Britain’s Alexandra Rickham, who has been nominated for this year’s ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, and her teammate Niki Birrell will hope to continue their winning streak and maintain their Sail Melbourne title as the 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series begins in Melbourne on 6 November 2011.
The double World Champions will face stiff competition from five home teams, including Yachting Australia’s 2011 Sailor of the Year award-winners Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch who came third at the IFDS Sailing World Championships in July 2011.
With Rickham and Birrell already having secured their place on the Great Britain Paralympic Team, there may also be a battle of another kind amongst the Australians.
Now that Australia has ensured its place in the London 2012 Skud 18 race, three different crews – Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch, Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason, and Rachael Cox and Jamie Dunross – will compete for selection to the Australian Paralympic Team.
The 2.4mR races at the 2011 Sail Melbourne Regatta will be an all-Australian affair with Michael Leydon and Matthew Bugg, last year’s second and third sailors at Sail Melbourne, likely battling it out for first place.