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16 November 2006, 10:30 am
Locals Set To Lead The Charge
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Sydney International Regatta 2006
Sydney, Australia

It is only one month until local sailors challenge the best of the international circuit when the ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta kicks off on 16 December 2006. With 17 classes involved in this years' event, the Sydney International Regatta will be the ideal opportunity for the top Australian talent to size up the competition.
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A large fleet is expected to take to the water for four days of racing in the Olympic Classes: 470 (Men and Women), 49er, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X (Men and Women), Yngling, Star, Tornado. The Paralympic 2.4 Metre, SKUD 18 and Sonar; youth 420, Laser 4.7 and 29er; and invited classes OK Dinghy and Formula 18 catamaran also line up.

SLINGSBY All Set

One sailor keen to make an impact is Laser world number three Tom SLINGSBY (AUS), who has been competing at the Sydney International Regatta for the last five years and will join the large Laser fleet again this year. Over the past 12 months SLINGSBY has won in the Laser at the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne, ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française, ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta and ISAF World Sailing Games. In the 48 boat Laser fleet at Sydney International Regatta in 2005, SLINGSBY finished second behind New Zealander Andrew MURDOCH. He also came in second at this year's Laser World Championship on Korea.

'My first Sydney International Regatta was in 1999 and I've raced every year since. Sydney Harbour is a challenging sailing location and provides a broad range of conditions. The regatta is always good to tune up against as there is a pretty high standard. I'm aiming for a top place this year, as I've have had a couple of seconds, so I am looking to do one better this year,' commented SLINGSBY.

Also on the pace are Men's 470 team Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS), who sailed in the 49er at last years' event, but who will be returning this year to sail in the 470. They are firing up to challenge a number of international teams from Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany and Japan as well as a strong Australian side,

'This my tenth year competing at Sydney International Regatta, there's no better place that Sydney Harbour - it's really special sailing in your home town. Sydney International Regatta is a great bench mark for us mid way through our summer season and before we hit the European summer,' said PAGE.

Australian Sailor Of The Year Lines Up

Also in great form is current Formula Windsurfing World Champion and Australian Yachting Female Sailor of the Year Allison SHREEVE (AUS), who is back to better her 2005 Sydney International Regatta's third place in the Women's RS:X fleet. The RS:X fleets are looking to be extremely competitive with a number of up-and-coming board sailors in both the men's and women's fleets joining the competition this year.

'I'm really looking forward to spending the summer racing at home. Sydney International Regatta is a great opportunity for us for training and for preparation for the upcoming 2007 Olympic season,' said SHREEVE.

Sydney International Regatta Notice of Race and entry form are available on the Yachting NSW's website is www.nsw.yachting.org.au. Entries are being accepted now and it is recommended to get in early to avoid a late fee.

For a complete list of all the news about the Sydney International Regatta CLICK HERE.
Sam Crichton (As Amended by ISAF). Image, There is just one month to go until this year's SIR:© Christophe Launay
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