THE Fiji Fleet 252 yesterday announced major sponsorship for its two major international events that begin at the end of this month the Air Pacific South Pacific Championships and the Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge.
Fleet 252 president Grahame Southwick said the events had drawn an exciting field of competitors three times as many as that attracted in a South Pacific Games list.
Southwick said fantastic support from Fiji’s national airline would see the Air Pacific South Pacific Championships start at the end of this month.
He said the event continued to offer exceptional and competitive flat water course racing, with several top international sailors due to arrive at the end of the month.
This year’s event moves back to Suva and will be run from the same venue as the 2007 Hobie 16 Worlds at the National Sailing Centre at Laucala Bay.
The Air Pacific South Pacific Championships will be hosted over two and a half days and see a single fleet with a target of 15 races for all crews. All racing will be run by the Fiji Yachting Association in accordance with the IHRA sailing rules.
The 2008 Air Pacific South Pacific Championships starts with a welcoming function on August 28, with sailing from Friday morning through to early afternoon Sunday, or sooner if 15 races have successfully been completed.
In another major development, Southwick announced the launch of an inaugural survival event the Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge that will test the skills of top international and local sailors against the Fiji elements.
He welcomed the support shown by Suzuki towards the event, which will come straight off the back of the Air Pacific South Pacific Championships.
The Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge is a five-day ocean sailing race that will visit some of the least developed and most beautiful parts of the Fiji coast and inshore waters.
The five-day endurance ocean race will cover waters off the Suva Peninsula, Lomaiviti Waters and the seas around Beqa, testing the fitness and sailing skills of all sailors.
The Suzuki Fiji Hobie Challenge starts on Monday, September 1, and finish on the Friday, September 5.
Southwick said both events were being held in the midst of the tradewinds season to maximise the likelihood of fair sailing conditions”.