Sail Melbourne announce new January event

Melbourne to host inaugural Commonwealth Sailing Championships.

Wednesday November 13th 2002, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: Australasia
Sailors from Commonwealth nations have the opportunity to compete in their own Championship for the first time in January 2003. The Inaugural Commonwealth Sailing Championships to be held in Melbourne, Australia, have been approved by both the Commonwealth Games Federation and the International Sailing Federation and will run from 18-23 Janurary.

Nominated classes for the six-day regatta include the Mistral Men, Mistral - Women, Laser - Men, Laser Radial - Women, 470 - Men, 470 - Women and Hobie 16 Catamaran - Open. Sailors seeking top competition will enjoy the excellent sailing conditions of Port Phillip and the welcoming atmosphere of Sandringham Yacht Club, just 15km from the centre of Melbourne.

The Commonwealth Sailing Championships are the first step in a strategy to have sailing included as an official sport of the Commonwealth Games. Sail Melbourne has already confirmed that a sailing event will be held in conjunction with the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, probably to be held in the vicinity of St Kilda or Port Melbourne. Singapore has a strong bid for the 2012 Games, and their sailing facilities at the National Sailing Centre have already been inspected by the Commonwealth Games Federation. With strong support from each of the nominated classes, Sail Melbourne are confident that sailing stands every chance of being included as an official sport by 2010.

In May this year Regatta Manager David Staley travelled to a number of Asian Commonwealth nations to promote the championships. Meetings with representatives of the National Yachting Authorities, coaching staff and Class Association officials of India, Malaysia and Singapore yielded very positive results and a great many sailors will attend the event.

The Inaugural Commonwealth Sailing Championships venue is the Sandringham Yacht Club, which also hosts Australia’s only annual ISAF Grade 1 event (the Olympic & Invited Classes Regatta) as part of Sail Melbourne. The club will undergo the first stage of a $2.85 million upgrade during 2002. Works to be completed by the end of the year will see redevelopment of the boat yard area with a travel lift and state of the art pollution control, a new marina head facility, a concessions building with chandlery and a new front entrance. The redevelopment will greatly enhance the areas used by competitors participating in Sail Melbourne events.

Melbourne is mad about sport, whether it be football, cricket, tennis or sailing. As host to the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the famous Melbourne Cup, the city is widely acclaimed as the sporting capital of Australia. Situated at the top of Port Phillip Bay - with 2,000sq kilometres of deep open water unaffected by tide or geographical features, regular summer sea breezes averaging 15 knots, water temperature of 20°C and daily air temperature between 25°C and 30°C - Melbourne is the best place to sail in Australia.

A new Commonwealth Sailing Championships website has all the information needed by competitors, team managers and those wanting to keep in touch with results and race reports. The Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, boat charter, accommodation and tourism information is all available. Entry is easy with a secure on-line entry and payment system.

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