As part of the Sail Down Under series, Sydney International Regatta joins its fellow series regattas Sail Melbourne and Sail Auckland as ISAF Grade 1 events.
This will be a major attraction to international competitors who are planning to travel and capitalize on the three events having the same status. Sydney International Regatta is set to provide a harbour spectacle with plenty of action expected from the large international fleets competing.
Organized by Yachting NSW for the past 15 years, it is anticipated that the 2006 event will again see a large fleet taking to the water for four days of racing in Olympic, Paralympic, Youth and invited classes.
Winners at the ISAF World Sailing Games held on Lake Neusiedl in Austria, including Australian Men's 470 sailors Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE are expected to head the Australian contingent racing at Sydney International Regatta 2006.
Leading the 470 women's Australian challenge will be Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON who finished in second at the World Sailing Games behind the French team of Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX. RECHICHI and PARKINSON won the Women's 470 class at Sydney International Regatta in 2005.
Laser champion Tom SLINGSBY (AUS), who won in the Laser at Hyères in April this year, in Austria and at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta in May, will join a large Laser fleet over the four days of Sydney International Regatta. SLINGSBY finished second at Sydney International Regatta 2005 behind New Zealander Andrew MURDOCH in the 48 boat Laser fleet.
Brendan CASEY (AUS), who recently won the ISAF Grade C1 Laser North American Championship in Canada, will be joining the strong Laser fleet again this year along with Sydney 2000 bronze medallist Michael BLACKBURN who won the ISAF Grade C1 Laser Asia Pacific Championships.
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN (AUS) came fifth at on Lake Neusiedl and sixth at the recent 49er Worlds, won the 49er class at Sydney International Regatta 2005. They will be back to defend their title along with a number of international competitors.
In the Laser Radial class Victorian Sarah BLANCK (AUS) will be back after a very creditable third at the ISAF World Sailing Games. Fellow Victorian Krystal WEIR (AUS) won the Laser Radial class at Sydney International Regatta 2005 after BLANCK fell ill and was unable to compete.
Formula Windsurfing World Champion and recent winner of Australian Female Sailor of the Year award Alison SHREEVE, will be representing the women in the RS:X class, whilst up and coming youth sailor Corey PLANT (AUS), who has represented Australia at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, on the Men's RS:X board will be joined by fellow youth representative Alisha KAWALLA on the Women's RS:X board.
Joining the Olympic, Paralympic and Youth classes as a Sydney International Regatta invited class will be the Australian International Formula 18 Catamaran class and Sydney International Regatta will host the classes 2006 Australian International Formula 18 Catamaran NSW State Championship.
'Sydney International Regatta is an important event in the Yachting New South Wales calendar and continues to attract strong, competitive fleets each year,' said Yachting NSW Chief Executive, Stephen LEAHY.
'As the New South Wales event in the Sail Down Under series, Sydney International Regatta is now also a part of Sail Sydney, a festival that has been established to increase the community's awareness of sailing as a great recreational activity and an exciting sport,' said LEAHY. 'Sydney International Regatta will provide a chance for Beijing Olympic medal aspirants to race against each other.'
Sydney International Regatta Notice of Race is available on the Yachting NSW's website by CLICKING HERE.
For a complete list of all the news about the Sydney International Regatta CLICK HERE.