The regatta, which will see almost 1400 sailors from 76 countries competing across the 11 Olympic classes, is a key event for Skandia Team GBR sailors in the qualification process for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, so competition will be fierce across the 11 days of racing. Great Britain has the largest entry, with 96 sailors set to compete in Cascais.
The spotlight will also be on the in-form trio of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson, and double-Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson competing with Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor in the Yngling class.
Fresh from retaining his European Championship title, Laser world number one Paul Goodison will be confident heading into the Cascais event, with Nick Thompson also vying for top British honours, while the women’s Laser Radial class could see any one of five British sailors challenging.
Bryony Shaw will be a key contender in the RS:X women’s fleets. Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark lead the British contingent in the 470 women’s fleet.
“The World Championships is so far the most important event in this Olympic cycle for Skandia Team GBR,” RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park explained. “It’s the beginning of the events that we use for our Olympic selection process as we move towards Beijing next year in 2008.
“It’s an interesting regatta to consider medal outcomes – we would hope to be coming away with three medals across the classes but it’s certainly going to be a very tough event. I think we’re predominantly going to see a windy regatta but we’re also going to see some light wind days which I’m sure is going to put the cat amongst the pigeons.”
For a full list of British entries and to follow Skandia Team GBR’s progress at the ISAF World Sailing Championships visit http://www.skandiateamgbr.com/events/isafworlds/isafworlds.htm
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com