"The Brumby Government is committed to hosting major sporting events that place Melbourne in the national and international spotlight and boost tourism and investment," MERLINO said.
"We are delighted Melbourne will be the first round of this seven city Olympic-class event circuit.
"Victoria has an outstanding natural sporting asset in Port Philip Bay, which will play host to hundreds of the world's top sailing talent this December.
"Melbourne was the first choice for Yachting Australia and the International Sailing Federation - the only city in the Southern hemisphere invited to join this new Olympic sailing circuit."
MERLINO said Sail Melbourne will be the first event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup calendar before teams head to Miami, USA; Palma, Spain; Hyeres, France; Kiel, Germany; Medemblik, The Netherlands; and Weymouth, Great Britain where the champions will be crowned.
Patron of Sail Melbourne, John BERTRAND (AUS), said the ISAF Sailing World Cup is the pinnacle for Olympic sailors and aspirants and the event would be a major boost for sailing in Australia.
"What a coup for Melbourne to have Sail Melbourne now part of the grand slam of sailing, the ISAF Sailing World Cup," BERTAND said.
"We will see the absolute best of international sailors competing in Melbourne each December."
Sail Melbourne chair and Olympic gold medallist, Mark TURNBULL, welcomed the Brumby Government's support of Sail Melbourne in Melbourne's major events calendar.
"Securing the ISAF Sailing World Cup event validates Sail Melbourne's international status, terrific race management and first class infrastructure," TURNBULL said.
"The event will not only attract top sailors to fight for victory but provide local sailors with a great opportunity to meet and sail against their heroes on home territory."
MERLINO said the ISAF Sailing World Cup added to Melbourne's high-profile major sporting events including the annual UCI Track Cycling World Cup, the 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships, the 2009 FIH Champions Trophy men's hockey and the Australian Masters with world's number one and four players, Tiger WOODS and Geoff OGILVY, secured for 2009.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne will be held at Sandringham Yacht Club from 14-19 December in 2009.
Find out more about Sail Melbourne at www.sailmelbourne.com.au.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.