Elite field for Sail Melbourne Regatta
Published on January 13th, 2020
With six months to the Tokyo Olympic Games, Sail Melbourne International Regatta has attracted an elite field from 25 countries and from all around Australia to compete on January 17-21 in Melbourne, Australia.
With close to 300 entries racing in Port Phillip, the event includes the Laser Oceania Championships, the inaugural 2020 Australian Kite Foiling Championships, as well as the 2020 Australian Para-Sailing Championships and Australian Championships in the International 505 Class.
The Laser Standard and Laser Radial events has attracted the largest number of entries to test the Port Phillip waters ahead of their Class World Championships for the Laser Standard (February 9-16) and Laser Radial (February 21-28).
Amongst others, Rio Olympic champion in the Laser Radial Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands will be contesting the event. In the men’s events the three top-ranked Laser sailors in the World, Tokyo 2020 Olympic team sailor Matt Wearn (AUS), Rio 2016 Olympic champion Tom Burton (AUS) and Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech (NZL) have all entered SMI, along with 2015 and 2016 World Champion Nick Thompson (GBR).
The RS:X windsurfing class has also attracted a high-calibre field from around the world, including Olympic champion in the women’s RS:X event at the Rio 2016 Olympics Charline Picon from France, with athletes testing the waters ahead of the RS:X World Championships in February at Sorrento, Australia.
All eyes will also be on the strong field from all around Australia that will be contesting the inaugural Australian Kite Foiling Championships – the class that will premiere at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
A fine selection of the world’s best Finn sailors are also making the most of the summer in Australia and have stayed on in Melbourne following their world championships in December to contest Sail Melbourne International.
Amongst the entries are Switzerland’s Nils Theuninck, who took out second place in the U23 category at the Finn Gold Cup as well as the Norwegian and Canadian Finn sailors, who are all escaping the Northern Hemisphere winter. Back at the start line in the Finn will be Australian Sailing Team’s Tokyo 2020 hopeful Jake Lilley, who finished fifth at the Finn Gold Cup and secured Australia the Oceania quota spot for the Olympic Games.
In the non-Olympic events, the International 505 class will see the World Champs from the USA Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel take on the 34-strong fleet.
Tasar, Liberty and Laser 4.7 classes complete the program as well as the para sailing classes of 2.4mR and Hansa 303.