More than 100 entries have been received for the CST Composites International 14 World Championship to be sailed on Sydney Harbour after Christmas.
Entries to date total 102 and that includes representatives from Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, the USA and a solid contingent from around Australia.
Current Australian I14 champion Brad Devine says he is looking forward to the regatta and plans to arrive with his new boat just after Christmas.
Devine has built a new Bieker 5 design he bought as a set of moulds from Canada and is pleased with the result.
He said the boat was built at home in Perth with a friend using the imported hull, deck and chute moulds and it has turned out extremely well saying: "I am really pleased with it."
Devine said he had to break his successful partnership with Ian "Footy" Furlong after the 108kg for'ard hand took up work on drilling rigs off the West Australian coast. He has however teamed up with Dennis Jones who has an impressive sailing record which includes coaching at Olympic level in the 470 class.
"He [Jones] is 88kg and I have gone up from 73 to 77kg and we will be 165kg in total," he said of their combined sailing weight.
"We are winning most of the races over here [on the Swan River, Perth] but in the big breezes there is nothing like having 110kg hanging off the wire."
Devine is expecting Sydney Harbour to provide a mixed bag of wind conditions through late December and into January.
"We are expecting a lot in the 12 knot range with some light days and a day of 20kts here and there," he said.
Like most sailors who have experienced Sydney Harbour near the Heads in an area of water known as The Sound … Devine is also expecting a bit of chop and slop as harbour traffic combines with ocean swells and waves refracting off the three nearby headlands of North, South and Middle Heads.
The race area can be challenging at times with its confused seas but offers a large area of water in which to race more than 100 I14s.
The I14 World event begins on 28 Dec with Teams Racing and then the CST Composites International 14 World Championship begins with the Invitation Race on 3 January 2010 and Heats from 4-11 January out of Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club, Manly, Sydney Harbour.
Find out more at www.i14worlds.com