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5 December 2008, 01:47 pm
Roll Call Of Olympians And World Champions For OAMPS Sydney International Regatta
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN compete at the 2007 SIR
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN compete at the 2007 SIR

Sydney International Regatta 2008
Sydney, Australia

A big roll up of Olympians and World Champions will face the starter's gun when the ISAF Grade 1 OAMPS Sydney International Regatta, conducted by Yachting NSW, starts on Sydney Harbour this Saturday 6 December.
Already a massive 216 entries for the ISAF Grade 1 event have been received by Yachting NSW, with more expected to enter up until the start day of the event.

"We are thrilled with the quality and quantity of the fleet, particularly as this is the first major Olympic class regatta since the end of the Beijing Games," said Adrian STEER, Yachting NSW CEO.

"We normally expect numbers to be down in the new Olympic cycle, but some who missed medals in China signed on early and with Laser Masters Worlds are due to take place in Canada next August, many Australian sailors hoping to win selection have also entered, as has a strong field in the Moth, which has helped bolster numbers," STEER said.

Countries represented are: Australia, Norway, Spain, New Zealand, USA, Croatia, Singapore, Sweden, Canada, Chile, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, South Africa, and Great Britain, winners of an incredible six medals in Beijing inclusive of four gold, one each of silver and bronze.

In the Olympic events, names include Beijing 2008 Olympians, Nathan OUTTERIDGE (AUS), the reigning 49er World Champion, will be crewed by 18ft skiff and 29er former world champion Euan MCNICOL, who coached Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY (AUS), Star representatives in Beijing.

Big names in the Laser fleet are Beijing Olympians Michael LEIGH (CAN), Matias DEL SOLAR (CHI) and Javier HERNANDEZ (ESP), who will be joined by other internationals and Australians such 2012 Olympic prospect Jye MURRAY (AUS).

In the Laser Radial women's fleet, Olympic campaigners Andrea BREWSTER (GBR) and Sara WINTHER (NZL) will take on a solid fleet, including those headed to the Laser Masters Worlds, while Laser Radial Grand Masters current and consecutive two-time champion, Peter HEYWOOD and apprentice Laser Radial Champioship third-placed Richard BOTT feature in the men's Radial fleet

The RS:X Women's fleet is headed by Beijing Olympian Jannicke STALSTROM (NOR) and Blanca MANCHON (ESP) who narrowly missed selection to the Games, while Australian three-time Olympian including Beijing Yngling representative Karyn GOJNICH will sail the keelboat class again.

A champion sailor in her own right, GOJNICH is normally in the middle of the Yngling boat, but this time she will helm with husband John and young daughter Zoe as her crew.

Youth classes are well represented. The 2007 and 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion Gabrielle KING (AUS) entered in the Laser Radial women's and 2007 29er bronze medallist skipper Hannah NATTRASS (AUS) among others, all members of the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Team.

While in the exhilarating Moth class, 2008 World Champion and renowned 18ft skiff sailor John HARRIS (AUS) will have to work hard to beat the likes of 2000 49er bronze medallist crew and noted all-round sailor Charlie MCKEE (USA) and prominent American 49er and America's Cup sailor Kevin HALL, representing New Zealand, among other standouts.

The 2008 SIR, in its 17th edition, will once again enjoy the benefit of ongoing support from NSW Sport and Recreation.

Hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, the SIR will be sailed on Sydney Harbour, home to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Notice of Race and all other information can be found at www.nsw.yachting.org.au or www.sailsydney.org.au.
Di Pearson (As Amended By ISAF)
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