Some of the best sailing talent in the world will be on Sydney Harbour this weekend as athletes and coaches from the Australian Sailing Team take part in the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta.
Many of the athletes are taking time out from the preparations for the Olympic Games and swapping their small competition class boats to take their place amongst yacht crews. The Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta is Sydney's largest sailing regatta and this year a record entry, currently standing at 267 yachts, has already been achieved.
Australian Sailing Team members taking part include:
Double World Laser Champion Tom SLINGSBY
on Sydney 38 Transfusion
Men's 470 crew Malcolm PAGE
, 49er skipper Nathan OUTTERIDGE
, Laser Radial coach and Laser bronze medallist Michael BLACKBURN
and Australian Sailing Team Head Coach Victor KOVALENKO on Farr 40 Estate Master
49er crewmember Ben AUSTIN
and on Sydney 38 The Tavern
Finn sailor Anthony NOSSITER
on his father's Adams 10 Sirius
Women's 470 crewmember Tessa PARKINSON
on Sydney 38 Rush
The Australian Yngling crew of Krystal WEIR
, Karyn GOJNICH
and Angela FARRELL
will also take part in the Yngling class of the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, fresh from their silver medal in the Yngling World Championship in Miami, USA.
Women's 470 skipper Elise RECHICHI
and RS:X (windsurfer) representative Jessica CRISP
, will be taking part in the Audi 'Learn To Sail' programme and mingling with guests watching the action.
"The Australian Sailing Team are a diverse group of sailors, many of whom regularly crew on Farr 40 and Sydney 38 yachts and we have several very experienced and distinguished yacht racers like Anthony NOSSITER who has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and several Rolex Sydney Hobart races, Nathan WILMOT and Iain MURRAY who has three America's Cup and five Sydney to Hobart Races under his belt,"
said Australian Sailing Team Director Michael JONES.
"Being involved in the Audi Sydney Regatta gives the athletes a chance to do some cross-training, hone their communications skills in larger crews and keep things fresh and varied in their lead-up to an intensive international competition schedule.
"It's also an opportunity for competing crews and regatta guests alike to meet the sailors who will be representing Australia at the Olympic Games in August."
Following this weekend's regatta racing, the Australian Sailing Team will gather in a team camp in Sydney on Monday 3 March and Tuesday 4 March. With European, World Championships and several major international regattas on the agenda for the coming months, the camp will provide crucial time to fine-tune individual programmes and team strategies ahead of a long five months of competition in the lead up to the Olympic Games.