The 2008 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series gets underway this weekend giving sailors - whether current RYA Olympic Development Squad members or future hopefuls - the chance to test their mettle at the home of the 2012 Olympic Regatta.
Racing will take place in the Finn, 470 (men’s and women’s )and 49er classes at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) and competitors will be keen to stake an early season claim for an overseas regatta grant or put themselves on the radar of selectors for future RYA Olympic Development Squad selection.
With the Spring Series compulsory for all RYA Olympic Development and Transition squad members, this weekend should see a number of young sailors who have enjoyed World Championships experience Down Under this winter returning to home waters.
Among the young Skandia Team GBR talent set to be on parade at WPNSA include Dave Evans, who alongside Alex Hopson, finished 16th at the 49er World Championships in Australia last month, Luke Patience and Chris Grube who took 18th spot at the 470 Worlds and Ed Greig, also 18th at the Finn Gold Cup.
Barrie Edgington, RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager, said: “For some of the young competitors, the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series marks the start of their Weymouth 2012 focus while for others it is simply the first opportunity to gets the covers off their Finn, 470 or 49er or the next chance to win an overseas regatta grant.
“UK events at the 2012 venue will take on an increasingly heightened significance in the build up to the Olympic Games in four years’ time.”
This weekend marks the first of two 2008 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series events, the second taking place at Hayling Island Sailing Club on 10-11 May.
The first race is scheduled to start at WPNSA at midday on Saturday 23 February with registration taking place no later than 10am. Entries will be accepted at registration.