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15 April 2010, 03:56 pm
Italy Hosts World Championship Match Race For Blind Sailors
IFDS Blind Match Racing
IFDS Blind Match Racing

IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championships
Lake Garda

Circolo Vela Gargnano on Lake Garda, Italy will host the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships, 2010, Homerus Blind Match Racing from 20-27 June.
Conducted in conjunction with Homerus Associazione Onlus, the event will employ the ISAF Experimental Appendix CBS for Blind Match Racing using the innovative Homerus system of acoustic buoys.

Teams from Italy, Spain, Great Britain, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Finland and Italy have already confirmed their entries. This is the 12th Homerus International Championships and the inaugural event to be conducted as an IFDS authorized World Championship. A separate series of match races will be held for the B1, B2 and B3 classifications for the first time in Bogliaco. The B1 Division for totally blind sailors will be an IFDS World Championship, while the B2 and B3 Divisions will sail Level 2 IFDS International Championships.

Sailors competing in this event must be IBSA classified B1, B2 or B3 - legally blind. The championships are sailed in pairs of identical keelboats by a two person blind or vision impaired crew with a sighted observer on board. Three acoustic buoys, each with a unique signal, define the course and each boat has its own acoustic device that changes signature when it is on port or starboard tack.

Local Champion, Luigi Bertanza, winning helmsman in the B1 division of the 2009 IFDS Blind Sailing International Fleet Racing Championship in Rotorua, New Zealand, has paired with experienced sheet-hand Silvia Parente, to represent the host country in the 2010 IFDS Blind Match Racing Worlds.

New Zealand's Dick Lancaster was second to Bertanza in the Fleet Racing World Championship in Rotorua earlier in the year. Lancaster will be traveling to Italy for his first match racing series in 2010 and will be keen to reciprocate a win in the opposition's home territory.

The Australian B1 entry will be helmed by the 2006 championship crew - Kylie Forth from Royal Perth Yacht Club. Her sheet-hand will be fellow Perth sailor and new-comer to match racing, Erin McGlew. Forth, an above-knee amputee as well as being totally blind, has been progressing up the table since taking on the helming role in 2007.

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