|MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-(12-11-2004) In a major coup for sailing in Melbourne and Australia, Sail Melbourne has been successful in its bid to host the International 470 World Championships in 2008.
Sail Melbourne was up against some tough competition when bidding for the 2008 event at a recent meeting in Copenhagen, with seven other countries submitting applications to host the event including: Italy, France, New Zealand, Turkey, Holland, India and Argentina.
The International 470 is the one-design double handed dinghy sailed in the Olympics for both Men and Women and without doubt is one of the pre-eminent racing boats around the world. A spectacular boat to watch, the 470 carries spinnaker, trapeze and two crew and is known for the efficient team work and tactics required to win.
The 2008 World Championships are likely to attract approximately 150 competitors from up to 40 different countries to contest the event which will be crucial for teams in the final stages of their preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games in August of that year.
The event will not have been conducted in the Southern Hemisphere since 1999 when Melbourne held the Combined World Sailing Championships. Other nations who have recently hosted the event include Croatia, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary.
Australia has had some outstanding success in the 470 with gold medals for both mens and womens crews in the 2000 Olympic Games. Australia's 470 sailors Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page are the reigning 2004 World Champions.
The 470 World Championships will be held as part of the renowned Sail Melbourne International Regatta conducted in January each year. Sail Melbourne features the ISAF grade 1 Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta and a collection of other World, Regional and National Championships all coming together to create a festival of sailing each summer.
Melbourne's Port Phillip is known around the world as one of the best open expanses of water for yacht racing with consistent sea breezes, low tide variation, great yacht club facilities and warm water all making for exciting sailing.