Sail Brisbane ready for top competitors

With just over a week to go until the start of the 2009 Sail Brisbane regatta preparations are in full swing for competitors and organisers alike with a strong field set to compete in the first round of the 2009 Sail Down Under series.

Dual Laser World Champion and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games representative Tom Slingsby will be taking on the Laser fleet, his first hit out since dominating the competition at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, England, in September.

Fellow Australian Sailing Team member Mathew Belcher will also be competing at Sail Brisbane, though not in his usual 470, Belcher will be racing a Foiling Moth with the exciting class of boat featuring as a display class.

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron will be hosting the ISAF Grade 2 regatta in the club's 125th year of sailing, with the three race courses located on Waterloo Bay.

In 2009 Sail Brisbane will welcome the RS:X class for the first time, with OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team member Joanna Sterling set to compete.

The Finn class returns to the regatta after a seven year absence with entrants including Brendan Casey and current Etchells World Champion Bucky Smith.

The Australian Sailing Development Squad will be well represented at the regatta with Klade Hauschildt, Ryan Palk, Ashley Brunning and Tom Burton all contesting the Laser class. In the Laser Radial class ASDS members Gabrielle King, Ashley Stoddart and Laura Baldwin will all be taking to the waters of Waterloo Bay.

Sail Brisbane will have an international feel in 2009 with eleven countries represented so far, including Japan, Finland, India, Ireland and the USA.

The regatta will also as Queensland class Championship for the SB3 and Contender fleets.

Sail Brisbane is the opening round of the 2009 Sail Down Under series and following the regatta competitors head south for Sail Sydney from 5-8 December and Sail Melbourne from 14-19 December.

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