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25 November 2010, 09:19 am
Sail Melbourne Launches Into The City
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ISAF Sailing World Cup 2010-11: Sail Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

The first leg of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne is shaping up to be a 'clash of the titans' as Australia's best sailors prepare to compete alongside a host of formidable international challengers.
From 12 to 18 December 2010 the state-of-the art surroundings of Sandringham Yacht Club will play host to top sailing talent including Ben Ainslie, triple Olympic gold and silver medallist, three times ISAF World Sailor of the Year and Britain's most successful Olympic sailor of all time. He will battle it out in the Finn class with fellow Brits Ed Wright and Giles Scott, rivalry stemming from the fact that only one of them will ultimately win the right to represent the UK at the London Olympics.

Joining them on the water will be Australia's own world #1 Laser sailor Tom Slingsby, who will be hoping a win will top off a magnificent 2010. This year Tom became the first Australian ever to be named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, as well as being part of the winning Etchell championship team and taking his third Laser World Championships title. At Sail Melbourne Tom is set to come face to face with nemesis and current World #2, Britain's Paul Goodison.

Beijing Olympic gold medallist and multiple World and European Championship title winner Malcolm Page will be back in Melbourne looking to defend his title, having won in his class alongside partner Mathew Belcher at last year's ISAF Sailing World Cup.

Malcolm Page said: "I always look forward to coming home to compete in Australia, and Port Phillip Bay is a world class sailing destination. There are some fantastic names competing this year and I want to ensure Mathew and I retain our title."

Australian sailing legend and event ambassador John Bertrand said: "We are delighted with the calibre of world class Olympic sailors set to compete at Sail Melbourne this year. This list of big names is a credit to the reputation of the event itself and of Port Phillip Bay as one of the finest racing venues in the world."

CEO of Yachting Victoria Ross Kilburn said: "We were delighted with the success of Sail Melbourne in 2009 and the excellent platform this provides for the event to grow into one of Victoria's signature events. We are looking forward to giving the event the warm welcome back it deserves this year as it cements its place in the State's action packed summer of top-class sport."

Sail Melbourne chairman Bruce Griffiths said: "Sail Melbourne is becoming an increasingly important regatta as competitors prepare for London 2012. Australia has some of the best sailing talent in the world and with international competitors descending in droves we can look forward to an exceptional week of sailing and some thrilling on-the-water action."

A fleet of sail boats made their way up the Yarra River and into Melbourne this morning, spectacularly heralding the arrival of one of the worlds' most prestigious sailing events. Sail Melbourne Chairman Bruce Griffiths was joined by sailing hero John Bertrand, Australian sporting legend Ron Barassi and Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page to welcome the Cup back to Melbourne.

As some of the world's top sailing talent take to the water, the international sporting event promises an increased array of engaging lifestyle events and attractions on-shore, offering an exciting and diverse range of entertainment.

Sail Melbourne Chairman, Bruce Griffiths said: "Each year our aim is to create a bigger and better experience for sailors, sponsors and spectators alike. The success of last year's event has provided us with a solid foundation on which to build. It just goes to show Victorians embrace sailing as one of Australia's major sports and the Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne as a must-do event during Melbourne's summer."

Sailing hero John Bertrand said: "We are delighted to welcome some of the worlds' greatest Olympic sailors to Melbourne. Having an event as prestigious as this in the city helps build local support and recognition for the sport. Sail Melbourne is also Australia's most important Olympic and Youth Class sailing event and provides an ongoing platform for aspiring young sailors to compete in a world class event alongside their sailing heroes. Port Phillip Bay is considered one of the finest racing venues in the world and will provide a stunning backdrop for a world event."

As displays of world class Olympic sailing are seen on the water, a thrilling program of interactive events will take place on shore with fashion, fun and summer spirit incorporated across all aspects of the lifestyle driven sports entertainment platform. The marine driven carnival will include a fun family day, glamorous Ladies Day in aid of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and an exclusive Lifestyle Party.

Sail Melbourne Event Development Manager Kate Allen said: "I'm delighted with how our vision for the Sailing World Cup is coming together. Along with our partners we are successfully building the event into a true sports entertainment platform that can be enjoyed in equal measure by the sailing community and the wider public. I hope people are inspired to come along, get involved and have fun."

Sail Melbourne will once again be the first stop of the prestigious ISAF Sailing World Cup with teams then heading off to Miami, Palma, Hyeres, Medemblik and Weymouth before finishing in Kiel, Germany.

Sam Watson
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