The world of sailing will convene in Australia roughly two weeks from now for the first stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup at Sandringham Yacht Club from December 2-8, 2012. The best local and international sailors are expected to compete in several classes as they attempt to kick start their Rio Olympics build-up in a right direction. Following his retirement from Olympic Class sailing, two-time Olympic champion and multiple 470 world titlist Malcolm Page will not be competing anymore this year but rather serve as the ambassador for this coveted sailing event.
Proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria, this world class regatta offers an opportunity for local and international Olympic athletes as well as a new generation of sailors to compete for the world title and commence their 2016 Olympic campaign for Rio de Janeiro.
Bruce Griffiths, Chairman of Sail Melbourne said, 'With more gold won at the Olympics than any other sport, our sailors have showcased to the world that we are the frontrunners in sailing.
'This event is an ideal training ground for gold.'
At this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne will celebrate Australia’s golden moment in one of the world’s greatest sporting capitals, providing an inspirational platform for our Olympians and next generation of sailors as they work towards realising their Olympic dream.
Two-time Olympic gold medal winner and six-time 470 world champion sailor Malcolm Page will attend the event as an ambassador following the announcement of his retirement from Olympic Class sailing post the London Games, along with fellow ambassador and gold medallist Iain Jensen.
Malcolm said, 'I’m thrilled to return to Sail Melbourne this year in my new role as Official Ambassador. The regatta has remained an integral part of my training and Olympic preparation over the past several years and has consistently provided some of the best competition in the world.'
Mathew Belcher, the other half of the 470 champion duo will launch his new crew in the 470 class at Sail Melbourne, while Olympians Elise Rechichi, Krystal Weir and Brendan Casey will also compete for gold in their respective classes.
Following the recent announcement from ISAF, Sail Melbourne will once again embrace Men and Women’s RS:X Windsurfing as part of the Olympic Class Sailing program, along with new additions including Catamarans (Nacra 17) and Women’s Skiffs (49er fx), with all three events adding a new dynamic to the World Cup line up moving forward.
Complementing the ISAF Sailing World Cup will be Sail Melbourne’s Invited Class Program, which provides an opportunity for aspiring young sailors to compete in a world class event alongside their sailing heroes. This year’s program will feature kiteboarding, with more than 50 competitors from around the world lining up for this year’s event including world number two kiteboarder Riccardo Leccese.
From a grassroots perspective, our young aspiring athletes will have the chance to rub shoulders with their Olympic heroes at a specially organised event. Sail Melbourne will also host an Olympic Roadshow celebrating our athletes’ success, bringing Olympic medallists to the people with a number of activities taking place at yacht clubs around the bay.
The Sail Melbourne Cup Carnival will continue to feature live music, fashion, great food and family entertainment. Guests of the Official World Cup Dinner will be given the opportunity to pay tribute to the Australian Sailing Team and the Sail Experience Luncheon will also return with a golden focus and Olympic-themed premium hospitality program as we welcome the athletes back to our shores.
This year will also see sport and industry join forces to leverage Australia’s Olympic success and lead the way forward as the 11th International Sailing Summit returns to Sail Melbourne. This prestigious event is a worldwide industry forum bringing together the best in the business to drive positive change through challenging times and promote sailing on a global scale.
In addition, Sail Melbourne will work in conjunction with Yachting Victoria’s Discover Sailing team and event partner Play it Safe by the Water to implement a week-long program aimed at educating local schoolchildren and parents about sailing in a fun, safe environment on Port Phillip Bay.
Sail Melbourne Event Director Kate Allen said, 'Sail Melbourne has established itself as Australia’s premier Olympic Class Sailing event and this year will be an extra special year, as we embrace Australia’s sailing Olympic glory and welcome back the Oceanic leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup to Melbourne’s shores for the next four years.
'The introduction of our Golden Moments program aims to provide an aspirational platform for younger sailors and to open up the sport of sailing to the wider community.
'We encourage Australians to fully embrace the sport and celebrate our golden moment this December.'
The 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup features four regattas globally, of which Sail Melbourne is the first. Following Melbourne, teams will compete in Miami, USA and Palma, Spain; finishing in Hyeres, France. Qingdao, China will join the circuit for the 2013-2014 series as the ISAF Sailing World Cup continues its development on its way to becoming a truly world circuit of events.
Sail Melbourne website
by Lauren Garnet
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6:55 AM Wed 21 Nov 2012GMT
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