Please select your home edition

Sail Sydney kick-starts summer of racing

by Michael Martin 3 Dec 2018 18:41 PST 4-9 December 2018
Sail Sydney © Beau Outteridge

Sail Sydney staged out of Woollahra Sailing Club at Rose Bay which starts today, December 4, 2018, is the start of a long summer of racing for both ends of the sailing spectrum making up the final regatta entry list of 286 competitors representing 12 countries.

Sail Sydney - Entry list

World number one Laser men's sailor Sam Meech from New Zealand is one of the high-profile names. He is coming off a break after the World Cup Series in Japan in September where he finished third, one place behind Australia's Matt Wearn, the world number four ranked Laser sailor.

"The Australian Laser fleet is super strong plus the international competitors means Sail Sydney is a really good way to start the season," Meech said on the eve of four days of competition on Sydney Harbour. "I love coming to Sydney for the fantastic conditions and hopefully we get a bit of breeze which is good for fitness.

"Rather than travelling to Europe it's terrific when the strong New Zealand and Australian Laser fleets join together. We have some epic racing."

Meech says of his Kiwi teammates Tom Saunders in the Laser, Josh Junior and Andrew Maloney in the Finn and Jason Saunders and Gemma Jones in the Nacra 17 are the ones worth keeping an eye on.

The Australian Sailing Team's Matt Wearn, who also enjoyed some downtime post-Japan, sees Sail Sydney as the event that kickstarts his summer campaign, working through Sail Melbourne from December 12 – 16 and the Laser nationals to the World Cup Series in Miami next February.

"It's good to see more internationals over here this time, especially some of the Dutch and Kiwi boys," Wearn commented, adding "It will be red hot competition and it's always fun sailing on the harbour."

Olympic classes make-up the first half of the schedule of racing out of Rose Bay from Tuesday December 4 to Friday 7 on various Sydney Harbour course areas, stretching from Darling Point west of the host club in Rose Bay to Manly on the north side.

Some of the sport's superstars who are vying for Tokyo 2020 selection will be using this year's regatta to continue their journey towards possible country selection based on a near-impossible quota of one team or sailor per Olympic class - that's if the country qualifies.

Sail Sydney Principal Race Officer Kevin Wilson says conditions look ideal for the mixed class regatta with no savage 40 knot westerly blasts in the forecast, unlike the changeable Sydney weather of the past two weeks. Based on the long-range outlook, north-easterly breezes building to 10-15 knots by the afternoon are set to bless the entire six-day regatta.

Friday December 7 is the overlap between the end of the Olympic class pointscores and the start of the Youth and Open class' series, when Nacra 15 sailors Ashleigh Swadling from the Gold Coast in Queensland and her crew Nathan Bryant from Sydney's Northern Beaches will take to the harbour for three days of competition, along with 12 other Invited classes, wrapping up on Sunday December 9.

"I finished the worlds and didn't have a crew then Nathan messaged me out of the blue," Swadling said of their unique interstate partnership. "He came to the Gold Coast to trial and after that we drove the Nacra to Sydney, where the coaches and a good-sized fleet are based.

"We are excited about Sail Sydney, our second regatta since we partnered around eight months ago. Our aim for each day is to improve on the little things; we want to sail our best at 100% and see where we are," added the year 11 student who has a busy time with school and travelling often to train with Bryant and the Australian Sailing Youth Team.

Year 10 student Nathan is the younger brother of Natasha Bryant, the 49erFX skipper from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club who with her crew Annie Wilmot are ranked 13th in the world in the skiff class and one of Sail Sydney's medal favourites.

Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne International are World Sailing 100 points graded Olympic sailing events and as such are ranked as major international events on the World Sailing event calendar. The two events also make up the 49er, 49er FX, 470, Nacra 17 and Finn Oceania Championships.

Results will be published daily here.

For more information see the event website.

Related Articles

2021 B14 World Championships cancelled
The event was scheduled for Woollahra SC in Sydney, Australia in January The B14 Class Association regrets to announce that the 2021 World Championships to be hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney, Australia from January 3 – 7, 2021 have been cancelled. Posted on 30 Jun
18th Mirror Worlds at Woollahra
John and Tyler Dransfield win in a borrowed Dutch boat John and Tyler Dransfield won the 18th Mirror World Championship on Sunday, sailing on behalf of the Netherlands in a borrowed boat. Posted on 11 Jan 2019
53rd Australian Mirror Nationals
2019 Pre-Worlds held at Woollahra Sailing Club The 53rd Australian Mirror Nationals and 2019 Pre-Worlds concluded on Sydney Harbour with a tense finish in light winds. Posted on 1 Jan 2019
SailGP: Racing to debut in Sydney in 50 days
All national teams have spent valuable training time on F50's over the past two months SailGP's F50 catamaran was successfully launched in New Zealand's Northland region, with all six national teams spending valuable training time on the new class of boat over the past two months. Posted on 27 Dec 2018
The Kite Douse
Master photographer, Andrea Francolini, calls it 'A study of shapes' Drawing inspiration from 'the dance' when Bow1 and Bow2 get enveloped in the kite as it comes down, 'Il Duce' turned in these images. Master photographer, Andrea Francolini, calls it, 'A study of shapes'. Posted on 9 Dec 2018
Olympic classes decided on Day 4 at Sail Sydney
Waterhouse and Darmanin prove to be Australia's Nacra 17 powerhouses Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin proved to be Australia's Nacra 17 powerhouses once again, their worst result a second and a DNF from 12 races putting them four points clear of New Zealand's Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders who put up an epic fight. Posted on 7 Dec 2018
Breeze arrives on day three at Sail Sydney
Sydney's traditional summer sea breeze arrives Australian Sailing Team's Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin tore their Nacra 17 mainsail horizontally during second race of day three, prompting a dash from their Sow and Pigs reef course area to Middle Harbour YC in a coach boat to retrieve the spare. Posted on 6 Dec 2018
World's best sailors prepare for Tokyo 2020
World's best sailors prepare for Tokyo 2020 With Sail Sydney currently under way (4 – 9 December 2018) and one week to go to Sail Melbourne (13 – 16 December 2018), Australia's best Olympic, Youth and Open class sailors will find out exactly where they stand Posted on 5 Dec 2018
Foiling Week in Sydney for second time this year
One week to the beginning of the last 2018 Foiling Week event It is the second down-under Foiling Week, foiling is "on trend" with sailing, surfing, sup, kiteboarding and windsurfing. Foiling has added an exciting new dimension to each these water sports. Posted on 4 Dec 2018
29ers stepping it up at Sail Sydney
Entries have soared for the event at Woollahra Sailing Club Entries have soared for the 29er fleet at this year's Sail Sydney event, with competitors coming from across the country and also New Caledonia and New Zealand to compete at the regatta to be hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club Posted on 16 Nov 2018
Highfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTER