SAIL FOR GOLD: Weymouth and Portland hit by Olympic fever
TIM Hall believes this year's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta will be the mostly keenly contested yet with the Olympic Games just under two months away.
The event director for the Royal Yachting Association spoke as the 2012 event got underway in Weymouth and Portland - which will host the sailing competition at this year's Olympics.
All of Team GB's sailing squad for the Olympics and Paralympics are competing at Sail for Gold, which is also an ISAF World Cup event.
Around 750 sailors are taking part in the regatta with all 10 Olympic and all three Paralympic classes being competed in.
"Skandia Sail for Gold is our largest Olympic multi-class regatta," explained Hall. "We have just over 500 boats and that equates to close to 750 sailors from 55 nations all competing for medals at this event.
"It is the last major regatta at this, the Olympic venue, so tensions are certainly high and sailors are looking to stamp their authority in preparation for the Olympics.
"The competition is going to be an exceptionally high (standard), probably the highest we have ever seen.
"The sailors are at the top of their game right now, all prepared and focused on the Olympics.
"It is their last opportunity to train at this venue, so tensions are going to be running very high."
Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team. For more information go to www.skandiateamgbr.com.
(c) Sportsbeat 2012