- 26 July 2011 | Windsurfing
The best RS:X windsurfers in the world will be training for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011, in UK, from 31 July to 13 August.
A total of 65 sailors - 34 men and 31 women - participate in this important test in official Olympic waters. Nick Dempsey will be hotly fancied after he clinched gold at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in June.
ISAF Sailing World Cup champion Dorian Van Rijsselberge will be one of the favourites coming into the event after the Dutchman won gold at US Ssailing's Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia before coming third at Skandia Sail for Gold behind Dempsey and training partner Jon-Paul Tobin.
Tobin was selected for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta ahead of 2008 Men's RS:X Olympic Gold Medallist Tom Ashley after his second place finish at Skandia Sail for Gold.
The field also includes 2008 Olympic Silver Medallist Julien Bontemps, World #1 Nimrod Mashich, who finished third in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Men's RS:X Standings, Kieler-Woche gold medallist and World #2 Przemyslaw Miarczynski and Delta Lloyd Regatta gold medallist Taehoon Lee.
The Women's RS:X consists of 31-sailors with varying ranges of experience. The most experienced being Italy's Alessandra Sensini who is aiming to make it six Olympic Games in a row. The 41-year-old first sailed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Sailing Competition where she placed seventh in the Lechner.
At the other end of the spectrum is 16-year-old Audrey Yong who won bronze at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games before finishing fifth at the 41st ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Zadar, Croatia.
Marina Alabau will be the favourite to take the gold medal in Weymouth following her comprehensive eight point victory at Skandia Sail for Gold and further victories at US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia.