Excitement is mounting and tension is building as organizers get ready to kick off the inaugural first leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne, starting Tuesday 16 December.
The event is sailing's equivalent to a motor racing Grand Prix or tennis Grand Slam - as part of the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup
it is one of seven of the most important and biggest Olympic regattas in the world and the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
It is only fitting that as Australia tops the national standings in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings
yet again, that an event of this magnitude begins in Melbourne.
Jetting in for the event are Beijing Olympic gold medallists Malcolm PAGE
(AUS), in the Men's 470 event, and Anna TUNNICLIFFE
(US) in the women's Laser Radial class.
PAGE, 36, is firing up for his first major hit out with his new 470 skipper Mat BELCHER
(AUS), following the retirement of his gold medal winning partner Nathan WILMOT
TUNNICLIFFE, one of the superstars of world sailing, is here to begin her campaign for back-to-back gold in London 2012.
Australian head coach Victor KOVALENKO is the inaugural Sail Melbourne ambassador and will be wandering the boat park helping out sailors as requested.
This event is compulsory for Australian Sailing Team development squad members and is the highlight event on the Victoria Sailing Calendar.
The first event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup will be held at Sandringham Yacht Club from 16-21 December.
Click here for all the news on Sail Melbourne 2008.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-28 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.