by Craig Heydon
ISAF Sailing World Cup 2011 final round begins in Kiel, Germany on Saturday and continues until Wednesday 22nd June.
Slingsby, Page and Belcher after winning in Kiel, Germany, in 2010 - Photo Victor Kovalenko - 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Australian sailors have made their way to Germany. Australia will be represented in nine Olympic classes, along with the 2.4mR Paralympic class, with crews keen to finish the ISAF Sailing World Cup on a high.
Reigning 470 World Champions Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page head into the final round of the World Cup with a slender two point lead over France’s Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos, and the Australian pair will be out to defend not only their World Cup title but also their Gold medal from Kiel in 2010.
Belcher and Page have had a strong last two World Cup regattas with a victory in round five in Holland last month and then a Silver medal in the penultimate round, just behind their French opposition, in Weymouth, England two weeks ago.
The pair will be joined in the 470 class by Sam Kivell and Will Ryan who currently sit 10th overall in the World Cup standings and Alexander and Patrick Conway.
Australian sailors currently top the World Cup standings in two classes with Tom Slingsby leading the way in the Lasers. Although Slingsby won’t be competing in Kiel his two Gold medals, a Silver and two Bronzes will be enough to give him the overall World Cup win.
In the 470 women’s class Tessa Parkinson and Belinda Stowell will continue with their new partnership as they enter just their second regatta together.
The Australian Women’s Match Racing Team will have two crews competing in Germany with Nicky Souter and Olivia Price skippering the entries.
Australian Sailing Team member Tom Burton sits 10th in the overall Laser class World Cup standings and will be keen to follow up his on strong performance from the last round in Weymouth where he finished sixth.
Burton will be joined in the Laser class by Australians Ryan Palk, James Burman, Jared West, Mark Whittington, Matthew Wearn, Christopher Jones, Tristan Brown and Ki-Raphael Sulkowski.
Victorian brothers Will and Sam Phillips will be out to continue the strong form in the 49er class which took them to a win in the medal race and fourth overall in Weymouth. The pair will race alongside fellow Australians Steven Thomas and Nick Brownie and Tom Johnson and Rhys Mara.
Australia will have four representatives in the Laser Radial class with Krystal Weir, Ashley Stoddart, Gabrielle King and Caitlin Elks lining up in the 57 boat strong fleet.
Tasmanian Matt Bugg will compete in the 2.4mR class as he continues to prepare for the 2011 IFDS World Championship which will take place in Weymouth in July.
In the RS:X women’s class Jessica Crisp, Allison Shreeve and Joanna Sterling will all compete, while in the RS:X men’s Tim Gourlay and Patrick Vos will race.
The Finn class will include Australian’s Oliver Tweddell, Rob McMillan and Tim Castles.
Australian Sailing Team website
ISAF Sailing World Cup website