Ten elite international athletes, who are currently participating in the fourth Emerging Nations Programme (ENP), will test their newly acquired sailing skills against some of Australia's best, in Perth this weekend.
.As a culmination of the fourth of seven ENP programmes and in the lead-up to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December next year, an ENP Regatta will be held on Saturday 15 May at Centre Course (Bathers Bay), in Fremantle.
Over 40 competitors will be vying for prizes in the Olympic classes of Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X against the ENP athletes, and also in the non-Olympic classes of Laser 4.7 and Optimist. Good viewing for the public is available from South Mole and Bathers Beach, Fremantle.
The ENP athletes, who hail from seven different nations - Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Serbia, Chinese, Taipei, Columbia, Bermuda and Pakistan - have spent the past two weeks training on and off the water, at Fremantle Sailing Club, under the guidance of ENP Head Coaches Belinda Stowell (Gold Medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games/ WAIS Head Sailing Coach) and Arthur Brett (Beijing 2008 Olympic Coach
for Australia/ Principal Sailing Coach at Fremantle Sailing Club).
The nations of Sri Lanka and the Philipines will have athletes competing in the ENP regatta for the first time. Several of the ENP athletes have relatives who competed in sailing at previous Olympic Games Sailing Competitions, including Rockal Evans, who is the grandson of Bermuda's Howard Lee (Montreal, 1976) and Akshan Jirasinha, the son of Sri Lankan Olympic sailor Lalin Jirasinha (Los Angeles, 1984 and Sydney, 2000).
According to Perth 2011 Event Director John Longley, two other athletes to keep an eye out for are Columbian RS:X sailor Nicolas Lozano (Gold Medallist at the first leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne), and Chinese Taipei RS:X sailor Howard Chang (winner of the 2010 Australian RS:X Championships), who are expected to provide tough competition to locals.
For more details, please visit: www.perth2011.com