Confirmation that Sail Melbourne's bid was successful came at the recent 2006 Finn Gold Cup in Spilt, Croatia.
The 2008 Finn Gold Cup will be held in January 2008. It will be supported by a series of Finn regattas 'Down Under' including the Sail Brisbane regatta and the Sydney International Regatta in December 2007. The Finn Australian Championships in Melbourne will provide the perfect precursor to the Gold Cup.
Sail Auckland in February 2008 will complete the series of Finn events, all geared up to give international competitors the perfect opportunity to escape the northern hemisphere winter.
The 2008 Gold Cup will also include the Finn Youth World Championship - known as the Finn Silver Cup. It will also be held at Black Rock Yacht Club with results extracted from the same regatta.
It will mark the third time Melbourne has hosted the prestigious world championship for the long-standing Olympic class. Sail Melbourne hosted the 1995 Gold Cup as well as the 1999 Gold Cup - both at Black Rock Yacht Club. Melbourne also hosted the Finns as part of the 1956 Olympic Games.
However, Australian sailors have mostly been forced to travel the globe for Finn competition - the class not as strong in Australia as other parts the world. Regardless, Australian sailors have still represented at every Gold Cup since 1956.
The Sail Melbourne International Regatta is one of only five annual ISAF Grade 1 regattas held around the world. It regularly attracts between 2000 and 3000 competitors from up to 30 countries and has hosted more than 25 world championships in the last six years.
Yachting Australia CEO, Phil JONES, gave strong support to Sail Melbourne's bid - recognising Sail Melbourne as one of the foremost dinghy regattas in the world and confirming Port Phillip as one of the best open waterways for yacht racing.
President of the Australian Finn class, John SHALLVEY, assured international Finn sailors that they could expect a great 2008 Finn Gold Cup, and supporting events, with fantastic sailing conditions.
The Finn is a single-handed boat that fills the 'heavyweight' dinghy slot in the Olympics. It was designed in 1949 for the 1952 Olympics and has featured at every Olympics since then. The hiking and sailing techniques involved require a high level of agility and strength.
Both the men's and women's 470 World Championships for the double-handed class will be held at Mordialloc Sailing Club.
In most recent history, Port Phillip Bay played host to a World Championship for the 470 class in 1999, when Sail Melbourne conducted simultaneous world championships for 16 sailing classes.
|Tom KING (left) and Mark TURNBULL - Olympic gold medallists in 2000
© Nick Wilson/ALLSPORT
For Olympic champions Tom KING and Mark TURNBULL, Melbourne's Port Phillip had provided the training ground for much of their Olympic campaign.
Tom KING added his support to Sail Melbourne's bid for the 2008 World Championships, confirming that competitors could expect a range of conditions to ensure a fair and competitive regatta.
Yachting Australia head coach, Victor KOVALENKO (who coached KING and TURNBULL on their way to Olympic glory) said Sail Melbourne's conduct of the 2008 470 World Championships was the 'sensible' choice given that Australia would be a major training base for many nations in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics.
Making the event all the more attractive to international competitors will be the schedule of 470 events leading into the world title: the Sydney International Regatta will be held in December, the Australian National 470 Championships in January and the Sail Melbourne Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta in January. Sail Auckland will follow the 470 World Championships.
Sail Melbourne is a carnival of sailing that each year includes up to 30 different events ranging from national championships to world championships; as well as an annual ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Grade 1 Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta.
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