'RS:X Day 1 action Beijing Olympics 2008'
© Gilles Martin-Raget
Only twelve days remain until the start of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and a number of sailors who competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will make their return to China.
Qingdao hosted a memorable Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition and featured drama and tension until the very end.
Six classes make a return to the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center, Men's and Women's 470, Men's and Women's RS:X, Laser and Laser Radial with 180,000USD prize money spread across the fleets.
Among the entrants is Men's RS:X Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Shahar Zubari (ISR). The Israeli came from behind in the Men's RS:X Medal Race to pinch a bronze medal ahead of Great Britain's Nick Dempsey.
With such fond memories of Qingdao, Zubari said, 'I'm excited to go back to China and especially Qingdao. It's my first time back in Qingdao since the Olympic Games in 2008 and I'm really looking forward to going back and enjoying the great Chinese hospitality.'
Another returnee is Argentina's Juan de la Fuente who finished tenth in the Men's 470 with Javier Conte and like Zubari remembers Qingdao with affection, 'I have good memories from Qingdao with its spectacular Marina and tricky (but interesting) sailing course with variable wind intensity and lots of current that made the Games very complex.'
Juan de la Fuente will sail with Lucas Calabrese, with whom he won bronze at London 2012 with.
Poland's Kacper Zieminski will also make a first return to China and Qingdao since Beijing 2008 and is looking forward to going back, 'My memories? For sure they are good. I remember very good organisation of the event, great venue, light winds and of course fog. I am expecting different weather conditions because the race is in a different period of the years. I don't think much would have changed there because it was already very nice.'
Other notable returnees to Qingdao include London 2012 Olympic Laser silver medallist Pavlos Kontides, Beijing 2008 Women's RS:X bronze medallist Bryony Shaw and London 2012 Women's 470 gold medallist Jo Aleh.
With several other sailors making a trip back to Qingdao it will be another memorable trip to China's sailing capital for the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
Racing in Qingdao begins on 14 October through to 19 October and along with the four other ISAF Sailing World Cup venues, Melbourne, Miami, Mallorca and Hyeres, the regatta will adopt the following race format:
Schedule: Two day Qualification Series, three day Final Series with concluding final day Medal Race
Number of races: Two races per day for Laser, Finn and 470; Three races per day for skiffs, boards and multihull; One Medal race (10 boats for all classes)
ISAF SWC website
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6:31 PM Wed 2 Oct 2013GMT
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