Crack field sets sail for Fifteens glory
SIX existing and former world champions, including current title-holder Roger Craddock, will take part in this month's International Flying Fifteens World Championships in Clearwater Bay.
New Zealand's Craddock won on Whiffler in last year's World Championship and is one of five Kiwi crews competing in the regatta from October 23-30.
Alan Bax, the 1990 champion, and 1992 winner Rupert Mander, both from Great Britain are joined by Australia's 1982 and 1984 world champions Peter Gale and Graeme Lillingston.
The 61-boat field also includes Ian Barker, a previous 505 world champion.
Hong Kong will field 17 boats led by Asian Games bronze medallist Cheung Mei-han and her crew Lusela Tung on Gaffer.
Cheung teamed up with Ida Cheung to win the bronze medal in the 470 class at last year's Asian Games in Hiroshima.
Ida Cheung only competed in the Asian Games as an emergency substitute after Tung had broken her arm in a sailing accident.
Although Cheung and Tung are competing in their first Flying Fifteens World Championship, they are using the event as part of their preparations for next year's Olympics in Atlanta.
'In terms of building up to the Olympics, this event is not really crucial. But it is important in terms of getting international experience against the world's best sailors in a big fleet,' said Cheung.
Cheung added that her appearance in the Olympics is not guaranteed.
'Hong Kong have a place in the Olympics, but we have to get good results to justify our selection.' Hong Kong will also be represented by the Hong Kong Yachting Association president, Bertie de Speville, who is also the ICAC chief.