Help from P&O Nedlloyd and Schenker Australia looks like ensuring a large number of boats will compete for the Flying Dutchman Australian and 2003 World Championships as part of Sail Melbourne at Sandringham Yacht Club in Victoria.
Entries have already been received from all over the world including Spain, the UK, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, USA, New Zealand, Switzerland and of course, Australia.
Already entered are the current World champions, Hungary's Srabolics MAETHENYI/Andras DOMOKAS, who also won the Championship in 1994, and the World No. 1 crew of Hans-Peter SCHWARZ/Peter VAN KOPPEN (GER) who finished second to Hungary at the Worlds and placed 2nd in 2000.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the World, Kay-Uwe LUDTKE/Kai SCHAFERS (GER) will also compete, along with a number of their fellow countrymen.
Australia has its own champions entered to take on the vast European contingent, Ian MCCROSSIN/James COOK, have previously won the Worlds on three occasions - 1995, 1997 and 2000. Sailing 'at home', the two, who are difficult to beat at the best of times, are expected to be in top form. McCrossin is also the current Australian champion in the class.
Other international entries include the top ranked pairings of Roberto CIPRIANI/Stephano MORELLI (ITA), Gines ROMERO/Javier CAYUELA (ESP) Hideo TAYAMA/Robert CHUBB (NZL) and Christoph BAUMANN/Michael KILLER (SUI).
On the Australian front, third placegetters in the Australian championships, Norman RYDGE/Richard SCARR were an early entry and will be joined by Peter HIGGINS/Chris WARMER who finished 11 at the Worlds in 1999 and Lachlan PAYNE/Colin MCLEOD whose best place at Worlds was sixth in 1983.
IFDCO Vice-President (Championships), Steve PARRY, will travel from Great Britain as the Class Technical Delegate.
"We are very pleased with the entries to-date, already 50 have signed on, and we know there are many others coming. We expect Australia, Germany and Netherlands will field the biggest numbers and we are excited that Ian McCROSSIN and James COOK will be here to take on the top ranked Europeans and American's,' Chairman of Sail Melbourne,
Kevin WOOD said today.
Most competitors vying for the World Championship are also expected to take part in the Australian title, to be sailed just prior to the main event.