(4 July 2018 / Porto Cervo, Italy) - It has been only one year since the world debut of the Melges 40 in Porto Cervo, Italy at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), and the occasion was celebrated with Alessandro Rombelli's STIG proclaiming victory as the event winner, and season dominator of the 2017 Grand Prix circuit.
Now upon its return, after proving it is the best performing one-design sailboat ever made by Melges, it arrives on a special stage linking it to the names and values of One Ocean Foundation and Charta Smeralda. Both invoke the environmental protection of the seas with a code of ethics and behaviours strongly supported by YCCS, and of which the Melges 40 Class and Melges Europe were immediate patrons.
The One Ocean Melges 40 Grand Prix will commence on Thursday, July 5. With the first warning, ten races are scheduled to unfold over four days - stick trials and short coastal races will take place in one of the most naturally scenic and spectacular places in the world.
The virtual pole position at the the One Ocean Melges 40 Grand Prix belongs to the Swedish entry of Richard Goransson and his INGA FROM SWEDEN team with kiwi tactician Cameron Appleton. They are perceived as the most fit crew so far this season with double successes at the Spring Series in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and the opening event of PalmaVela last May.
Rombelli returns with Francesco Bruni in the cockpit, and ultimately has the honor and burden of defending his win twelve months ago - reproposing his candidacy as the team to beat on the Melges 40 Grand Prix circuit.
The blue colors at the only Italian event of the 2018 Melges 40 Grand Prix season will be flown by the 'rookie' Andrea Lacorte aboard VITAMINA CETILAR alongside tactician Gabriele Benussi. It was in PalmaVela that they managed to break the ice, getting up to speed at record pace, aiming for maximum results.
The One Ocean Melges 40 Grand Prix is also proud to present SIKON of Japan's Yukihiro Ishida with Manu Weiller as tactician. They've proven before that they have the ability to persevere and win, as it was at their Class debut in Palma for the final stage event of 2017.
And lastly, but most certainly not least is Valentin Zavadnikov's DYNAMIQ SYNERGY representing Monaco and flanked by none other than New Zealand's Kelvin Harrap. They will be chasing his first win on the Melges 40 Grand Prix.
On the eve of competition, the Melges 40 Class has successfully reached the docks of YCCS. Teams are busy making their final preparations, working out and finding the best shape and set-up for the start of the highly anticipated One Ocean Melges 40 Grand Prix.
The Melges 40 Grand Prix circuit counts on the support of Helly Hansen, Garmin Marine, and Melges Europe.
Melges 40 Grand Prix has signed and adopts the code of ethics of the Charta Smeralda strongly promoting the values of One Ocean Foundation. During the event, YCCS will make dispensers of natural and sparkling mineralized fresh water available to regatta attendees in an effort to reduce the consumption and use of plastic packaging.