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London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition – Four more nations qualify

by ISAF on 14 May 2012
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London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition is being held in Great Britain from 29th July to 12th August. Bermuda, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia have become the latest nations to qualify for the Games after the 49er, Laser and Star Worlds.

With four qualification regattas remaining, 54 countries have now guaranteed their spot in the boat park at Weymouth and Portland.

Five spots were up for grabs at the 49er World Championships in Zadar, Croatia and all were taken when the fleet split into Gold, Silver and Bronze with Bermuda, Canada, Greece, Italy and Japan making the cut.

For Bermudan brothers Jesse and Zander Kirkland it was a dream come true, 'Three years ago Zander and I set the goal of London 2012 in the 49er and through so much hard work, sacrifice and perseverance we got here,' helm Jesse said. 'A big thanks to a core group of dedicated supporters that have been with us from the beginning.

'It was definitely one of the more stressful days in both of our lives to date with so much at stake! The points were tight throughout the top of the fleet, including all of our competition for qualifying before racing today. But we had a great day on the water.'

The brothers add Bermuda’s name to the list of nations already qualified for London 2012.

With the Laser fleet set to be the largest at London 2012, 12 qualification places were up for grabs during their Worlds in Boltenhagen, Germany.

Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Thailand, Tunisia and Ukraine were the first to guarantee a spot at London 2012 when the fleet was split.

But Colombia, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and Venezuela had to do it the hard way to secure qualification. Mexico’s Ricardo Montemayor took the final spot after he finished two points clear of El Salvador’s Enrique Arathoon who could not quite take advantage of the Mexicans final race disqualification.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Andrew Lewis will put his country on the sailing map at London 2012 after he put his heartache from missing Beijing 2008 qualification behind him. Lewis said, 'Words can’t express the joy I feel right now. It's been a long road, and at times very difficult. I was heartbroken in 2008 having missed qualifying for Beijing. I made up my mind to bounce back and work twice as hard.

'I've dreamed of representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Olympics since I was 14, and I am blessed to have attained it through the help of my team, sponsors, family, friends and well-wishers. This is an honour to make my country proud.'

At the Star Worlds in Hyeres, France just four Olympic tickets were up for grabs. Denmark’s Michael Hestbaek and Claus Olesen made sure of their spot after they finished third. Croatia, Greece and New Zealand also guaranteed their spots for London 2012 and for the Kiwis their qualification ensures they will have sailors in each Nations Sailors ISAF website

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