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Chris Thomas sailed 05' Chicago Mac Race in a Melges 32!


Chris congratulations on your recent race to Mackinac on the Melges 32. Considering the early light air conditions you sure had a good ET in the end.
We would like to hear your thoughts on the Melges 32 as a new owner, the class and for sure the distance race to Mac.

Tell us a little about your sailing career and how you finally ended up selecting a Melges 32 as your latest race boat.

CT: I am originally from South West Wales in the UK and grew up doing anything I could related to the sea. I came to the US in 1991 and made Chicago my home. It was a little different to what I was used to back in Wales in so far that it was on a big lake with no tide and there were lots of fleets of big boats that went sailing every weekend which does not happen back where I come from in Wales due to the tides. I started crewing on some boats to get introduced to sailing on keelboats with crews of four or more. In 2000 I decided that I wanted to start my own race team, make the commitment and get on the fast track. I joined Chicago Yacht Club and then looked for a boat to but that we could start our racing campaign with. After a lot of deliberating I decided to buy a Tartan 10 due to the fact that it was the biggest one design fleet in Chicago by far. The first few seasons were spent getting to know the boat, learning how difficult it is to get 6 good people to commit to sailing with you every weekend and basically learning how to drive bigger boats in big fleets.    more...


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I do not understand why someone that is both highly competitive and with one-design aspirations would choose a Melges 32 over the very good, very established Mumm 30. The Mumm is every bit as exciting to sail and I would say more versitile as it carries both symetrical and A-sail spinnakers. The Mumm 30 class is well established world-wide for good one-design sailing and has proven to be very competitive under a variety of handicap rules as well. Buying an A-sail orphan just does not make any sense when such a reasonably priced option is readily available and the chances of enough being sold to establish one-design racing is so very remote.8/31/2005 10:59:04 AM
Kevin Brown
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