Australia's top Olympians including gold medallist Mathew Belcher and new crewmate Will Ryan, along with the Medal Maker coach Victor Kovalenko will gather in Melbourne for the first leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, beginning on Sunday.
With only three days to go until Sail Melbourne begins, and in celebration of Australia's world class sailing year, a gold yacht was moored on the banks of the Yarra River today as the State prepares to welcome some of the world's best Olympic sailors to its shores, including Australians Olivia Price, Elise Rechichi, Krystal Weir and Brendan Casey.
The Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Hugh Delahunty MP said, "Sail Melbourne is Australia's premier international sailing regatta and is on par with major sporting events such as the Australian Tennis Open and Melbourne Grand Prix.
"We are thrilled to support the event and see Melbourne's status as an international sporting capital continue to grow as we kick off Australia's summer of sport."
Sail Melbourne, which will return to Sandringham Yacht Club December 2-8 is Australia's premier international sailing event for Olympic class yachts and will see more than 400 athletes from 27 countries compete on Port Phillip Bay.
Sail Melbourne Chairman Bruce Griffiths said, "This year we will celebrate Australia's golden moment, providing an inspirational platform for our Olympians and for the next generation of sailors as they start their Olympic dream."
Gold medallist Mathew Belcher, who just last week announced his new crewmate in the 470 class as 23-year-old Will Ryan, will compete in his first regatta since winning gold in London without former partner Malcolm Page, who retired from Olympic sailing after London 2012.
Belcher said, "Sail Melbourne has long been an important training ground for my Olympic preparation. This year I'm excited to kick off my first Olympic campaign with Will at one of my favourite regattas."
ISAF Sailing World Cup Manager, Antonio González de la Madrid commented, "Sail Melbourne has continuously delivered a world class international sailing event and is highly regarded on the international circuit.
"This year we are delighted to welcome back Sail Melbourne, as the first of four regattas and the Oceanic leg of the World Cup circuit."