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10 September 2007, 11:39 am
Inaugural Access Worlds Starts Today
Image of Alex HRUZEWICZ in the Access Liberty
Alex HRUZEWICZ in the Access Liberty

Access Class World Championships 2007
Ontario, Canada

The Inaugural Access Class Combined World Championships start today and sailors and boats are arriving from far and wide at the Whitby Yacht Club in Ontario, Canada.
This landmark event for the Access classes commences on August 30, with a 10 race program commencing on Saturday 1 September and concluding on Wednesday 5 September.

The championships are open to sailors of all abilities but entries are dominated by sailors with a disability. International Race Officer David SPRAGUE and his team of Whitby Yacht Club volunteers will conduct racing for the International Access 2.3 and Access 303 Single Person, Access 303 Two Person, along with single person Liberty divisions for open and servo-equipped boats.

The two-person SKUD18 will sail an International Regatta in conjunction with the Worlds. Canadian and Australian crews vying for national Paralympic team selection will use the SKUD event at Whitby to prepare for the IFDS Combined World Sailing Championships commencing September 7 in Rochester, New York.

Six nations will be represented in the event. Australia, home of the Access classes, has fourteen competitors racing at Whitby.

Duncan McGREGOR (AUS) and John WALLACE (USA) are Access 2.3 National Champions in their respective countries and lead their division rankings.

Long time Access campaigner and winner of the recent winner of the French Nationals, Zoltan PEGAN (HUN), will be the sailor to beat in the 303 Single Person division, but two Australians will be doing their best to overcome PEGAN's domination in the class. Jim BROWN and Michael LEYDON finished equal on points in the Australian & International Access 303 Class Championships this April, with BROWN winning the event on a countback.

Alex HRUZEWICZ (USA) has his eyes on the Access Liberty World Championship after a convincing come-from-behind victory at the US Nationals in San Francisco during May. But he will need to be at full speed to overcome the top-ranked Kiwi, Josh McKENZIE-BROWN (NZL), 2006 Australian Champion, Chris RIORDAN (AUS) and a number of experienced Canadian entries.

David Staley
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