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19 January 2005, 09:43 am
World Champions Brzozowski and Shreeve Head the Line Up
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Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships
Elwood, Australia

Dual Formula Windsurfing World Champion Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI headlines the Neil Pryde Sail Melbourne Regatta (formerly the Victorian Championships), which gets underway off Elwood beach today. The two-day regatta is a warm-up event for Sail Melbourne's IFWC Formula Windsurfing Oceanic Continental and Australian Championships, which begins this Saturday and runs until Tuesday.

Brzozowski, who last night arrived in Melbourne from Poland, heads a fleet of over 40 board riders. He has come out of his winter hibernation and is using the unscheduled trip Down Under as a reconnaissance mission for December's IFWC World Championships, also at Elwood.

'He'll be using the next week of competition to suss out the conditions and he'll be reporting back to the Europeans on what to expect come December,' said race director Ian FOX.

Other leading internationals include Jesper VESTERSTROM - the blonde Viking supermodel of the European FW circuit - who finished second to Australia's Steve ALLEN in last year's event; Wearn Haw TAN from Singapore; and Jono SQUIRES from New Zealand, who is one of four Kiwis here to secure qualifying spots for the December Worlds.

Allen, the reigning Continental and Australian Champion from 2004, has remained in Poland for the impending birth of his second child.

However, the likes of Sam PARKER, Mike NELSON, Brett MORRIS (from NSW), Sean O'BRIEN (QLD), Dave MOREHEAD, Steven CHARLES (both from TAS) and James COOPER (from VIC) will be flying the flag for Australia this week.

In the women's event, rising international Allison SHREEVE (NSW) will go head to head with reigning Australian Formula Windsurfing champion Anna DAVIS (VIC).

Formula Windsurfers are some of the most highly-tuned, dynamic class of windsurfer on the water. The boards, which measure almost 2.5m long and a metre wide, have razor-sharp fins up to 70cms deep and can reach speeds of up to 60km/h

Saturday's Oceanic Continental Championships is one of the five championships held in each ISAF region of the World at which competitors can earn qualifying points for the World Championships. The top five placegetters will automatically qualify for the December Worlds. And all placegetters in both the Oceanic Champs and the preceding Neil Pryde regatta will score world ranking points that count towards qualifying for the December Worlds.

Racing gets underway off Elwood beach today at 11:00 am. A maximum of four races will be held each day. The two-day Neil Pryde warm-up event comprises eight races, while the Oceanic Continental and Australian Championships, held over four days from Saturday to Tuesday, will comprise a maximum of 15 races.

Elwood Sailing Club is the base for both events.

Di Pearson (As Amended by ISAF)
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