On the eve of the 33rd America's Cup Match, Australia's own AC icon John Bertrand, is in Perth today to lend support to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
As Ambassador to Perth 2011, John Bertrand
is proud to be associated with the biggest sailing event to be staged on Australian shores, since the 1987 America's Cup Defence.
"As was the case in 1987, Perth 2011 will again attract the world's interest to Western Australia," Bertrand said.
"Perth 2011 is a big and exciting event. Over 1,400 competitors from more than 80 nations and tens of thousands of spectators will descend on Perth for the Sailing World Championships and live racing will be accessible to over a billion households and countless Internet users around the globe."
He explained that next year's event, the main qualifier for the 2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Competition, would be about four times bigger than the 1987 event, which was also held on the waters off Fremantle.
While in Perth, Bertrand expressed strong endorsement of Perth 2011's popular Emerging Nations Programme (ENP), a first of its kind sailing initiative, which assisted Perth win the bid to host the Sailing World Championships.
"The ENP is showing merit in identifying and progressing sailing talent, having produced a gold medal winning champion in Colombian RS:X sailor Nicolas Lozano
, who triumphed at Sail Melbourne [the first event of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup
] in December, after participating at the second ENP training session," explained Bertrand.
"There is no doubt that much of Lozano's success can be attributed to his involvement with the Emerging Nations Programme."
The next ENP Intensive Training Session will run between 8-25 February and 11 participants from developing sailing nations as diverse as Moldova, India and Peru will train under ENP Head Coaches Belinda Stowell
and Arthur Brett. A regatta will be held on 'Centre Course' (Bathers Bay, Fremantle) during this session, between 19-21 February 2010, in conjunction with the 2010 RS:X National Championships.
Bertrand himself is still at the top of the sport, having been crowned 2010 Etchells Australian Champion just last month!
The Dream Begins In Perth! - www.perth2011.com
Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Championships at www.sailing.org/isafworlds.