Can Sailing become Australia’s number two Olympic sport?

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 11 Jan 2012

Can Sailing become Australia's number two Olympic sport?

But there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

We watched all the medal races at the 2011 ISAF World Sailing Games, We saw Beijing gold medallist Malcolm Page and 470 dinghy helm Mathew Belcher, and 49er skiff wunderkind Nathan Outteridge and Iain Goobs Jensen win their World Championships.

Then we cheered from the Grandstand, when Tom Slingsby triumphantly sailed to his fourth Laser World Championship. We and most observers expect Australia should start Olympic favourites in those three classes.

It can all go pear shaped of course. We watched Tom Slingsby with head in hands at the end of the first day of the Qingdao regatta, but these days Tom is a much more experienced and stronger sailor. As he said to us before Perth 2011, 'these days I go into every event as favourite, so it's just another event,'

We hope that's true but we expect to see some pre-event nervousness in Weymouth in less than 200 days. If not from the athletes certainly from the YA support team and athletes families.

Sail-World will have our biggest ever Olympic reporting team for London 2012 and we certainly hope we don't have to write a story title such as the tragic title that Bob Ross wrote for us at the end of a Australian Sailing team medal-less Athens 2004. It was ‘Sob'

But right now the sailors are pushing hard Outteridge says he sails 300 days of the year and spends about 30 travelling. One would hope he might have a few days off between now and end July.

He is certainly on fire, he and Iain Goobs Jensen have a worst of fourth in all their 49er regattas so far. Outteridge is on the water racing, as you'd expect today. He was 11th at the A-Cat Worlds three years ago, sailed into second against a stronger than World's fleet at the Wangi Australian Championships and this week he is at the Australian Moth titles. He was the Moth World Champion in 2011

On the Olympic scene there are critical months ahead, Jessica Crisp is putting in the hard yards, we just so wish to see her on the RS:X Womens podium in Weymouth. Hopefully by May we will have a Womens Match Racing selection between the two crews skippered by Nicky Souter and Olivia Price and more good results from Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell in the 470 Womens class and Krystal Weir in the Laser Radials putting them into the Olympic squad.

Another GME EPIRB facilitated rescue last week. Good to see Australian manufacturers to the fore.

Today we feature another interview with Glenn Ashby, where he explains the virtues of downwind trapezing and there is news from Ben Ainslie Incorporated and as you'd expect Richard Gladwell gives you some thoughts on that.
A-Class Australian Championship 2012 - Wangi Wangi (AUS) - 03/01/12
Glenn Ashby  Andrea Francolini ©

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BTW - NSW Maritime has issued an alert following a Bureau of Meteorology warning about strong winds on Sydney closed waters. The forecast is for southwesterly winds increasing up to 30 knots this evening.

Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team

Sailing World Champions book tickets to London Olympics 2012
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Downwind trapezing on the A Class Cat - The Drum,
The new boats don't seem to pay a huge penalty if you trapeze. With the curve boards the faster you go the more they lift so the more the boat unweights. You are sailing faster but because the boat has got slightly less wetted surface area your apparent (wind angle) goes forward and you end up sailing in roughly the same depth as what you do when you are sitting in, or very close to it anyway.... [more]
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Sail-World Facebook format - Have your Say!!
The Sail-World Team, is the largest sailing news network in the world. Around the world each day on, we publish up to fifty stories; but, because the site uses geo-location, (meaning that it knows where you are), we only deliver U.S. interest stories to U.S. based audiences and UK interest stories to UK readers for example and as such, most of us only see about 20 new stories each day... [more]
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NSW Maritime Alert – Sydney Closed Waters - Strong Wind Warning
NSW Maritime,
NSW Maritime has issued an alert following a Bureau of Meteorology warning about strong winds on Sydney closed waters. The forecast is for southwesterly winds increasing up to 30 knots this evening. NSW Maritime advises skippers and owners of small craft to be on high alert and to check the conditions before heading out on the water.... [more]
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Australian Moth Nationals Day 3,
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Volvo Ocean Race - Crews practice
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The Volvo Ocean Race fleet resume racing with the Abu Dhabi Pro-Am Race on January 12, followed by the Etihad Airways In-Port Race on January 13 and the start of the first stage of Leg 3 to Sanya, China on January 14.... [more]
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Optimist Worlds: Britain's young Optimists head New Zealand way
Stuart Alexander,
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America's Cup: Ainslie launches hybrid Challenge at London Boat Show
Stuart Alexander,
Top international yachting correspondent, Stuart Alexander, writing in the The Independent (UK) takes a look behind the newly announced Ben Ainslie Racing team pitched at the America's Cup World Series. The new team will sail under the burgee of an English yacht club, but will enjoy the patronage of the US Defence team.... [more]
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Australian Youth Championships – Down to the wire
Craig Heydon,
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America's Cup: Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie launches AC campaign + Video
Richard Gladwell,
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Prince Philip Cup Regatta - Steven Shield emerges as serious contender
Peter Campbell,
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya make progress to secret safe haven port
Volvo Ocean Race,
Team Sanya, the first ever sole Chinese entry in the Volvo Ocean Race had to suspend racing in the second leg from Cape Town, South Africa when a key part of their mast's rigging failed while the team was leading the fleet. They now continue to sail cautiously towards the safe haven port to complete Leg 2 and collect valuable overall race points.... [more]
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Flying Fifteen National Championship - Elder statesman leads the way
Bernie Kaaks,
Graeme Lillingstone, the Flying Fifteen World Champion way back in 1982, relished the light conditions in today's third heat of the Gemmill Homes Golden Anniversary Flying Fifteen National Championship. All that action has tightened up the leaderboard considerably.... [more]
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Cherub Nationals - Kris Fay and Morgan Frew dominate
Rolf Lunsmann,
2011-12 Cherub National series started with two days of racing in moderate breezes with Fay and Frew establishing a narrow lead over Queensland class veteran Mark Matthews. The final day of racing took place in more moderate 10 to 15kt breezes that increased the size of the leading group in each race.... [more]
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Record fleet of 130 for Australia's Sabre class National Championships
Andrew Graham,
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Australian Finn Nationals - Top two contenders fight to the finish
Neville Wild,
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GME EPIRB key element in dramatic Sydney rescue + Video
Matthew Heap,
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 returned to the water
Volvo Ocean Race,
Yesterday Groupama 4 was returned to the water in Abu Dhabi marina, minus a large crack in the hull. Cammas and his shore crew were given a big shock during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town when they spotted the fissure before the final sprint into Sharjah last Wednesday.... [more]
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Flying Fifteen Nationals - Champions set the pace
Bernie Kaaks,
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Australian Moth National Titles - More crashes, more carnage
Leigh Dunstan,
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Rena Disaster: Stern section of Rena sinks + Video
Sail-World and Maritime NZ,
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Australian whale defenders boarded Japanese Whaler in Australian water
Jeff Hansen - Sea Shepherd,
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Did you know it was an Australian GME PLB that raised Rambler alarm?
Matthew Heap,
The US-registered maxi, Rambler 100, with a crew of 21, had just passed the Fastnet Rock at around 6.30pm on August 15th when disaster struck. In relatively calm but foggy conditions, Rambler's keel snapped, causing it to capsize within 15 seconds, throwing the entire crew overboard. Did you know that tragedy, was however prevented in the 2011 race by an Australian made GME PLB?... [more]
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