Thursday, 2 June 2011
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is on the doorstep to some of the best sailing waters in the world. Image copyright Tom Martin.
by ISAF media
Over 1,000 sailors from 62 nations will make their way to Weymouth for the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, the sixth of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas, from the 6-11 June 2011.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings were shaken up after the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, the Netherlands last week after some early leaders were dethroned. And with many of the worlds top sailors making the trip to Weymouth there will be further changes come the end of the week.
Delta Lloyd Regatta winners in the 49er, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR), were one of the biggest movers in the Standings, moving from 14th to fourth. The pair will sail in Weymouth but with the entire top ten in the Standings all registered to sail they will face a battle to record back to back regatta victories.
Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell (DEN) came fourth in the Netherlands to move to the top of Standings. The Danes are yet to finish on the podium in the three ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas they have sailed in, but they have shown consistency which sees them lead World #1 Austrian sailors Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch by one point.
Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE runners up and Semaine Olympique Française winners Pietro Sibello and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) have shown some fantastic form this ISAF Sailing World Cup season with their two podium finishes. They will sail in Weymouth alongside an excellent fleet which also includes World #2 John Pink and Richard Peacock (GBR) and the experienced Australian sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.
There will be an equally impressive Men’s and Women’s RS:X fleet taking to the water in Weymouth.
Men’s RS:X Standings leaders Ricardo Santos (BRA), in first on 47 points, Shahar Zubari (ISR), on 43 points in second and the third placed Aichen Wang (CHN) with 41 points will line up in the 87 strong fleet.
However the leaders will face a tough task to maintain their position with World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR), World #2 Piotr Myszka (POL) and World #3 Julien Bontemps (FRA) registered to sail in what will be an intriguing week of racing in all the fleets.
Sixty sailors will also compete in the Women’s RS:X fleet. Among them will be a seven strong Chinese team that includes Sail Melbourne victor Huali Zhu and Delta Lloyd Regatta winner Li Ling.
There will also be an interesting battle between ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP) and Marina Alabau (ESP). The Spaniards share three regatta victories between them during the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup with Alabau having the better of her compatriot.
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) have won three World Cup Regattas this year and have a commanding lead in the Star Standings. They will sail in Weymouth. The second placed Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen (GER) and America’s Andrew Campbell and Ian Coleman (USA), in third, will be looking to gain some ground on the Brazilians in Weymouth.
The Women’s Match Racing competition ended in dramatic fashion at the Delta Lloyd Regatta with Renee Groeneveld (NED) clinching a last gasp victory over Silja Lehtinen (FIN). Nonetheless Lehtinen leads the Standings by one point over Groeneveld. Both will sail in Weymouth and will go against Americans Sally Barkow and Anna Tunnicliffe, World #1 Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and a whole host of women’s match racers.
With many experienced sailors heading to Weymouth in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the sailing will be hard and competitive throughout the week.