Increased international entries and more women competitors seem likely from early interest being shown in the Hardy Cup 2009, the under 25 ISAF Grade 3 Match Racing Regatta conducted each Southern Hemisphere summer on Sydney Harbour.
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, currently enjoying its 147th sailing season, will host the regatta from 1-5 February 2009. The racing will again be in the Squadron's fleet of Elliott 6s.
Applications for an invitation to be among the 12 crews sailing next year can now be downloaded from the Hardy Cup website: www.rsys.com.au/sailing/hardycuphomepage.php
These applications close on Friday 24 October 2008 and already several teams from Australia and overseas have downloaded applications, including the Australian Women's Match Racing Team being coached by Michael DUNSTAN
, a three-times past winner of the Hardy Cup.
This team will come from the Australian Sailing Team or the Australian Sailing Development Squad.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia plans to again nominate Evan WALKER
, the winner of the 2008 Hardy Cup, with a crew from its Youth Sailing Academy, including Will RYAN
who sailed with WALKER in this year's Cup.
New Zealander Adam MINOPRIO
, who lost a hard-fought final to WALKER, has also indicated he will be back in 2009. MINOPRIO is currently on a high after reaching the final of the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda. Other competitors in Bermuda who also competed in the 2008 Hardy Cup are Keith SWINTON
(AUS) and Torvar MIRSKY
(AUS), both from Perth, Western Australia.
The Hardy Cup 2009 will follow the Warren Jones Youth Match Racing Regatta in Perth from 26-30 January 2009.
While currently an ISAF Grade 3 youth match racing event, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron may seek an upgrade to ISAF Grade 2 based on ISAF skipper points.
The Hardy Cup has proved popular with competitors from all over Australia and overseas in past years because of the exciting sailing conditions on Sydney Harbour, the internationally recognized race management expertise of the RSYS, and the warm hospitality of members of the Squadron.