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Sailing - 03. December 2011.

Macgregor aiming high in world title defence

Britain's reigning World Champion Lucy Macgregor and her crew of Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor are preparing to "give it all we've got" as they begin their Women's Match Racing title defence at the Perth 2011 Sailing World Championships on Sunday (4 December).

The Poole-based trio will kick off the Championships' racing for Skandia Team GBR on Sunday, when the 14 teams in their match racing round robin Group B start their regatta.

Unlike her fellow match racers, who will be fighting it out for Olympic qualifying berths in Fremantle, Lucy Macgregor, younger sister Kate and Annie Lush are already named on the team sheet for the London 2012 Games, meaning the British trio can expect some tough competition from 2012 hopefuls if they're to retain their World Championship gold.

"Most teams are really pumped up for these Worlds - it's country selection for the Games, but also for many countries it's their team selection as well.  Luckily we've got both of those things ticked off!" helm Lucy explained.

"It's a nice relief having that done and not having to worry about that.  At the same time, it's a World Championships so we'll hopefully put in a good result.

"We've got a title to defend here so we'll give it all we've got.  I think it's going to be a pretty long two weeks with some pretty mad racing, but we're really looking forward to getting started."

The 25-year-old helm, whose opening bout will be against Spain's Silvia Roca on Sunday, took the opportunity to observe some of her Group A rivals on their opening day of racing on Saturday (3 December) and learn about the wind conditions on the Inner Harbour course, which the fleet had not had the opportunity to practice on in advance.

"I'm pretty glad we're not racing [today] really - it's a good opportunity to just watch the racecourse.  It's pretty mad, so we're just trying to get a feel for how the race committee is running things and how the boats are being able to sailed in these really shifty conditions.

"The race area looks pretty mad but cool as well - we're right in the docks with all the ships behind us and stuff.  There's grandstand viewing, so there's quite a few people down watching, so I think come the later stages it'll be a really good atmosphere.  For the sailing, we'll have to see tomorrow!"

Macgregor is hoping to finish the round robin stage in one of the top two positions , which will ensure her a direct path through to the quarter-finals.  After that, she thinks it will be a close call as to which teams emerge as the medal contenders.

"There's a lot of teams that you can tell are putting in a lot of extra effort for this event so it's hard to know what to watch out for. In our group we've got Claire Leroy - she's going to be a good one to try and beat and will probably be right up there pushing us for the top spot in this round robin.

"After that there are so many people that can be a threat.  But we're feeling really confident so we're looking forward to getting going."

Schedule of racing for Macgregor, Lush and Macgregor on Sunday 4 December (times local):
1000 - GBR vs Silvia Roca, Eva Gonzalez and Lara Cacabelos (ESP)
1045 - GBR vs Trine Abrahmsen, Ida Hartvig Larsen and Trine Palludan (DEN)
1130 - GBR vs Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty (AUS)
1215 - GBR vs Anna Kjellberg, Mallin Kallstrom and Lotte Harryson (SWE)
1600 - GBR vs Petra Kliba, Gea Barbic and Tajana Ganic (CRO)
1645 - GBR vs Tania Zimmermann Villanueva-Meyer, Nathalie Zimmermann Vega and Josefina Roder Mori (PER)

For the latest news and information from the British Sailing Team at the Perth Worlds visit www.skandiateamgbr.com<http://www.skandiateamgbr.com> or follow us on Twitter (@SkandiaTeamGBR).

 

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