With a fleet of almost 250 boats on the entry list, the 2022 Sail Sydney regatta is set to shape a huge domestic summer season for many of Australia’s top sailors and those youth sailors from various classes descending on Sydney Harbour show casing their skills.
From Thursday 15th December to Monday 19th December, Woollahra Sailing Club will host local and (for the first time since 2019) international competitors across 22 classes.
The event will also double as the State and National Championships for several classes, with big names on the entry list including Australian Olympians Matt Wearn, Tess Lloyd and Mara Stransky, and Japan’s Tokyo Olympics 49erFX team of Anna Yamazaki and Sena Takano.
Olympic Champion Wearn is back in action for the first time since he finished fifth at Hyeres in April.
“It is just great to have the opportunity to be back racing again,” said Wearn. “I have always loved racing at Sail Sydney on familiar waters without the travel pressures, so I am really looking forward to it.
“Sail Sydney offers up such a great range of conditions. This year we are racing in the sound which will be quite similar to what we are expecting to see at the World Championships in the Netherlands next year, so it is going to be hugely beneficial” he finished.
Sail Sydney, which began as a test event for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, has grown to become the annual dinghy event with the largest number of participants in the Southern hemisphere.
Some special features for the 2022 regatta include both Olympic and Youth Classes racing over the four days and an extended Optimist class schedule seeing racing run from Saturday 17th through to Monday 19th of December. In addition, Wing foiling will be making its debut.
Australian Sailing’s High Performance Director Iain Brambell stressed the importance of Sail Sydney in the grander plans of the Australian Sailing Team going forward.
“It is a huge competitive advantage to have our athletes training and competing across the Southern Hemisphere summer coming into next year,” said Brambell.
“We have the advantage of our home regattas to optimally prepare the team for the 2023 season and their first opportunities to achieve 2024 Olympic qualification spots. It all starts here in Sydney with quality training and racing opportunities while are competitors in the northern hemisphere bunker down for the winter cold.”
Follow all the Sail Sydney action online at www.sailsydney.org or via Sail Sydney on Facebook or @Sail_Sydney on Twitter for the latest interviews, images, videos and racing updates during the regatta.
Words: Rebekah Thornton Australian sailing