by Rob Kothe
From first to 8th December 2013 the ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne returns to Sandringham Yacht Club on Port Phillip, bringing together some of the world's top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors along with a host of Invited class sailors.
Silver Medallist from London, Olivia Price is out on the FX with James Sly. - ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne
This regatta is the second in the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series and an important event for sailors who are campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. Over the last few days there has been a surge of entries with the early entry fee discount deadline looming.
The full suite of Olympic Classes for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will be contested in Melbourne, 470 Men's, 470 Women's, 49er, 49FX, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, Nacra 17, RS:X Men, RS:X Women, 2.4mR, SKUD18 and Sonar.
It will be strong fleet overall, with the full Australian Sailing Team, with five Olympic Gold Medallists and three silver medallists in their ranks, as well as the full development squad and the Victorian Institute of Sport athletes contesting classes.
Now double Olympic silver medalist Darren Bundock (Tornado 2000 and 2008) has thrown his hat into the ring in the Nacra 17 class. The six times World Champion has entered the very competitive multihull class with Women’s Match Racing Silver Medallist Nina Curtis, who up to now has been sailing in the 49er FX Class with Hayley Outteridge. So there is a lot of paddling going on under the water.
Mat Belcher, 470 Olympic Gold medalist has another engagement before Melbourne. He is a stand out favourite to be crowned ISAF Rolex World Male Sailor of the Year in Oman on November 12th. Heading south again Belcher will be keen to win his 18th regatta in a row, with he and his post London 2012 crew Will Ryan an unbeaten combination.
Also on the Road to Rio are 49er London Olympic Gold Medalists Nathan Outteridge and crew Iain Jensen. Fresh from their America’s Cup engagement with virtually no 49er sailing under their belts, they finished an amazing fifth at the 49er Worlds in Marseille in late September and they will be looking to start the new season in style.
The Laser Worlds are starting in Oman this week and amongst that fleet will be a raft of highly ranked Australians. Tom Burton, currently ranked number one in the world, Ryan Palk ranked fifth, Matthew Wearn ranked seventh, Ashley Brunning eighth and Jared West 15th. Where they will all finishing up on the Oman pecking order will be interesting to watch but they will all resume their battles again in Melbourne.
The Finn, 470 Women and 49er FX classes will be particularly interesting, again full of Olympic medalists of every colour.
There will be lots of action in the 2013 Sail Melbourne Invited Classes - Men and Women’s Kiteboard Laser Radial Men, Laser 4.7, Viper, 420, 29er, Optimist, OK dinghy, 2.4R, SKUD18, Liberty Access and Cadet dinghy.
Sailors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain and Turkey have taken advantage of the early entry fees which closes off on Friday 1st November.
Event Director and Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Turnbull commented today, 'We are really pleased to see the strength of early entries and encourage competitors to take advantage of the Early Entry Discount.'
Olympic Gold medal sailor, Matthew Belcher (AUS) speaks with kids today at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron Sunday Dec 2nd /St Kilda, Victoria as part of the Oceanic Leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2012 Sandringham Yacht Club, Victoria AUSTRALIA December 2nd - 8th, 2012 © Sport the library / Jeff Crow
'We are extremely focused on raising the competitive credibility of the event to not only ensure that we continue to attract the top ranked sailors in all classes, but to also give our developing juniors and eager open athletes an opportunity to race alongside sailors of all abilities.'
'The legacy of an increased level of participation in the sport at all levels is what we are trying to achieve.'
Competitors and coaches can enter by completing the on-line entry form on the event website Sailing World Cup Melbourne and paying the required fees. Entries must be received no later than 1700hrs on Friday 1st November 2013 to qualify for the early entry fee. Entries may be accepted until 26th November 2013 at the discretion of the Organising Authority if submitted with the full entry fee payment.
The Notice of Race is available and entries are open in both the Olympic and Invited Classes at Sailing World Cup Melbourne
If you would like more detailed information on any aspect of your registration, including information on charter boats and competitor assistance packages please contact the Regatta Manager: +61 3 9597 0066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Laser Tom Slingsby - ISAF Sailing World Cup: Sail Melbourne 2011