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altWith the 2012 London Olympic games right around the corner, the Third Annual Buddy Melges Challenge has taken on even greater importance. Hosted by Sail Sheboygan, one of four US Sailing Centers, the Challenge is expected to draw teams from around the world to the shores of Lake Michigan, August 22nd through the 27th.

The Buddy Melges Challenge is one of just four ISAF Grade 1 women’s match racing events in the country. Contested using the new Olympic-designated Elliott 6m boats, most of the international field of competitors will use this regatta as a springboard to potential Olympic success. This year’s event will feature the world’s best women match racers, including the top ranked U.S. team, Team Maclaren, skippered by Anna Tunnicliffe, and returning 2010 winner, Nicky Souter, from Australia. Teams from as far away as China, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Europe will all be competing for the Cup.

Having acquired an authorized two-thirds replica of the famed America’s Cup after the 2000 New Zealand event, Sail Sheboygan wanted to create an event worthy of such a unique award. With the successful 2007 ISAF effort to get women's match racing into the 2012 Olympics, Sail Sheboygan figured an international women’s match racing event would be perfect. Because of his close connection with the organization, Olympic and America’s Cup Champion Buddy Melges permitted his name to be associated with the beautiful trophy.

A non-profit organization, Sail Sheboygan, was formed in 2004 to promote national and international sailing competition and education. As one of only four US Sailing Centers, its mission is to develop sailing and seamanship at all levels, regardless of age, income, ability or disability.

Current Buddy Melges Challenge Competitors

Gunny Tulloch, United States
Martina Silva, Argentina
Sharon Ferris-Choat, Canada
Juliana Senfft, Brazil
Renata Decnop, Brazil
Jinnie Gordon, Canada
Julie Bossard, France
Anna Tunnicliffe, United States
Anne-Claire LeBerre, France
Olivia Price, Australia
Juliana Mota, Brazil
Stephanie Roble, United States
Nicky Souter, Australia
Becca Dellenbaugh, United States
Wang Ru, China
 

2010 Winner - Nicky Souter - Australia
2009 Winner - Samantha Osborne – New Zealand

Event Sponsors Include: North Sails, Edgewater Boats, Southern Spars, Manitowoc Marina, GrandStay Residential Suites, Harken.

http://sailsheboygan.org/BMC_2011.php