'Our number one team [from Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania] has had the same core members for several years now and has finished runner-up at the last three Australian Championships. They are very keen to go one better this year, especially as this is a selection event for the World Team Racing Championship to be held in Rhode Island in September this year,' JONES said.
For team captain Rod CHAMBERLAIN it will be his seventh attempt to win this event for Tasmania. With him will be skippers Tim CUBIT and Stewart WELLS who also have a wealth of experience in team racing at national and international level. Joining them is crew Michael WALDEN, Caroline ROSS, and Emma FLUKES.
CHAMBERLAIN's team has been in intensive training against the other local teams and he expects the number two team (Claire CUNNINGHAM, Will KEYES, George PEACOCK, Nick JONES, Prue CUNNINGHAM and Blair SPAULDING) to also be a contender for national honours.
'The number two team is a younger team, but they've got all the moves, rules knowledge and boat-handling skills - it's just a matter of whether they can put it all together under the pressure of a national championship,' CHAMBERLAIN said.
A third Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania team will be led by Captain Martin DELPERO. He will aim to lead his crew - Oliver NICHOLAS, Chris BOON, Hannah MORGAN, Patrick HUTTON, and David RANSLEY, to victory.
West Australia won the event last year with a minimum-weight crew when it was sailed in Perth in very light conditions, but it remains to be seen whether they can re-produce that form outside their home waters. They will be led by Luc TASKER, and included in their team is Sydney gold medallist Belinda STOWELL, Brett SHARPE, Steve THOMAS, Keith SWINTON, and Pete NICHOLAS.
Royal Perth Yacht Club will also be represented by another team. The team will be led by Robert GIBBS and include Torvar MIRSKY, Nick DAVIS, Belinda KERL, Jasper WARREN, Luke PARKINSON, and Chris JONES.
A very experienced team will be representing the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with helms Ben ROBERTS-THOMSON, Angus TAPP and Dean HORTON all having won at national level before. Joining them is crew Thomas JONES, Sarah BOARD, and Francesca WARDELL.
Nick FLUTTER will captain another Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron team. He will be joined by fellow sailors John ROBSON, Andy NATHANSON, James GREEN, Melinda SIRIANNI, and Kate O'GRADY.
One team from New South Wales will represent the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Together the team has a wealth of experience in team and match racing regattas. Robert BELL will captain Seve JARVIN, Will CRITHARIS, Jacqui BELL, Euan McNICHOL, and Jacqui BONNITCHA.
The championship is being jointly hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Sandy Bay Sailing Club. Registration, weigh-in and practice take place on Friday 22 April with racing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Results and reports will be available on the Yachting Australia website.