Entries open for school and open teams racing at Sail Melbourne

The first event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne, the William Angliss Institute Resort Management Cup, is now taking entries from both school age and open teams. For the third year running, world cup competitors looking for a final tactical tune-up can enter this team sailing event competing for their school, home state or country.

Organiser Ben Fels says the event will draw its own competitors and provide a final shakedown for some of the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne crews, utilising supplied one-design Pacer dinghies racing in a three boat versus three boat format, from Sandringham Yacht Club, on Sunday December 7, 2014.

On-water umpiring will come from a select group of judges and umpires gathered for the grade 1 ISAF Sailing World Cup event, providing a rare opportunity for sailors to test their understanding of the rules, and receive expert tuition. 

“Competitors will gain insight into rules and tactics while sailing in a competition surrounded by gold medallists and world class sailors,” says Fels, himself an international judge and national umpire. “Being part of the team competition is great preparation for the Cup; the tactical skills and rules knowledge gained through teams racing are critical when you get to medal races.”

Sailors can enter the open or school age competition and up to 150 can be accommodated, on a revolving crew basis, during the single day event. “It’s a full day of sailing but given crews are rotated and spend part of the time on the changeover RIBs with officials watching the action, there are plenty of breaks,” Fels says. “Due to the fact crews are changing over together while on the water there’s also a healthy social aspect that fosters friendships and camaraderie. This could be because the format and boats give no advantage to either gender so we have a lot of mixed gender teams that overall tend to outperform the single gender teams.”

Competitors can expect to complete a six or seven race program over the day. Races are short and sharp; usually around seven minutes apiece set on a Q shaped course. “It’s definitely not a straight line soldier’s course. The Q course is designed not to be orderly, it brings tactics in at each mark,” Fels explains. The course shape also means he can run multiple races at the same time with limited resources.

At this year’s Melbourne Midwinters Team Racing Championship at Albert Park Lake, well-known 49er and 49erFX sailor Tess Lloyd just back from a European campaign jumped in to Team Sorrento to replace her brother Jack and had this to say on the experience, “Team racing tests your rules knowledge: thinking ahead, short leg strategies and instant on the boat communication. I also have to get the protest procedures perfect and do that funny arm waving when calling for room to tack with all the extra obstructions. It’s crazy fun!”

Team racing is a popular format and pathway for Victorian youth sailors and is offered at many yacht clubs in that state. The ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne team competition already has 9 school entries from those taking part in multiple events over the season. This is also a great opportunity for two countrymen, for example two New Zealand 29er or two Opti sailors who are gearing up for the world cup to pair up and race for their country, as they can form an international team and pitch themselves against the locals on an evenly matched boat.

The Notice of Race for the team competition is available here.

Competition for both Olympic and Invited classes begins the following day, Monday December 8 at Sandringham Yacht Club, the host club for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne.


If you would like more detailed information on the event please visit the event website www.sailingworldcupmelbourne.com

Lisa Ratcliff ISAF Sailing World Cup – Event Media

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