A record-breaking 50 entries have now been received for the RS500 World Championship. The competition forms part of the RS Games, one of the biggest dinghy racing events ever held, which is set to take place this August at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth.
The 50th entry came from Netherlands sailors, Barend Hilterman and Max Blom, who were last year's bronze medallists, and who recently won the RS500 Easter Garda Cup event in Italy.
With nearly every team from the top ten places in the 2010 RS500 World Championship now signed up to compete in this year's event, the battle for the podium places is going to be tough. The current UK National and World Champions, Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin, Norwich, will be looking to defend their titles.
Competition is expected to be fierce throughout the fleet, with a number of titles up for grabs, in particular that of Women's Champion; some seven all-female teams are set to compete, including a double Olympian, Debbie Darling and her daughter Charlie.
The title of Youth Champion will also be hotly contested with at least seven eligible teams under the age of 19 when the event starts. Quite a few will fancy their chances but they will all have to reckon with the hot favourite, last year's RS Feva Worlds bronze medalist from Italy, Matteo Pilati and his brother Flavio Pilati. Competition will also come from a number of sailors from Abingdon Schools, whilst a team from Hong Kong has also entered.
The RS500 World Championship competitors will be joined by around 700 competitors in eight other RS classes, with each fleet competing for their own separate championship series. With the multi-class extravaganza expected to attract several hundred spectators, there's no doubt that the RS500 World Championships will be one of the highlight events and the racing is predicted to be nail-biting to the finish.
Whilst on the water competition will be fierce, the friendliness and fun of this sporting event will be the real measure of success. Last year's winning RS500 crew made it their business to help every boat out of the water and give advice to all! Whether expecting silverware or not, the organisers are promising an enjoyable event for everyone involved. Add in the spice of a superb programme being put together for the whole RS Games and this will be a fleet to be part of.
Further information and details of how to enter the RS Games can be found under individual class pages here