During the event to be held from 27th December 2011 to 7th January 2012, the region will be visited by elite sailors and visitors giving an enormous boost to the local tourism and retail sectors during the peak season.
Club Commodore, Stephen Carter says“this event will build on our expertise in organising and hosting state and national championships that includes the annual Mandurah Easter Regatta, a highlight of the Western Australian sailing calendar. The Club prides itself in providing a friendly and professional regatta environment. The camaraderie and collaboration of athletes, officials, volunteers and club members makes these events possible.”
International teams from across the globe are currently loading sea containers destined for Mandurah. A keen contingent was the Japanese who were the first country to register their interest mid year. Sailors are expected from Britain, Canada, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, South Africa and USA.
Local competitor Gordon Lucas, four time Australian title holder and 3rd in the Fireball World Championships in 1974 and 1978, will be sailing Second Wind, a former Australian champion boat. Gordon has been training and tuning hard over recent weeks alongside Mandurah sail maker Phil “Bugsy” Smith and eight other Fireball skippers now stationed in Mandurah. Another skipper Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist Tessa Parkinson is going to sail at these championships with an eye on 2016 Olympics in a 470. Tessa’s crew Kate Lathouras is unable to do the worlds in her home Town as she will be doing 2011 Sydney Hobart Race a dream many of us aspire to in the sailing community. The youngest skipper in the championships so far is 14 year old Luke Abbott and his 420 crew another 14 yr old Hamish Puttman will be both sailing against each other and are looking forward to the challenge of racing in there first World Title in Home Water. The spritely old man of the sea Lance Rock is also entered in the series.
MOFSC sailor Gail Luff, who with her level of mobility requires the use of a wheelchair, has nominated to compete in the open event and is one of three women’s teams currently in training for the worlds. The Country Women’s Association and Mandurah Mayday Club are helping Gail to get her boat up to speed, including trimming a new set of John Clifton sails. Tegan Edwards, Gail’s crew, has just completed the winter sailing season on keelboats and is now enjoying the return to dinghies.
Ben Schulz from South Australia who was ranked 5th in the last World Championships at Sligo is among the challengers and will be joined by four time Australian champion Robin Inns from Adelaide. They plan to take on the British contingent which includes four time world champion Chips Howarth and current European champion Tom Gillard.
Competition promises to be fierce with so many previous and current title holders nominated for this world class event. With box office seating and shore based viewing, sailing enthusiasts will be in for a treat.