Sailors Set to Compete for Spots on Olympic Teams Starting this Weekend

This is a make-it or break-it time for a lot of world class sailors. Best of luck to all of them.

In just a few days’ time, the sailing world will converge upon Perth, Australia for the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Over 1,100 sailors from 78 nations will compete in 10 Olympic events as they look to qualify their nations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The Women’s Match Racing competition will kick the competition off on December 3 before the Men’s RS:X, Laser, Women’s 470 and 49er round off the competition on December 18. During the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup, no Women’s Match Race crew stamped their authority on the opposition as six separate winners came out of the six World Cup regattas that featured Women’s Match Racing. Nonetheless, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) took the overall title after finishing on the podium at four World Cup regattas. In fact, the American has finished on the podium at 11 of 13 regattas sailed in during 2011 and will be one of the front runners in Perth.

Tunnicliffe said, “We would love to come away with the gold medal. Our goal is to be on the podium in Perth. But what’s cool about match racing is that anybody who is sailing well that day can come out on top. Even if you’re top in the world and have a bad day you’re not going to make. We are looking forward to the intensity of the event and sailing against all the competitors.

“I’ve sailed Lasers in Perth and absolutely love it. I love the wind, the temperature and they’re going to do a fantastic job.” View an interview with the American Match Racer here. Finland’s Silja Lehtinen will be one to watch out for in Perth and proved she has what it takes to win major competitions following her gold medal at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the Olympic Test event, in August.

For the complete story, go to www.sailing.org.

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