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10 June 2005, 03:36 pm
Another Big Summer Of Sailing On Port Phillip
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Sail Melbourne 2006
Melbourne, Australia

Annually hosting a range of high profile, international sailing events, the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne has now grown to into an event for sailors of all classes and abilities.
The pinnacle event in a series of Olympic Class championships in Australia and New Zealand, the Sail Melbourne Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta is a crucial event for sailors around the world. As one of only five annual ISAF Grade 1 events and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, Sail Melbourne is where many of the world's greatest sailors come to train and race away from the Northern Hemisphere's winter. With the Beijing Olympics getting closer and Sail Melbourne's proximity to Asia and the sailing nations in the region, it looks as if all serious campaigners for medals in 2008 will be in Melbourne, Australia this summer.

The Sail Melbourne 2006 Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta will be sailed from Sandringham Yacht Club from 9-14 January 2006. All Olympic Classes will be present and the event will include the Star Australian Championships and quite significantly, will be the first ISAF Grade 1 event in 2006 to host the new Neil Pryde RS:X windsurfer. The inclusion of the new board will see additional attention focussed on the event and will attract all windsurfers eager to build race experience and competition in the new class.

Pre-event warm up regattas will be held for all classes allowing sailors to get accustomed to the exciting sailing conditions on Port Phillip. The coming year's event will also see additional emphasis placed on making the event even more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Introducing a range of new initiatives from entertainment functions and fun cash prize events for sailors to training events and seminars; Sail Melbourne will be an event inclusive of more than just outstanding sailing.

Another feature event on the Sail Melbourne calendar is the 2005 Formula Windsurfing World Championship being held out of Elwood Sailing Club from 12-17 December 2005. Sailing conditions in the course area in front of the club are second to none when it comes to Formula racing with consistent sea breezes between 15 and 20 knots, exciting conditions to surf and a local promenade of spectators to watch the racing right from the beach.

Host, Elwood Sailing Club are Formula Windsurfing specialists and their race management experience shows it, with fair start lines and accurate courses. A warm up event will be held from Elwood from 9-11 December, allowing foreign sailors to tune their gear and their techniques for the local conditions.

The third feature Sail Melbourne event on the 2006 calendar is the International J/24 World Championship to be held at Sandringham Yacht Club. Up to forty crews from around the world are expected to race in this highly competitive one-design keelboat class.

The event will start with the J24 Australian Championships from 7-13 January followed by the Worlds, which will be held from 15-20 January 2006. The conclusion of this event will coincide with the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race into Melbourne to create an additional buzz amongst sailors.

Sail Melbourne will also host and assist with a range of National Championships throughout Victoria including the Etchells at Royal Brighton Yacht Club, the Mosquito Nationals at Loch Sport Boat Club, the Couta Boats at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, the Flying Dutchman at Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club amongst many others.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Australia's Krystal WEIR in action at this year's Sail Melbourne:© Jeff Crow at Sport the Library
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