SAIL FOR GOLD: British sailors look for perfect send-off at Olympic venue
BRITAIN'S Olympic bound sailors will look to secure a golden send-off at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta - although they won't have far to travel with the London 2012 regatta taking place on the same Weymouth waters next month.
STAR: Ben Ainslie will lead the British team at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, the last chance for the Olympic squad to tune up for their regatta at the same Weymouth venue (onEdition)
Team GB sailors have high hopes of success this summer after topping the medal table in Beijing with six medals, including four golds.
Skandia Team GBR’s world champions Ben Ainslie, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell are expected to be among the ones to watch in their respective Finn, 470 and Paralympic SKUD events.
Windsurfer Nick Dempsey and the Paralympic sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas will be keen to defend the titles they won at the 2011 edition of the event.
And Bryony Shaw, Paul Goodison, the 49er and 470 men’s teams of Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes and Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell and the women’s match racing trio all have proven track records in the Olympic venue, having won medals at previous editions of their home World Cup event or last year's London 2012 test event.
But with strength in depth, there will be plenty of British sailors overlooked for selection who will hope to prove a point at the penultimate ISAF World Cup regatta of the season.
“Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is going to be one of, if not the most competitive ISAF World Cup regatta this year,” said Stephen Park, Team GB's sailing team leader Stephen Park.
“Naturally we would expect that all of the competitors who’ll be taking part in the Games will be racing here. We know that a number of countries will be using this event as their final selection event for sailors for their teams.
"Indeed many countries will have already selected and they’ll be using the event for their sailors to hone their performances – from a British perspective, we’ll be doing likewise.”
• Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com.
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