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9 January 2006, 10:15 am
Minister For Tourism Gets A Taste Of Olympic Sailing
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Sail Melbourne 2006
Melbourne, Australia

The Hon. John PANDAZOPOULOS, Minister for Tourism, State Government of Australia, got a good taste of Olympic class sailing this morning at the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne, as he took to the water with five-time World Champion and Olympic medallist Darren BUNDOCK (AUS) and his new crew, Victorian Glenn ASHBY.
No ALT tag specifiedOn coming ashore to host club, Sandringham Yacht Club, the Minister enthused, 'I loved it. I haven't had the opportunity go catamaran sailing for about 10 years now, but I used to sail here in Melbourne and on the Swan River in Perth.'

'I had a go on the trapeze which was a great experience and it is a great way to see the Bay,' the Minister continued, 'And I am pleased I had the time to go out there and experience this kind of sailing; maybe I could train up for the Olympics,' he joked, but said he hoped to be able to pay another visit to the event, if work allows.

'Sailing finishes our year in Melbourne and then starts the New Year and I encourage everyone to come and watch,' the Minister said.

He could not have been in better hands on the water. BUNDOCK has won many World titles in various catamaran classes and was ranked number one in the Tornado ISAF World Sailing Rankings for some time, and currently holds six place. With a former crew, he won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games, whilst ASHBY also owns a number of titles, some with BUNDOCK and some on his own. Yesterday he won the A-Catamaran Australian Championship for the third year running and shortly after, proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Melissa TUDDENHAM.

Sail Melbourne Chairman, Kevin WOOD, said, 'It was great to see support from the Minister for Sail Melbourne. John fully appreciates what Sail Melbourne does for Melbourne. Apart from the ideal sailing conditions sailors enjoy here, they also have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism attractions on offer; like the Yarra wineries, penguin parades at Phillip Island, the surf beaches at Torquay and Lorne, as well as shopping, galleries, gardens and restaurants.'

WOOD said the value of Sail Melbourne to Victoria, with just under 50% of competitors and their families coming from interstate and overseas, brought an estimated $6.5 million economic benefit to the State.

Sail Melbourne is made possible by the support of event sponsors: Sport & Recreation Victoria, Collex, Parks Victoria; associate sponsors Bayside City Council and Menere's BMW Brighton and support sponsors Ronstan International, Schenker Australia, City of Kingston and the City of Port Philip.

For all the news on Sail Melbourne CLICK HERE.

Di PEARSON (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Minister John PANDAZOPOULOS gives the thumbs up to trapezing for Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY:© Jeff CROW, Sport the Library at Sail Melbourne
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