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Archive News: Other
News Item
Starting the Countdown to the World Sailing Championships
Posted On:  15/06/2003
Starting the Countdown to the World Sailing Championships
Britons Percy (Star), Robertson (Yngling) and Brotherton (49er) arrive in the Bay of Cadiz
Bay of Cadiz (Spain) Now that there are less than 100 days left until the ISAF Olympic World SailingChampionships, more teams are closing in on the waters of the bay to establish their respective bases of operations, and start their training. They need to know what type of conditions they will face on this race course in Southern Europe.
In the case of some of the British representatives, they have been the first to get to this race venue on the Cadiz coast. Between the 11th 25th September the bay will welcome the largest concentration of Olympic teams seen up to now. They will compete in the biggest event of the year in the sailing world, after the Americas Cup in New Zealand.
Some of the crews are readying their respective boats, and sailing every day to learn all they can about the wind and the currents in the Gaditano bay. Noticably, the British crew, composed of Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell, actually occupy the sixth position in the ISAF Star Class rankings. Percy, gold medallist in the Finn in Sydney 2000, goes out daily with his team mate Mitchell even sailing some 4 nautical miles from the base in Puerto Sherry to their race area (Charlie) to test equipment, accompanied by their trainer at all times.
Another British team which goes out to train daily is made up of Shirley Robertson (Yngling Class) and her team members Sarah Aytons and Sarah Webb, who look as if they may be candidates for one of the positions on the podium. Proof of that is the great results they got in their last international competitions. Among the victories, one that stands out is the winning of the S.A.R Princess SofiaTrophy contested in Palma Majorca, to add to their podium place in the Barcelona Olympic week (BOSW).
Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith sailing in he 49er Class in the GBR team are also training at the marina of Puerto Sherry (Puerto de Santa Maria).
Although recently they have not been able to sail very often due to the strong easterly wind (levante), which has been blowing at over 25 knots and which is not altogether suitable for these boats, designed by Julian Braithwaite, due to their large sail area which makes for frequent capsizes.
Apart from the British teams that have set up camp in the various sites of the ISAF Olympic World Sailing Championships, it has been confirmed that several other crews from countries such as: Ireland, Greece, France and Spain will shortly commence training now that there are only three months to go before the official competition starts.
Consorcio Mundo Vela and Andalusian Sport PLC., the event organizers together with the Andalusian Sailing Federation, Spanish Sailing Federation and the ISAF, who will organize the most important and spectacular Olympic sailing event this year, are finalizing preparations so that these combined Worlds in September will be a success.
With the arrival of the training of these teams in the Bay of Cadiz, the countdown to the ISAF 2003 Worlds has begun.

Modesto Sanchez
Press Office
web design Christopher Gibson