Already 102 entries have been received for the Laser Worlds, guaranteed to be one of highlights of ISAF Grade 1 Olympic class regattas to be held in Australia between December and February.
To be hosted by Gosford Sailing Club and sailed off Terrigal from 7-13 February, nominations for the Laser Worlds have so far been received from Austria, Barbados, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, US Virgin Islands, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.
Apart from Tom SLINGSBY
, Australian Sailing Team member for the Beijing Olympics, current world champion and World Ranked No. 1, the remainder of the Australian contingent will not be selected until after the 2008 Australian Laser Championship at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron from December 27 to January 4 as part of Sail Melbourne.
It is anticipated that the Australian Laser Association (ALA) will be allocated four places based on current membership numbers, but as host nation, the ALA may be allocated a further three to seven additional places as a result of entry re-allocation.
Amongst those already entered, Slingsby will face off against Paul GOODISON
(GBR), Andrew MURDOCH
(NZL), Michael LEIGH
(CAN), Gustavo LIMA
(POR), Vasilij ZBOGAR
(SLO), Luka RADELIC
(CRO) and Deniss KARPAK
(EST), respectively World Ranked 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Also entered is China's Sheng SHEN
on his first visit to Australia. Although well down the world rankings in 184, SHEN is China's top rated Laser sailor. Like others, he will be vying for a place into his nation's Olympic team, the Laser Worlds being final qualifier for selection to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Some entrants have already arrived in Terrigal and Sydney. They are training to first compete at the Sydney International Regatta, to be held from December 15-18 at Woollahra Sailing Club, where some will also be vying for places into their Olympic squads.
For all information, including the current entry list go to: http://aus08.laserinternational.org/