Sailing & Events
IFDS Disabled Sailing International Championship
19 - 26 March 2011
Homerus Blind Match Racing
New Format for Blind Match Racing debuts in Perth, Western Australia
Royal Perth Yacht Club has now released the Notice of Race for the IFDS Disabled Sailing International Championship, 2011, Homerus Blind Match Racing. The event will be held on the Swan River from March 19 to 26 next year.
In July, the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) formally requested the International Paralympic Committee introduce blind match racing as a new discipline within the Paralympic Sailing Competition commencing in 2016. While this is yet to be confirmed, the IFDS Blind Match Racing Championship next March will be the first opportunity that teams have to experience the proposed format.
The IFDS Blind Match Racing Championship will be sailed in Sonar keelboats using the Homerus Autonomous Sailing system. Three "beeping buoys", each with a unique signal, set out the course and each boat has its own sound signal that changes when on port or starboard tack.
A crew of three sailors classified as B1, B2 or B3 under the IBSA Classification System will make-up teams with a collective maximum of 5 IBSA points. The helmsperson must be classification B1 and the gender is mixed, with a minimum of one female and one male team member. A sighted observer appointed by the race committee is also aboard.
An Appendix CBS (Appendix C for Blind Sailing) has been developed for the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing to accommodate the specific needs of this sailor group. The event will be ISAF Graded and many of the blind sailors are already included within the ISAF sailor match race rankings.
Teams are expected from Italy, Great Britain, New Zealand, Israel, Spain, the USA and Australia. Kylie Forth, with Ryan Honschooten (main) and Erin McGlew (headsail) all from Royal Perth Yacht Club, are hoping to make the most of their home-town advantage.
Forth and McGlew contested the B1 division of the IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championships on Lake Garda in June, finishing fourth behind Spain and two Italian teams. In 2007 & 2008, Forth & Honschooten teamed up for the Homerus International Championships. Previous Blind Match Racing events have been sailed with a two-person crew.
Luigi Bertanza from Italy, who has claimed the major trophies in fleet racing and match racing events and was winner of the B1 division of the 2010 IFDS Blind Match Racing World Championships sailing with Sylvia Parente. Bertanza is expected to assemble an experienced team relying on the many years of event experience available to Italian blind sailors.
This is a new format, however, and that may provide some surprises. It will certainly provide some exciting racing at an outstanding venue.
For more information about the event, visit the
Royal Perth Yacht Club's Website