There are just seven days to go until Sail Melbourne - the first leg of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup, and the impressive number of competitors is increasing daily.
Currently, 348 competitors have registered from across the globe meaning at least 281 boats will take to the water when the tournament begins at Sandringham Yacht Club on 14 December. Competitors will arrive from 21 different countries, with 73 competitors flying in from overseas for the prestigious event.
They will join some of Australia's brightest sailing talent including Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page
and his new 470 partner Mathew Belcher
, 49er World Champions Nathan Outteridge
and Iain Jensen
, and Olympic RS:X windsurfer Jessica Crisp
. Up and coming 470 sailors Sam Kivell
and Will Ryan
who were victorious at last week's Sail Brisbane will also be taking part in their quest for world glory.
The ISAF sailIng World Cup gets underway in Melbourne before moving on to six other venues around the world - the USA, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain. At each event competitors vie for valuable World Cup points which determine the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup champions.
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the events, sailors and new scoring system at www.sailing.org/worldcup.