Get swept up in the action … Cup sails back into Melbourne!

A fleet of sail boats made its way up the Yarra River and into Melbourne this morning, spectacularly heralding the arrival of one of the worlds’ most prestigious sailing events.

Sail Melbourne Chairman Bruce Griffiths was joined by sailing hero John Bertrand, Australian sporting legend Ron Barassi, Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page and the Face of Ladies Day Klara Lisy to welcome the Cup back to Melbourne.

After its outstanding success last year the first leg of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup will once again set sail in Melbourne, Australia. With increased action on and off the water, an even bigger Sail Melbourne will be held in the state-of-the art surroundings of Sandringham Yacht Club from December 12 – 18, 2010.

The event is the first stop of the Cup with teams then heading off to Miami, Palma, Hyeres, Medemblik and Kiel before finishing at Weymouth, England – the London 2012 Olympic venue, in September.

As some of the world’s top sailing talent take to the water, the international sporting event promises an increased array of engaging lifestyle events and attractions on-shore, offering an exciting and diverse range of entertainment.

Sail Melbourne Chairman, Bruce Griffiths said: “Each year our aim is to create a bigger and better experience for sailors, sponsors and spectators alike. The success of last year’s event has provided us with a solid foundation on which to build. It just goes to show Victorians embrace sailing as one of Australia’s major sports and the Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne as a must-do event during Melbourne’s summer.”

Sailing hero John Bertrand said: “We are delighted to welcome some of the worlds’ greatest Olympic sailors to Melbourne. Having an event as prestigious as this in the city helps build local support and recognition for the sport. Sail Melbourne is also Australia’s most important Olympic and Youth Class sailing event and provides an ongoing platform for aspiring young sailors to compete in a world class event alongside their sailing heroes. Port Phillip Bay is considered one of the finest racing venues in the world and will provide a stunning backdrop for a world event.”

As displays of world class Olympic sailing are seen on the water, a thrilling program of interactive events will take place on shore with fashion, fun and summer spirit incorporated across all aspects of the lifestyle driven sports entertainment platform. The marine driven carnival will include a fun family day, glamorous Ladies Day in aid of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and an exclusive Lifestyle Party.

Sail Melbourne Event Development Manager Kate Allen said: “I’m delighted with how our vision for the Sailing World Cup is coming together. Along with our partners we are successfully building the event into a true sports entertainment platform that can be enjoyed in equal measure by the sailing community and the wider public. I hope people are inspired to come along, get involved and have fun.”

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