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Ocean Elements 2018

Sail Sydney a launch pad for Olympic Campaigns

by Jane Gordon 9 Sep 2017 22:51 BST 11-17 December 2017
Gilmour and Turner have their sights set on Tokyo 2020 © Robin Evans

Woollahra Sailing Club will host the 23rd edition of Sail Sydney from December 11-17 with the support of Drummoyne Sailing Club, Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Sail Sydney is shaping up to attract more than 300 local, national and international competitors across 23 classes.

Olympic Classes will compete for the first four days of the regatta with Australian Sailing Team and Squad Crews set to try to tame Sydney Harbour. Under the recently announced Tasman Series with Australian Sailing and Yachting New Zealand, Sail Sydney is now positioned to attract the best Olympic Class sailors in the southern hemisphere.

Australian Sailing Chief Executive Officer, John Lee, said that Sail Sydney is an important regatta for Olympic Class sailors as our squads prepare for their respective campaigns.

"Sail Sydney is a great opportunity for Australian Sailing and Yachting New Zealand sailing teams to work together to create a strong, world-class competition," John said.

"Sydney Harbour is a great setting for one of the final major regattas of the year for our sailors who have been competing overseas.

"Woollahra Sailing Club have successfully delivered this event over a number of years and with the support of surrounding Clubs, it is great to see their partnerships supporting the foundations of this great Australian Sailing event."

Invited Classes will take the reins from December 15 which will include; 29er, 420, Nacra 15, Pacer, Laser 4.7, Optimist Open, Intermediate and Green Fleet, Bic Techno (Ripper League and Ripper Races), RS:X Men and Women, Elliot, International Cadet, Sabot 1 Up, Open Bic, Manly Juniors, Flying 11 and Tasar.

Among the invited classes, Optimist sailors for New Zealand are preparing for the regatta ahead of the Australian Optimist Nationals.

"Our sailors are really looking forward to coming to Australia to compete on Sydney Harbour," said Greg Lee, who will manage a group of competing New Zealand Opti sailors.

"We always have a strong contingent of sailors head to Australia for the Opti Nationals so Sail Sydney will be another opportunity to compete against the best Aussie sailors. Everyone is very much looking forward to sailing in Sydney."

Sailing conditions in Auckland vary during the peak sailing season, from October to April, providing New Zealand sailors with an effective training base to prepare for Sail Sydney 2017.

"We get a mix of conditions here in Auckland from very light to in excess of 40 knots," Greg said. "The water temperate is a little chilly until around late December when the average becomes about 20 degrees which is quiet bearable."

New Zealand has a bright future in Optimist sailing with Rio Olympic 49er Gold Medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, 470M duo Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox, and Rio Olympic 49erFX Silver Medallists, Alex Maloney and Gemma Jones, all having graduated from the Opti class.

While the water temperatures may be cooler in NZ, there is no doubt that the Kiwi Opti sailors will heat up Sail Sydney 2017.

For more information on Sail Sydney visit the website www.sailsydney.org

Follow Sail Sydney on Facebook and share your Sail Sydney journey on social media by using the hashtag #SailSydney2017.

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