Britain’s sailors are top of the leader board in the ISAF World Cup Sailing Series, a sporting achievement tht we Brits can be proud of in light of recent southern hemisphere events.
August 9 to 14 will see the final Sailing World Cup event – the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta – hit Weymouth and Portland, and with the French and the Aussies snapping at the Brits’ heels it’ s shaping up to be a real nail biter.
Skandia Team GBR have landed 24 World Cup medals in total since the opening round in Melbourne last December, with Ed Wright (Finn) in pole position to retain his overall 2009 World Cup Series crown at Sail for Gold having already landed two golds in Miami and Palma.
Women’s Match Racing silvers for Lucy Macgregor’s crew at Miami and Holland also sees them in the driving seat to finish atop the 2010 standings with a good showing at Sail for Gold.
A number of Britain’s leading Skandia Team GBR medal hopes have made no secret of their desire to establish home rule at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy where the 2012 Olympic events will take place.
Beijing 2008 Laser champion Paul Goodison said: “I went into Beijing unbeaten at the Olympic venue in Qingdao, now it’s my goal to go into London 2012 unbeaten at the Olympic venue. That starts in August.”
49er helm Paul Brotherton added: “Mark (Asquith) and I are doing an Olympic campaign and we want to establish a history of doing well on the waters at Weymouth and Portland not as any statement of intent to anyone else but for ourselves and our own confidence.”
Both Goodison and Brotherton/ Asquith have already picked up 2010 ISAF World Cup gold medals this season at Hyeres in April, which was round four of the seven event series.
Spectators are welcome throughout the week but Saturday 14 August is official Spectator Day. The races will be beamed live on to a giant screen with commentary from past sailing champions and media experts, and interviews with the medal-winning sailors as they come off the water after their medal race.
If you wish to attend Spectator Day you should complete a registration form at www. skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk.
Refreshments and popular brands including Lazy Jacks, Crewsaver, Cosworth, Allen Brothers, Shock Sailing, Xtremity and more will be found in the regatta village.
With more than 1,000 spectators attending Skandia Sail for Gold last year the figure is set to rise this year as the London 2012 buzz really starts to ramp up.
If you can’t make it down to the Olympic venue, you can follow the action live on the official event website – www.skandiasailforgoldregatta. co.uk – featuring real-time 2D and 3D race tracking as well as vodcasts and interviews. Sail for Gold Radio will broadcast to the wider Weymouth area for the duration of regatta.
Racing will also be streamed live though the event website on Saturday 14 August.
Racing starts on Monday 9 August and is scheduled to finish with all ten final Olympic Classes races on Saturday 14 August. Racing takes place across all 13 Olympic and Paralympic classes with Paralympic medals decided on Friday 13 August.
This year the event is of double significance. Many will see their rewards for a season’s hard graft come to fruition – but two years out from the London Games those with 2012 medal intentions will also want to lay down an early gauntlet to their closest rivals on the Olympic racetrack.
Get the lowdown on Skandia Team GBR and mug up on the team before the event by joining the supporters club at www.rya.org.uk/supportcrew. You’ll find exclusive up-to-date video, blogs, images and behind-the-scenes access to the team.