by Nicky Moore
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is being held from 4th to 9th June 2012 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the host venue for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing regattas.
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas from Great Britain racing in the Sonar class on day 4 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011
Entries for the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta are now open, with an ‘early entry discount’ available to those who get their entries in before the 30th April 2012. To enter online or download the Notice of Race visit the event website, which is now live.
All 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes will compete across seven courses in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, in what will be the seventh installment of Skandia Sail for Gold.
'Tougher competition than the Olympics' was Ben Ainslie’s summary of Skandia Sail for Gold 2011, and we can expect this years competition to be even fiercer, as the worlds best sailors – who by then should know if they have be chosen to represent their countries at the 2012 Games – battle to leave their mark on the Olympic waters for the last time before the Olympic showdown.
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2012 is also the penultimate event of the 2011-12 ISAF World Cup series, meaning sailors will be looking to consolidate their place in the Series standings before the final takes place in Kiel, Germany just one week after Skandia Sail for Gold.
Laser class fleet on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011
With a limited number of entries for the Laser Radial, only 80 places will be available in contrast to 120 in 2011, and the Women’s Match Racing restricted to 18 entries, competitors are advised to register early. Entries received before the 30th April 2012 will qualify for the early entry fee. All other on-line entries must be received no later than 21st May 2012, other than the Women’s Match Racing for which all applications must be received by the 30th April. Successful applicants for the Match Racing will be informed by 5th May 2012 and on-line payment must be received no later than 21st May 2012.
Skandia remains onboard as title sponsor for the event. The Southampton-based long term investment company is well known for its support of sailing, having been title sponsor since the event’s inception in 2006.
Jo Rimmer, Skandia’s Head of Brand Marketing said: 'In terms of excitement, this year promises to be a real white knuckle ride. The eyes of the world will be on all the top sailors and the pressure will be on to do well and get on the podium.'
Alongside Skandia, UK Sport continues as an official event partner. Skandia Sail for Gold is part of UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme, which distributes around £3.5 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers.
RYA Event Director Tim Hall commented, 'I think it is safe to say that this is the most important sailing regatta of 2012 besides the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is the last opportunity for sailors to experience the sailing waters and conditions in Weymouth and Portland before the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. We are well prepared to give the sailors and their support teams a fantastic experience both on and off the water with World Class race management and event organisation at the Olympic and Paralympic venue.'
Esther Nicholls, Head of Major Events at UK Sport, added: 'UK Sport is committed to bringing world class sporting events to the UK ahead of London 2012, and this event is part of what we believe to be the most comprehensive pre-Games events programme ever staged by an Olympic and Paralympic host nation.
'Skandia Sail for Gold 2012 will provide an invaluable opportunity for British athletes to experience international competition on home waters, to prepare them for their home Olympic Games, as well as a chance to build on the event staging capabilities of the sport.'
Schedule of Events:
Friday 1st June – Event office opens for registration
Sunday 3rd June – Briefing for coaches and team leaders
Sunday 3rd June – Meeting with umpires – Women’s Match Racing
Sunday 3rd June – Opening Ceremony
Monday 4th June – Racing day 1
Tuesday 5th June – Racing day 2
Wednesday 6th June – Racing day 3
Thursday 7th June – Racing day 4
Friday 8th June – Racing day 5 (final day of racing for Paralympic classes)
Saturday 9th June – Medal Races (no warning signal after 1530)
RS:X Men’s class fleet on day 4 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta website