Swedish and New Zealand crews will become the first international competitors to sail in the Warren Jones Youth Regatta, which takes place 31 January to 5 February 2004, on Perth's Swan River.
Emil Wiberg of the Gothenburg Royal Sailing Club has travelled from Sweden with his crew, and is practicing in Perth already, while Laurie Jury and Simon Minoprio of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will also be competing.
They will be joined by four crews from Australia's eastern states, with three of those coming from the Sydney area, and one from Townsville in far north Queensland.
The full compliment of twelve teams will be made up by five local Western Australian teams, representing all the major clubs in the Perth area.
Emil Wiberg and his team have received a lot of support from Sweden's legendary match racer Magnus Holmberg and his crew.
"Magnus and his crew, who sailed on the Victory Challenge in the last America's Cup, have been coaching us and giving us all sorts of support and encouragement," said Emil.
The young Swedes have spent their first Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, committing themselves to six weeks of training for the event, "of course we're having fun, we're in Australia," was their assessment.
The winner of the inaugural Warren Jones Youth Regatta last year, Michael Dunstan of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, will be back to defend his trophy, and is the highest ranked competitor, currently 34th in the world.
The next highest ranked skipper is New Zealand's Laurie Jury, who has leapt up the scale from 125 to 51st since March 2003, and is eleven places ahead of his fellow Kiwi, Simon Minoprio, currently in 62nd place on the ladder.
However it is Emil Wiberg who has made the biggest leap up the rankings in recent months, from 273rd to 134th in the space of just two months.
The Warren Jones Youth Regatta will be hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, and is organised by the Western Australian Yachting Foundation on behalf of the Warren Jones Youth Regatta Trust.
Competitors in the 2004 Warren Jones Youth Match Racing Regatta.
Michael Dunstan Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron - ranking 34
Laurie Jury Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - ranking 51
Simon Minoprio Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - ranking 62
Murray Gordon Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - ranking 126
Emil Wiberg Royal Gothenburg Sailing Club - ranking 134
Jackson Digney Royal Perth Yacht Club - ranking 248
Richard Howard Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - ranking 470
Torvay Mirsky Fremantle Sailing Club - ranking 508
Keith Swinton South of Perth Yacht Club - ranking 526
Adam Smith East Fremantle Yacht Club - ranking 831
Phillip Murdoch Townsville Sailing Club - ranking 1025
Adam Garnaut Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club - unranked