Organised by Yachting Victoria, the Commonwealth Sailing Championship is the first ever sailing event to be held outside of the Commonwealth Games itself and with the support of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and will see athletes from up to 57 Commonwealth countries and territories able to compete in the Laser and Laser Radial, Mistral Men and Women, 470 Men and Women, and the Hobie 16.
Being held over five days, racing will take place from the Sandringham Yacht Club in the Waters of Port Phillip and is open to any citizen of a commonwealth member country. Entries are expected from around the globe including at least four Hobie 16 teams from Fiji. Fielding full teams will be, amongst others, the entries from Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, England and India.
As well as the highest level of race and event management following on from the same team who organise and run the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne, athletes will be able to take advantage of a Coaching Clinic run by Top Australian Coaches. Led by the coach of both Gold medal winning 470 teams in Sydney 2000, Victor Kovalenko, alongside a host of other international coaches, athletes will be able to take part in what is a rare opportunity to work with some of the best sailors in the business. They will be joined by local sports institute experts to provide valuable and informative sessions for all competitors and classes.
Sandringham Yacht Club has recently undergone a $2.85 million redevelopment program which includes a new travel lift, new concession buildings including a full chandlery and rigging shop, and a new facilities building adjacent to their well equipped marina. This redevelopment is expected to greatly enhance competitor's experience of both Sail Melbourne and the Commonwealth Sailing Championship.
As well as a world class International Jury including Ajay Balram (IND), Bill Fratter (NZL), Ross May (NZL), Lisa Bettcher (AUS) and Bill Bell (AUS), the event boasts a top-level race team assembled under the guidance of Sail Melbourne.
The Commonwealth Sailing Championships has support within ISAF and the ISAF Regional Games Committee. ISAF recently appointed Kevin Wood (AUS), who has been instrumental in the hosting of the Commonwealth Sailing Championship, as a member of the Regional Games Committee representing sailing's interest in the Commonwealth Games.
ISAF hope that, given the top level of race management from the Sail Melbourne team and high participation that the sport of sailing will be one step closer to full inclusion in the Commonwealth Games.