IFDS Disabled Sailing International Championship, 2011, Homerus Blind Match Racing has the final call for entries as 1 February 2011.
The Royal Perth Yacht Club will host the event with racing on the Swan River from March 19 to 26 next year.
The IFDS Blind Match Racing Championship will be sailed in Sonar keelboats using the Homerus Autonomous Sailing system. Three 'beeping buoys', each with a unique acoustic signal, define the course and boats have their own sound signal that changes when on port or starboard tack.
A crew of three sailors classified as B1, B2 or B3 under the IBSA Classification System will make-up teams with a collective maximum of 5 IBSA points. The helmsperson must be classification B1 and the gender is mixed, with a minimum of one female and one male team member. A sighted observer appointed by the race committee is also aboard.
Appendix CBS (Appendix C for Blind Sailing) has been developed for the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing to accommodate the specific needs of this sailor group. The event will be ISAF Graded and many of the blind sailors are already included within the ISAF sailor match race rankings.
Teams are expected from Italy, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, the USA and Australia. Multiple entries from any nation are welcomed.
Kylie Forth, with Ryan Honschooten (main) and Erin McGlew (headsail), are hoping to make the most of their home-water advantage. All are from Royal Perth Yacht Club.
Forth and McGlew contested the B1 division of the IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championships on Lake Garda in June, finishing fourth behind Italian and Spanish teams. Lucy Hodges and Toby Davey from Great Britain won the B2 division.
Luigi Bertanza from Italy has claimed major trophies in fleet racing and match racing events and was winner of the B1 division of the 2010 IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championships sailing with Sylvia Parente. Bertanza is expected to assemble an experienced team relying on the many years of event experience available to Italian blind sailors.
The Championship in March will however be sailed in a new format, and that may provide some surprises. It will certainly offer some world class racing at an outstanding venue.
Royal Perth Yacht Club website