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10 January 2007, 10:11 am
World Class Sailors Coming To Auckland
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Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland 2007
Auckland, New Zealand

A change of status is raising the temperature on the water in the ISAF Grade 1 Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland regatta this year, with several classes already attracting world class competitors. From 9-12 February, New Zealand's top sailing stars will line up against some of the world's best in a battle for medals and ISAF World Sailing Rank points.
The regatta, which opens on Friday February 9 and finishes on Monday February 12, has been granted ISAF Grade 1 status. As one of only seven such all Olympic Class regattas on the racing circuit, it attracts Olympic aspirants competing with the aim of moving themselves up the World Rankings in their quest to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Star Names In RS:X

In the RS:X class, also known as board sailing, entrants include Jon-Paul TOBIN (NZL), current Oceanic Champion and world number nine, Julian BONTEMPS (FRA), the 2004 Mistral World Champion, Maxim OBEREMKO (UKR), the current world number two and Sean O'BRIEN (AUS),the Australian National Champion. The women's fleet features Olga MASLIVETS (UKR), the current world number one and Irina KONSTANTINOVA (BUL)

Besides the RS:X, other Olympic Classes competing at the regatta include the Laser, Laser Radial, 470, 49ers, Tornado and Finn.

'Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland is important to our local aspiring Olympians because many of the top international sailors who are attracted to the regatta stay on to continue training here in Auckland and often pass on training techniques,' says Alan BILKEY, Chairman of Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland. 'It helps raise the bar for our sailors to train and race with their international competition.

'It's always been our aim to attract Olympic and World Champion sailors to our regatta. With the generous sponsorship of Singapore Airlines we are now able to provide travel assistance to international elite sailors and secure the participation of sailors of the highest calibre.'

Junior Regatta

Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland will also run a Junior Regatta concurrently with the main event, which has been running for ten years.

'New Zealand punches above its weight in world yachting in many classes,' says Alan LIM, General Manager Singapore Airlines New Zealand. 'New Zealand produces World Champions and Olympic heroes on the water. We will fly them through the air so that they can fly through the waters in New Zealand - and in doing so we will help New Zealand sailors hone their skills for the Beijing Olympics.'

Jodie Perkins (As Amended By ISAF) Image, Aaron MCINTOSH and Bruce KENDALL in Auckland last year:© Trevor COPPOCK/Seapixonline.com
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