“Being back on the racetrack in Australia with Australian competitors is going to be really exciting.”
The second leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup continues in Melbourne, Australia, beginning on Sunday (1 December) and running for one week.
The event features two classes for para-athletes, which will begin on the second day of competition.
This is the fifth year of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, which has become an annual event for the top sailors in the southern hemisphere.
“It’s really just a local regatta for us, even though it’s a World Cup event,” said Australian Paralympic champion Liesl Tesch, who will compete in the SKUD 18 class.
“International rivals show up more often as the Paralympics come closer because it’s so expensive to get a boat to the other side of the world.
“Being back on the racetrack in Australia with Australian competitors is going to be really exciting,” she added.
The two races included in Melbourne are the 2.4mR one-person keelboat and the SKUD18 two-person keelboat.
The 2.4mR is the first of two invited classes for the World Cup circuit. The race will include seven competitors, including six from Australia and one from New Zealand.
Mathew Bugg, currently ranked No. 9 in the world, is the sailor to watch in that event.
Five sailors will participate in the SKUD18 race, four from Australia and one from Singapore.
Tesch is looking to build on last year’s success, when she won London 2012 Paralympic gold in the event and was also the 2012 ISAF World Cup winner.
She is currently ranked second in the world, however, she will have a new challenge in this race as she has not been in a small boat for a while because she has been on yachts lately.
She will also be racing with a new partner, Duncan McGregor.
“It’s quite exciting because Dan (Fitzgibbon) and I have worked to get such efficient communication and you take it for granted how good we are at it” Tesch said.
“And so getting on a boat with someone else, it takes a while to get new communication worked out between you, so that’s going to be a challenge. Who knows, we may end up hating each other at the end of the week.”