has been done for an event like this and we are excited to lead the charge. Kevin and the rest of our team have come up with the following criteria for the 2 “youth” divisions for the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship Regatta.
Youth Division: Open to sailors 20 years of age and under who’s 21st birthday does not fall on or before December 3rd, 2016. One adult crew member or “coach” is allowed to be part of the team ( but not mandatory). This adult crew member must be 25 years of age or under who’s 26th birthday does not fall on or before December 3rd, 2016. This adult crew member is not allowed to helm the boat during racing. In an effort to keep the emphasis on “youth sailing” the average age of the skipper and crew not including the adult crew member must be be 19 or under.
University Division: Open to collegiate sailors 22 years of age and under,currently attending school, who’s 23rd birthday does not fall on or before December 3rd, 2016.
- Help young sailors get involved with campaigning a fun high performance boat.
- Bring older boats in the class up to current racing status.
- Teach sailors how to fix up a boat and prepare it for competitive racing.
- Teach youth sailors and teams how to seek and secure sponsorships and additional funding options
- Crown the first Youth Melges 24 World Champions!
We are working to help source boats that need some love with the agreement that the youth teams chartering the boats will put forth the effort, with assistance, to fix up and prepare the boats for the World Championship. Some examples of changes that can and should be made to modernize older boats are: Shortening stanchions, adding padded life lines for hiking, minor fiberglass repair, etc. Sails are another area that we hope to offer some assistance. Many boat owners have agreed to bypass traditional charter fees in lieu of the repair and updates to their boats.
The youth teams will be assigned a Melges 24 Class “mentor” who will help their team along the way with, coaching, guidance, tips and tricks.
We will be looking for used racing sails from veterans of the class that would be willing to donate practice sails for the competing youth teams. Additionally, all youth teams will receive a discounted entry fee.
Much more information and details are being sorted out. For now if you or your club are interested, build your team, fill out a charter request form with your details, or find a boat locally and work a deal with the owner and get out on the water and start racing!
Get cracking on building your team and come join the Melges 24 Youth Brigade. We hope to see you on the line for this FIRST EVER MELGES 24 YOUTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!