Australia sailing well-funded, A-Cats, Etchells, World Cup rejig

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) competing in the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
One of the biggest sports funding stories since the 2012 Olympics has been the big funding increases provided for the Australian Olympic Sailing Program as sailing has become the new swimming in terms of Olympic performance.

Sailing was Australia’s most successful Olympic sport at the 2012 London Olympic Games winning three Gold and one Silver medal. Australian sailors are genuine medal contenders at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in more Olympic Sailing events than ever before. The Australian Sailing Team (AST) comprises fifteen athletes with more than forty athletes on the Australian Sailing Squad.

Yachting Australia welcomed the news of AIS allocation of an additional $1.25 million of Australian Government investment for its Sailing Performance program.

'We’re pleased that Sailing has been appropriately recognised based on our Team’s past successes and its future potential for gold medal performances, especially at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. We welcome the increased investment,' said Yachting Australia’s President Matt Allen.

Tom Slingsby (AUS) competing in the Men's One Person Dinghy (Laser) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Craig Heydon

'Our Australian Sailing Team has consistently posted outstanding results, over the last four Olympic Games in particular, including three gold medals at the 2012 London Games and today’s announcement recognises that sailing plays a key role in achieving the AIS’s performance targets.'

Yachting Australia's CEO Phil Jones explains 'The investment announcement is pleasing and provides the certainty we require to firm up our plans for the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are also aware that the Rio campaign, and the Tokyo campaign after that, will be very expensive for our athletes. This investment will help us face many challenges that these venues present as well as allowing us to support our athletes to become the best they can be and invest in sustaining performance.'

unnamed - International 14 World Championships 2015
International 14 World Championships

The rejig of the ISAF Sailing World Cup (SWC) continues with ISAF inviting European venues to bid to host the ISAF Sailing World Cup for the 2014-2015 series and beyond.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup is the annual circuit of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors. Its centre-piece is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final held in November. The inaugural SWC Final will take place in Abu Dhabi in 2014.

ISAF is seeking two European ISAF Sailing World Cup venues which shall host their regattas between April and August. The existing ISAF SWC calendar includes regattas in Qingdao (October), Melbourne (December) and Miami (January).

The winner of each ISAF SWC regatta will qualify to the Final where 20-boat fleets will battle it out for the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup title. Additional opportunities for sailors to qualify to the Final are at their respective class world championships, the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and 'wild-card' places.

49er fleet during the 45th Trofeo Princesa Sofia

The Princesa Sofia Regatta in Mallorca Spain and the Hyeres Regatta on the French Riviera have been by far the most successful of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Olympic class regattas with almost 2000 Olympic class entries between the two events in 2014. Applications are expected from those events along with Britain's Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth.

Sail-World's European editor Dan Ibsen who is the 40 plus nation EUROSAF Events Committee Chairman will no doubt expand that list for us in coming days.

Glenn Ashby emerges from a spill, Race 3, Mark 1, A-class catamaran World Championships, Day 2, Takapuna February 12, 2014

Meanwhile its business as usual for Current World Champion, Glenn Ashby who yesterday scored two wins to retain his lead in the 2014 European A-Class Catamaran Championships, being sailed on Lake Hourtin, Bordeaux, France. Second overall is Aussie Jason Waterhouse with another Aussie Andrew Landenberger in fourth.

unnamed - Etchells World Championship 2014
Sharon Green/New York Yacht Club

Meanwhile at the Etchells Worlds in Newport Rhode Island John Bertrand is the leading Aussie. We have the latest full results for the 18 Aus teams.

Lots more news from Australia and beyond.