Thursday 9 September 2010

Sunseeker Australia Cup; a WMRT Qualifier

by John Roberson

The Sunseeker Australia Cup, to be sailed on the Swan River in November, has been confirmed as the final qualifying event for the World Match Racing Championships, to be held in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

This will give Australia’s premier international match racing regatta a significant boost to its standing on the world scene, making it a “must attend” event for any ambitious skipper who has yet to qualify for the World Championships.

The Sunseeker Australia Cup, which will be hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club and Swan River Sailing from 24th to 27th November, is already attracting the attention of some of the world’s very best skippers.

“Mathieu Richard of the French Match Racing Team has been in touch with us already,” said Swan River Sailing’s Skip Lissiman, “he is so far ahead on the World Tour he doesn’t need to come here to qualify, but he wants to.”

“What this accolade means to the Sunseeker Australia Cup, is that the best performing skipper here, who hasn’t already qualified for the worlds, will get an automatic entry,” explained Lissiman.

The event is also a perfect warm-up opportunity for the World Championships, being held the week before the Malaysian regatta, and using identical boats, so the organisers are expecting a rush of interest from the world’s best skippers in the coming weeks.

Already committed to defending the trophy he won last year, is local skipper Torvar Mirsky, who not only joins an illustrious list of previous winners, but is also the latest in an impressive line of Western Australian skippers who have performed at world class level.

The Australia Cup was introduced in 1982 to hone the match racing skills of John Bertrand before what was to be the historic Australia II campaign for the America’s Cup in 1983. It obviously worked, and the America’s Cup became Australia’s America’s Cup for the first time.

Since then the list of winners, whose names are engraved on the trophy, includes many others who have made their name through the America’s Cup, as well as Olympic medallists and world champions.

Previous Australia Cup Winners

1982 – John Bertrand, AUS
1983 – Muaro Pelaschier, ITA
1984 – Harold Cudmore, GBR
1985 – Colin Beashel, AUS
1986 – Colin Beashel, AUS
1987 – Peter Gilmour, AUS
1988 – World Championships in Perth
1989 – Peter Gilmour, AUS
1990 – Chris Dickson, NZL
1991 – Rod Davis, NZL
1992 – Chris Law, GBR
1993 – Rod Davis, NZL
1994 – Rod Davis, NZL
1995 – Jesper Bank, DEN
1996 – Peter Gilmour, AUS
1997 – Chris Law, GBR
1998 – Dean Barker, NZL
1999 – Gavin Brady, NZL
2000 – Peter Gilmour, JPN
2001 – Peter Gilmour, USA
2009 – Torvar Mirsky, AUS

Sunseeker Australia Cup