Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011 show time

by Nicky Moore on 6 Jun 2011
Skandia Sail for Gold onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta 2011 starts tomorrow Monday 6th June at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue.

There are 418 days to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games. Between now and then, there are two events that have been in marked in the diary in red ink for every ambitious sailor en route to the London Opening Ceremony. One of them starts in 56 days time when the Pre-Olympics. The entry will mirror the Olympic Games, with just one competitor allowed from each nation in each class of boat.

The other event starts tomorrow, and it’s Skandia Sail for Gold.

Skandia Sail for Gold is the sixth and penultimate event on this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup schedule, reason enough to make it important. But this year, it’s also a big deal for a whole set of other reasons and they are all connected to the venue – the 2012 race courses out on Weymouth Bay. The limited entry for the Pre-Olympics means that for many this is the only chance to race for real at the next Games venue this year.

It wouldn’t matter much if these were 100m runners, or discus throwers, or even equestrians - but for sailors, understanding the open water race courses with all their nuances of geography and oceanography is of fundamental importance to success. An international regatta, in Olympic classes, at the Olympic venue, just over a year ahead of the Games with an open entry. How could anyone with Olympic ambitions fail to be here?

When registration closed on Sunday afternoon 735 boats and 1,050 individual sailors in 62 nations had arrived to contest the 13 different classes. The entry list includes ten of 13 gold medallists from the 2008 Games in Beijing. Everyone, but everyone, in Olympic sailing is in Portland this week.

The venue is just one reason for the importance of Skandia Sail for Gold 2011. Victory this week would be an important psychological blow to the competition. Elite sport is largely played out in the minds of the competitors, and putting a marker down now could pay serious dividends in 418 days time.

And then there’s the matter of selection, performance out on the Olympic race course will be a crucial indicator in the eyes of those given the task of selecting their teams – but quite how crucial is often shrouded in mystery. Skandia Team GBR are particularly cagey about how much a good Skandia Sail for Gold result would count towards ultimate Olympic selection, releasing only a limited statement to the effect that ‘the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) does not put its selection criteria in the public domain as it believes through past experience that its system of selection gives the GBR team a competitive advantage.’

When you’ve been top nation at the last three Olympics you’re entitled to protect your MO, but even the legendarily guarded Stephen ‘Sparky’ Park – Skandia Team GBR’s manager - has admitted that Skandia Sail for Gold is both part of the 2012 selection trials, and that the top British competitor in each class this week will be the most likely selection for the Pre-Olympics. After that, it’s all punditry and speculation...

The New Zealanders are amongst the other cautious Olympic sailing superpowers, as are their cousins across the Tasman; Yachting Australia takes the rather bald view that, ‘All events are considered selection, every event is an opportunity to qualify.’ The Americans are rather more open, explaining that Skandia Sail for Gold 2011 and the ISAF World Championships in Perth, Western Australia, in December comprise their selection trials for all classes (bar the Women’s Match Racing).

The Irish and Polish also state that Skandia Sail for Gold is part of their selection process, while for others like the Netherlands it depends on the level of competition in that particular class. Where there is more than one Dutch contender, Skandia Sail for Gold is one of several ISAF World Cup events that will be used to score points towards a performance-based selection criteria - not much mystique about that one, then. But whether the criteria are published or shrouded in secrecy, there’s no doubt that the word ‘selection’ will be on everyone’s lips, while their eyes will be on the prize – coming back to Weymouth to compete for gold in 56, and then 418 days time.

Course Tracking: Please note on Monday 6th June, tracking will be on the Finn and Star classes. You can follow the tracking on the event website. For Smart Phone users please click here

Skandia Sail for Gold website
Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignMackay Boats

Related Articles

Kiel to host 2017 Para World Sailing Championships
Kiel's announcement as the host falls less than one month after World Sailing released the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The Plan outlines four main priorities as well tactics to achieve the goals, ensuring World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
Kiel to host 2017 Para World Sailing Championships
Kiel's announcement as the host falls less than one month after World Sailing released the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The Plan outlines four main priorities as well tactics to achieve the goals, ensuring World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
Kiel to host 2017 Para World Sailing Championships
Kiel's announcement as the host falls less than one month after World Sailing released the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. The Plan outlines four main priorities as well tactics to achieve the goals, ensuring World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
Extreme Sailing Series™ adopts the Flying Phantom Series
The partnership with Series organisers OC Sport will see the Flying Phantoms take flight at many European Series Acts The partnership with Series organisers OC Sport, will see the Flying Phantoms take flight at a number of the European Series Acts, which will be staged on some of the most iconic patches of water in the world.
Posted today at 12:17 pm
Vendée Globe – Le Cleac'h chops over five days off Cape Leeuwin record
Armel Le Cleac'h has smashed the race record for the passage from Les Sables d'Olonne to Cape Leeuwin by over five days Armel Le Cleac'h should today smash the race record for the passage from Les Sables d'Olonne to Cape Leeuwin by somewhere around five and a half days.
Posted today at 11:24 am
Vendee Globe - Colman has serious fire and near-capsize + Video
New Zealand/US sailor, Conrad Colman has had to deal with a nightmare scenario, when fire broke out New Zealand/US sailor, Conrad Colman has had to deal with a nightmare scenario, when fire broke out aboard Foresight Natural Energy followed by a near-capsize after the auto-pilot lost power and crash gybed the 60fter. 'I went outside to take a reef and when I came back inside I saw black smoke and yellow flames leaping from behind the chart table. One of the solar charge controllers was burning'
Posted today at 10:50 am
America’s Cup Endeavour Junior Hobie Wave Race to be held in Bermuda
Teams from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden will race in Bermuda. Hobie has provided Waves for the use of school-aged kids in Bermuda, New York, Chicago, and Toulon. The kids see the America’s Cup boats and then the Hobie Wave and instantly get the connection.
Posted today at 10:08 am
Sailing World Cup - Final on 60 years to the day of Melbourne Olympics
On 5 December 1956, the Melbourne Olympic Games sailing competition drew to a close On 5 December 1956, the Melbourne Olympic Games sailing competition drew to a close with some tense final races across the five classes. Scandinavian sailors came out on top winning three of five golds and legends such as Paul Elvstrom (DEN) and Peter Mander and Jack Cropp (NZL) etched their names into the history books.
Posted today at 8:47 am
Sailing World Cup - Final on 60 years to the day of Melbourne Olympics
On 5 December 1956, the Melbourne Olympic Games sailing competition drew to a close On 5 December 1956, the Melbourne Olympic Games sailing competition drew to a close with some tense final races across the five classes. Scandinavian sailors came out on top winning three of five golds and legends such as Paul Elvstrom (DEN) and Peter Mander and Jack Cropp (NZL) etched their names into the history books.
Posted today at 8:47 am
Extreme GC32's training action-shots by Beth Morley
Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on the Harbour yesterday Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on Harbour yesterday.
Posted today at 7:26 am