In the Press


An Interview with Two-Time Melges 24 World Champion Vince Brun

July 27, 2017

This Monday racing for the 20th edition of the 2017 Melges 24 World Championship will commence in Helsinki, Finland, comprising 59 teams from 15 nations. 33 teams will also compete for the Corinthian division title. Since the inaugural event in 1998, fifteen skippers have joined the hard-fought fraternity of World Champions. We caught up with two-time Melges 24 World Champion Vince Brun of San Diego who won the inaugural Championship in 1998 and shared his observations and experiences with the class as it has emerged to become the gold-standard for one-design racing over 20 vibrant years.

“I was aware of a new, fast boat being developed by Melges and the Reichel/Pugh office in San Diego, and remember when I first saw the Melges 24 sailing in our backyard,” reflects Vince. “I loved the simplicity of the layout and how easy it was to sail. My experience up to then was other one-design boats with a regular spinnaker pole, which awkwardly had to be moved from side to side for gybes. The Melges had a super light carbon mast that could be easily stepped, retractable keel for trailering and ramp launching. It came standard with everything we always dreamed of on a boat. There is still no other sportboat on the market that offers the thrill and fun that one will have on the Melges 24.”

Vince has had a few boats during his Melges 24 sailing years and when explaining the realities of building a team and rigging for racing says with confidence, “that there are no ‘special’ boats as you have in some one design classes. The rigging is very simple and there is not much one can do if you are to stay within the class rules. The general tuning of the rig and how you sail the Melges 24 haven’t changed much over time, but sure has gotten refined over the years. Being well informed is key to running a successful program.” Brun, who is also a Star and 3-time Soling World Champion, recognizes how important his teammates have been to his success. “As on any other racing boat, how you pick your crew will define your position on the leaderboard. My results are a direct reflection of the people I had crewing for me. It’s not only about talent, but getting along well together and working hard at the mutual goals.”

Now away from the class for some time, Brun still closely follows the activity and results. “My highlights on the Melges 24 were the many friends made throughout the years, some racing, some tuning, some at the bar. I enjoyed every minute, and the two Worlds I won (Torquay – UK and Long Beach – USA) were just a small bonus. I think the class is extremely strong and do not see anything that prevent the class from actively attracting all levels of sailors worldwide.” For those competing at the 2017 Worlds next week, Vince advises, “Do not let small details get in the way and focus on things that will have the biggest impact on your performance. Good luck my Melges 24 friends!!!!”

* The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Melges Boat Works and holds a unique position among the world’s one design sportsboats as one of the most successful classes of high performance yachts.

Photo caption: Simon Russell and Simon Fry, both of Great Britain, with skipper Vince Brun of America and tactician Ian Walker of Great Britainon board North Sails One Design during the inaugural Melges 24 World Chamionship hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, England. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

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