The Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission announced yesterday at a luncheon in Bridgeport that the 2003 MasterCard International Etchells World Championships is just days away and preparations for the event are starting to heat up.
Currently, there are 290 competitors on 95 boats representing 9 countries from around the globe registered. In addition to representatives from sailing hotbeds such as the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britainand Canada, countries such as Denmark, Israel and Hong Kong represented in the event. Some of the most notable names in sailing will be in Greenwich to participate in what promises to be the highest profile sailing event held in the New York metropolitan area in almost 10 years. Included in the list of sailors are past America's Cup sailors Dennis CONNER and Ken READ.
Dennis CONNER, a.k.a. "Mr. America's Cup", most recent Cup campaign was this year as the head of the New York Yacht Club syndicate. An avid Star Class and Etchells racer, he is best known for winning the America's Cup. Ken READ, helmsman for Conner's "Stars & Stripes", is a two-time winner of the Etchells North American Champs. In addition, he has also been named "Rolex" Yachtsman of the Year on two occasions.
The event will also include 6 local skippers including Indian Harbor Yacht Club members Steve GIRLING, a two-time Atlantic Coast Champion, and Jonathan NYE, current fleet captain of Fleet 9. Qualifiers from Riverside Yacht Club included Ty ANDERSON, a former Fleet 9 champion, and John HOEKMAN. Also qualifying were Milford sailor Theodore "Bear" HOVEY, a Windjammers member, and former North Sails sail maker and Hugh JONES from Seawanhaka Yacht Club.
Competition in the 2003 MasterCard International Etchells World Championships will begin with a practice race on Saturday, September 20th. The official competition will begin Sunday, September 21st through Friday, September 26th, with Saturday, September 27th reserved as an extra day of racing should it be required. Registration for the event will be held at Riverside Yacht Club in Riverside, Connecticut starting on Wednesday, September 24th.
The event will be held in the waters off Greenwich, Connecticut and is hosted by Indian Harbor and Riverside Yacht Clubs. MasterCard International, a global payments company with one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world, is the title sponsor. Supporting Tier 2 sponsors for the event are Cognizant, the international IT application outsourcing and enterprise consulting services company and Vineyard Vines, an up and coming Greenwich based apparel company.
Full results and reports will be posted here for more details please visit the event website at the address below.