Compasscard Australian Women's Match Racing commences on Monday

Four Australian Sailing Development Squad crews are in the final stage of preparation for the compasscard Australian Women's Match Racing Championship, with racing set to begin on Monday 31 August on Sydney Harbour.

The 12 Women's Match Racing ASDS members have just returned from Europe where their victories included the Women's Match Racing World Championship, Swedish Match Cup and ISAF Sailing World Cup round in Kiel, Germany.

The compasscard Australian Women's Match Racing Championship will take place in Elliott 6's, which are the boat of choice for the debut of Women's Match Racing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The ASDS entries will be skippered by 2009 Women's Match Racing World Champion Nicky Souter, Katie Spithill, Lucinda Whitty and Amanda Scrivenor.

Souter said that the squad was thrilled to have their hard work in Europe rewarded with a World Championship victory.

“It feels fantastic to win a world championship, especially seeing as our field of sailing in now in the Games,” said Souter. “My crew knew that we were fast and sailing well tactically and we are all so proud of our result. ”

“To know that we were racing the best Match Racing girls in the world and to win the finals 3-0 really lifts our confidence for the next three years until 2012. It's going to take a lot more hard work to keep on getting the results we got in Europe these last two months as our competition is training as hard as us now and the level has stepped up numerous notches.”

Souter is looking forward to returning to the Elliott 6 and having the chance to race in Australia again.

“Next week will be a good measure to see how we go against the New Zealand girls, seeing as we have raced against them a lot in the past five or so years,” she said. “With the Australian squad having our four main skippers on the helm, hopefully we can continue our European winning form back here on our home waters.”

Australia's Women's Match Racing coach Dayne Sharp said the squad was progressing well and their European result was a reflection of the hard work the girls have been putting in on and off the water.

“In Europe it was great to see the squad produce consistent performances regardless of the type of boats they were racing or the crew combinations,” said Sharp. “This was the first time the sailors had been exposed to Olympic campaigning and all made great contributions to the results. There were many good lessons learnt and these will be worked on over the summer months,” he said.

“For the AWMRC we will be back in the Elliott 6 boats sailing three up again. This means that our new World Champion crew will be sailing in new combinations and new positions with different helms. It will be interesting to gauge our performance against the three NZ teams who have been working hard across the Tasman,” he said.

Nicky Souter will be sailing with Nina Curtis and Nicole Douglass, Katie Spithill alongside Samantha Boyd and Rayshele Martin, Lucinda Whitty with Olivia Price and Jess Eastwell and Amanda Scrivenor will have Kat Stroinovsky and Stacey Jackson as crew.

Racing begins on Monday 31 August with the compasscard Australian Women's Match Racing champion to be crowned on Thursday 3 September.

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