ISAF Sailing World Cup takes to Port Phillip Bay

ISAF Sailing World Cup takes to Port Phillip Bay

Melbourne is bracing itself to welcome one of the world’s most prestigious sailing events, the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
 A host of world champions and Olympic gold medallists from across
the globe will descend on Sandringham Yacht Club for Sail Melbourne — the first leg which runs from December 14 to 19, 2009.

Olympic gold medalist Malcolm Page and his new 470 partner Mathew Belcher, 49er world champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and Olympic RS:X boardsailor Jessica Crisp are just a sample of the sailing elite taking part on their quest for world glory. The stunning, recently refurbished Sandringham Yacht Club will play host to six days of action.

Otherwise known as the “Grand Slam of Olympic Sailing” the Cup gets underway in Melbourne and then moves to six other venues around the world — Miami, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain. At each event competitors vie for valuable ranking points that determine the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup champions.

Bruce Griffiths, chairman of Sail Melbourne said: “We are all incredibly excited that the ISAF Sailing World Cup is coming to Melbourne.

“Sandringham will offer an ideal, picturesque backdrop to a week of exciting action involving some of the world’s top sailing talent.

“Our vision is to grow the event over the next three years, with as much happening on-shore as out on the water. Our aim is to promote the benefits of the sailing lifestyle to the wider community as well as providing a riveting show for sailing enthusiasts,” said Griffiths.

A lavish opening dinner, a glamorous Lady’s Day and spectator events for kids and adults will ensure everybody gets a chance to embrace the lifestyle.

Earlier this year, the Victorian Government announced its successful bid to host the Asia Pacific arm of this prestigious event until 2011.

Sports Minister James Merlino said: “Victorians love their sport and they love our major events. We are delighted that yet another sporting event of this calibre is coming to Melbourne.

“The chance to see it grow over the next three years into a signature event is a wonderful opportunity for Victoria. We’re certain that the ISAF Sailing World Cup will become a fixture of our jam-packed sporting calendar and Sandringham will play host to an ever expanding marine carnival,” he said.

Gavin Jennings MLC, Minister for Environment and Climate Change said: “The Victorian Government is delighted to have a strong and ongoing relationship with the sailing community through its partnerships with Parks Victoria, Yachting Victoria and Sail Melbourne.

“We welcome the opportunity Sail Melbourne provides to showcase Port Phillip on a national and international stage as a vibrant destination for sailing and other recreational and tourism activities,” he said.

Sail Melbourne’s own sailing legend John Bertrand said: “Australia is one of the most successful countries in the world when it comes to sailing, currently ranked second in the world. We’re thrilled to be able to offer such a great platform for our home grown sailors to demonstrate their talents.

“Watching them contend against some of the highest calibre of international competitors is bound to make for an event not to be
missed,” he said.