Ten Nations Contest Access Worlds news article
The Bruce Wake 2010 Access Class World Championships and SKUD18 International Championships are now underway. The event is being hosted by Rutland Sailing Club in the English Midlands until Friday 11 June and has attracted 100 competitors comprising 82 entries from 10 countries.
Competitors prepare for the Access Worlds (Photo: IACA)
There are almost 1800 Access Class boats sailing around the world and National Class Associations in 10 countries. The Access 2.3 is an ISAF International Class, whilst the 303 and Liberty are ISAF Recognised Classes. Access 2.3 and 303 fleets throughout the UK and Europe continue to grow, with the majority of boats used in Sailability programmes. The UK Access Class Association has run a traveller series for several years, attracting a growing number of keen racers.
The SKUD 18 is the two-person equipment for the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition and is regularly sailed on Rutland Water. The largest, fastest and most spectacular of the Access Classes, the SKUD will be a feature of the event and sail an International Championships.
26 sailors from 6 nations will contest the Access 2.3 single person division. Angus MacGregor (AUS), Bruno Pereira (POR) and Monique Foster (GBR) will be competitors to keep an eye on. Angus has been dominant in recent competitions in Australia and Japan over his older brother Duncan who is reigning World Champion. Bruno recently won the Portugal National Championships and won the 2009 European Championships. Monique has been progressing up the ranks in the UK competition and was runner up in the 2.3s at the European Championships in France last year.
Tessa Watkiss (GBR) was the winner of the 2009 UK Class Traveller Trophy for the 303 single person division, placing top 3 in every heat she contested. She is probably favourite for this competition, but Zoltan Pegan (HUN) is a seasoned competitor successful in a range of classes and sailors like Chris Ruston (AUS) and Luca Mantovani (ITA) could provide an upset. 17 sailors from 8 nations are contesting this division.
Reigning World Champions, Eva Mircsev & Zoltan Pegan (HUN) are defending their 303 two person title in Rutland, but Christopher Moleworth & Mark Alton (GBR) have a home ground advantage. The pair from Swarkestone took four wins in a row to claim the UK National Championship in 2009 and will surely challenge the Hungarians. Cedric Castaldi & Michelle Germain (FRA) and Lachlan & Tony Clear (AUS) are also expected to be keeping the pressure on at the top of the list of 17 teams from 6 nations.
Barry Coates (AUS) is aiming for a World Championship win in the Access Liberty (Photo: IACA)
Australian Liberty Champion, Barry Coates, is hungry for a World Title. Runner-up in the 2007 and 2009 Worlds, the Liberty World Championship has been tantalizingly close but so far eluded the 70 something year old Queensland sailor. Magali Moraines (FRA) also spoilt Barry’s plans in Port Camargue last year, winning the inaugural European Championships and she will be aiming to do the same again. But both Moraines and Coates need to consider the local competition.
David Durston (GBR) claimed the 2009 UK Class Traveller Trophy for the Liberty with four heat wins and close behind was servo sailor Melvin Kinnear (GBR). Vera Voorbach (NED) and Wilma van den Broek (NED) are two experienced Liberty servo sailors who are also capable of podium places. There are 16 competitors from 5 countries in the Liberty fleet.
SKUD 18 teams from France, Ireland and Australia will come up against seven GBR crews in Rutland, with the UK’s 2008 Paralympic representatives, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell, as the hot favourites.
Zoltan Pegan & Eva Mircsev (HUN) will defend the World Championship title at Rutland Sailing Club (Photo: IACA)
Overall, the Bruce Wake 2010 Access Class World Championships and SKUD18 International Championships are shaping up to be the strongest competition in the Access classes ever seen. The venue is ideal and organisation of the event, strongly supported by Rutland Sailability, has been first class.
Rutland Water is one of the largest man-made stretches of water in Europe and set in some of Britain's loveliest countryside. Conditions are similar to estuary sailing, with over 3000 acres (1215 hectares) of reasonably sheltered water but without the tides. Rutland Sailability is the longest established Access sailing club in the United Kingdom and has superb facilities for sailors with disabilities. More details can be found on www.rutlandsc.co.uk.
The organisers have been very fortunate to secure sponsorship from the Bruce Wake Charitable Trust, set up and endowed by the late Mr Bruce Wake who was a keen sailor until he became disabled. This has enabled costs to competitors to be kept as low as possible.
Results and event information is published on the ACA(UK) website www.accessclass.org.uk. Five days of racing commences this Monday June 7.