The Australian Championships, which include Laser 4.7, Laser Radial (men’s and women’s) and Laser Standard rigs, are expected to attract large fleets as Australian and international sailors prepare for the World and Masters World Championships later in the summer.
As all eyes turn towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Australia’s leading men’s and women’s Laser sailors will also use the Australian Championships to push for Olympic team selection.
In the men’s Standard division, 2016 Olympic Champion Tom Burton has been under pressure from compatriot Matthew Wearn to retain his Olympic spot. Both will represent their country at the Olympic Test Event at Enoshima in August of this year and both are expected to line up at the Australian Championships in January.
The battle for the Women’s Laser Radial spot at Tokyo is also intense, with young Queenslander Mara Stransky winning selection for the Test Event after two top 10 finishes in Europe pushed her ahead of four other strong prospects. Stransky has confirmed that the Australian Championships are an important part of her preparations for the 2020 World Championships in February, at the same venue, where her closest competitors will also try to put their names in the selectors’ minds.
Victorian Laser Association President, John d’Helin said that it wasn’t just the “elite” sailors who would be lining up for the Championships, however. “I’ve heard from a number of middle-of-the-pack sailors and also from a few newcomers to the class, saying they can’t wait to get out on the water with the top sailors. It’s a rare chance for the Laser community, whatever their level of sailing, to take part in major events. I think that’s one of the beauties of our sport – Joe Average can be out there sailing with Olympic and World Champions, and having just as much fun.”
The Victorian Association has a solid program of social events planned for the summer and, thanks to major sponsor Visit Victoria, will also be distributing information about the many places to visit and things to do in the Port Phillip area and greater Victoria.
Win a New Laser
Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA) will produce 160 new Lasers to cater for the demand from international and interstate competitors who intend sailing at the Australian, Oceania and World Championships.
The company is also offering early entrants in the Australian Championships the chance to win a brand new Laser with carbon top section, a beach dolly and the winner’s choice of rig. To be in the draw, all they have to do is get their entry in prior to August 31, 2019.
Sailors planning to enter the Australian Championships, Sail Melbourne and any of the World events are also encouraged to visit www.laser2020.com where they can download the Laser2020 app and sign up to receive newsletters which will contain updates on the events, guides to sailing at both Sandringham and Geelong, information on the social program, special offers on tours and sightseeing, and valuable sailing tips from expert coaches.
The full Laser 2020 program is:
- Australian Championships, Sandringham Yacht Club, January 1-8, 2020.
- Oceania Championships in conjunction with Sail Melbourne, Sandringham Yacht Club, January 17-21, 2020.
- ILCA Standard Men’s World Championship, Sandringham Yacht Club, February 9-16, 2020.
- ILCA Men’s and Women’s Laser Radial Championships, Sandringham Yacht Club, February 21-28, 2020.
- Oceania and Australian Laser Masters Championships, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, March 13-18, 2020.
- ILCA Laser Masters World Championships, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, March 19-28, 2020.
Major sponsors of the Laser2020 program are Visit Victoria and Performance Sailcraft Australia.