by Event media
Giles Scott, GBR, Finn class, in action at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.
The Royal Yachting Association has officially opened the entry list for the 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta being held at the Weymouth 2012 Olympic venue from 14-19 September - The seventh and final leg of the ISAF 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Sailors from around the world are expected to set course for Weymouth to test out the 2012 waters in competition, with WPNSA the first venue to be completed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The regatta is also the seventh and final leg of the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup series, so there will be tough competition for regatta places as well as overall World Cup positions.
Organisers are expecting a truly world class entry of over 500 overseas competitors who will no doubt relish the opportunity to race against Skandia Team GBR’s best on their home territory.
Event Director David Campbell-James commented: 'After the 2008 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta we are delighted now to be included as one of ISAF’s premier Olympic and Paralympic Classes regattas.'
49er in full flight in the Skandia Sail for Gold 2007 - Day 5
Last year’s event was a great success, staged just after the Beijing Olympics with over 300 competitors from 12 countries present, including many of Britain’s successful Olympians.
The 2009 regatta is expected to be bigger and better, and is once again supported by Skandia with investment from UK Sport via their National Lottery-funded World Class Events Programme.
'We’ve also boosted the spectator experience for this year’s event with attractions for all the family,' added Campbell-James. 'On finals day [19th] we will have big screen action for the spectators to watch at the Academy, and boats will also be fitted with Race-Trax tracking devices for the medal races and the screens will carry expert commentary to bring second by second action to the spectators and also live through the regatta website.'
The 2009 event also sees all the Olympic and Paralympic Classes taking part, and making its debut at Skandia Sail for Gold will be the women’s match racing event using the new Elliot 6m boats.
470 class in action at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta
'With the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy now ready as one the world's best sailing venues and the improvements being made to the event, the scene is set for the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta to become the most important regatta in the Olympic classes circuit,' commented Skandia Sponsorship Manager Tim Sewell.
'I'm really pleased that Skandia are part of this event and we’re looking forward to seeing competitors from many nations taking part and to supporting Skandia Team GBR in their 'home game'.'
Public access to the regatta site on finals day will be via free of charge tickets, bringing an early taste of Olympic and Paralympic sport to the region.
To register your regatta entry, or for spectator day tickets, visit www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk