International event sets sail on St Kilda

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By Maddison McSwain

 

St Kilda has been selected to host the ISAF Sailing World Cup from 2015-17.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for the sport of sailing and is officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

An official launch on May 23 celebrated the global sailing event moving to St Kilda, with the first regatta taking place in December this year.

Event Director Mark Turnbull says the ISAF Sailing World Cup is “the premier annual event for Olympic Class sailing in the Southern Hemisphere”.

More than half of the 1000 competitors are from interstate or overseas – including Olympians. The event is another opportunity to gain valuable qualifying points for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Event Chairman Mark Klemens believes St Kilda is an ideal host of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. “Our new home in St Kilda, a picturesque entertainment hub of Melbourne, will significantly increase public participation and enjoyment of this special event, and create a genuine carnival atmosphere.”

The event is expected to draw thousands of participants, volunteers and visitors to Port Phillip. “It will no doubt attract the best sailors in the world,” Klemens said.

Port Phillip Mayor Amanda Stevens is pleased with the decision. “Council is proud to be a sponsor of this major event which will boost our local economy and showcase the many attractions on offer in St Kilda” Cr Stevens said. “Participants from more than 40 countries will be warmly welcomed and encouraged to visit the many attractions which make Port Phillip such a terrific tourist destination”.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup will take place at its new home, the St Kilda Sailing Precinct, after previously being hosted by the Sandringham Yacht Club.

“The 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup made a positive economic impact on Sandringham and we expect that impact to be even greater when the event moves to Melbourne’s most loved beach,” Cr Stevens said.

“Our magnificent beach will be showcased to the world along with cafes, restaurants, hotels, bars, entertainment and other attractions which makes Port Phillip unique,” Cr Stevens said. “We hope the first class sailing and carnival atmosphere will encourage new visitors to our shores who will want to keep returning to enjoy our city.”

The first regatta will run from December 7-13, with registration opening on the 7th.  The venue will be open for competitor arrivals and training from the 4th of December.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup is a free event for spectators. Aside from witnessing the main sailing events, there will be plenty of activities on offer for families, including stand-up paddle boards, remote-control yachts and sailing classes.

Greater Melbourne is the only city region in Oceania that hosts this high profile, worldwide event.

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