Ryan DeVos Crowned 2016 Melges 32 World Champion

Well earned and long overdue, Ryan DeVos captures his very first Melges 32 World Championship, Team Hydra for Project Sail takes home top Corinthian honors

Newport, RI - Congratulations are in full order for Ryan DeVos' Volpe with tactician Mark Mendelblatt, and crew members Mike Hill, Peter Kinney, Scott Nixon, Erika Reineke, Sam Rogers and Drew Weirda as they are the 2016 Melges 32 World Champions.

"We have competed in four World Championships and it feels so good to finally pull one off," said a very ecstatic DeVos just after racing. "Going into today we had a nice cushion, but we knew, especially in this fleet, it's never over until it's over. We knew we needed to go out and sail our very best. When I think about the fact that we are racing against some of the best sailing teams in the world, it makes today's victory even more rewarding."

2016 Melges 32 World Champions,  Volpe , skippered by Ryan DeVos

2016 Melges 32 World Champions, Volpe, skippered by Ryan DeVos

In a dramatic last day of competition, two final races were completed with DeVos' cool, calm and very collected efforts winning him the prestigious overall trophy. In what seemed like a last ditch effort to defend his World title, Alessandro Rombelli's STIG with Terry Hutchinson serving as tactician, hammered out a 4-1 scoreline to finish second overall, bumping Jason Carroll on Argo to finish out the podium in third.

"We knew defending back-to-back World Championship titles would be a big challenge," commented Rombelli. "It was our first time sailing in Newport. Apart from the weather, the sailing has been incredible."

Although Carroll (Race Nine) and Rombelli (Race Ten) took home the big race wins, some other teams also shined bright on the course. Andrea Lacorte's Vitamina finished second in Race Nine which enabled him to close the event in the top five, while Morgan Kiss and the 'kids' on Hydra further secured their top Corinthian position with a third place finish. 

Ed Tillinghast and his Dark N'Stormy team had a great final race of the series finishing second to Rombelli in Race Ten, followed by Christian Schwoerer on La Pericolosa in third and Chris Wientjes' Stormvogel in fourth.

The last two days here in Newport were virtually a flashback to Team Hydra's success at the 2016 Blue Water Series which concluded last Spring. All that know-how, time and experience under their belts Morgan Kiss at the helm for Project Sail with crew members Ty Baird, Noah Blacker, Austin Colpaert, Henry Fernberger, Liam Harr, Lexi Petter, Alex Post (tactician) and Marty Kullman are the first ever Melges 32 Corinthian World Champions.

Corinthian winner  Team Hydra  led by Morgan Kiss

Corinthian winner Team Hydra led by Morgan Kiss

"It was really great to get a full series of races in," said Post. "We managed to find a few great puffs in the first race today and we were actually in second at one point. But to finish that heat in third, then win the overall Corinthian title is a great way to end it."

Runner-up Chris Wientjes and his Stormvogel team can't say they didn't give it their all. The 2016 Melges 32 U.S. National Champions rallied through the first half of the event in stride, but then lost their grip as the Hydra Team warmed up and took home the trophy during the final two days of competition.

Despite the grey, cloudy and winter-like conditions that prevailed throughout the event, the IM32CA would like to thank all the amazing Race Committee volunteers from the incredible Sail Newport organization, and most especially to PRO Anderson Reggio. Thanks to all folks at the Newport Shipyard who made the fleet stay the best. A extra special thanks to all the teams that participated - this event would not have been possible without your support and dedication to the Melges 32 Class!

1.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 2-7-1-1-6-1-[9]-1-6-6 = 31
2.) Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; 4-2-6-[7]-7-3-7-3-4-1 = 37
3.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo Team; 1-6-5-5-4-6-2-8-1-[10] = 38
4.) Andrea LaCorte/Gabriele Benussi, Vitamina; 6-4-[12]-4-5-10-1-4-2-5 = 41
5.) Rick DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; [9]-5-3-3-3-4-3-5-8-8 = 42

1.) Morgan Kiss, Hydra = 79 pts.
2.) Chris Wientjes, Stormvogel = 87 pts.
3.) Jeremy Alexis, Lucy = 122 pts.

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The Melges 32™ delivers bigger, better and more competitive sportboat racing to the owner/amateur driver. Born and raised addicted to speed, its powerful sail plan keeps racing lively and fun. A clean deck layout and spacious cockpit perfectly complement its ultra-sporty, simple-to-sail attitude. Easy to ship, tow and launch, the Melges 32 is supported worldwide by the IM32CA promoting a regatta schedule featuring many of the world's most luxurious venues, attracting sailing's elite. Visit Melges.com to purchase a Melges 32.

Visit the International Melges 32 Class Association Website, the Official Facebook, Official Twitter and Instagram outlets for the very latest racing news and class information. For media photos (web and/or high resolution) or other boat specific info, please contact:

Sam Rogers
International Melges 32 Class Association, North American Fleet Manager, Press Officer
Mobile: +1 (952) 426-2330
Skype: sam.rogers42

Joy Dunigan
International Melges 32 Class Association, Press & Media Coordinator
Mobile: +1 (912) 398-5776
Skype: joysavannah