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Windsurfers count down to World Championships


By: Jodie Bakewell-White

Windsurfers count down to World Championships

200 of the worlds best windsurfers are in Auckland for the RS:X Olympic World Championships for 2008, set to start off Takapuna Beach this weekend. It is an all-important regatta for many Olympic hopefuls who have travelled from around the globe to compete in this deciding event.

A practice race will take place this Saturday and competition will start on Sunday on the Hauraki Gulf off Takapuna Boating Club. Many competitors are on the water already getting familiar with the local conditions before racing starts.

Just seven months remain until Qingdao, China lights up with the Olympic Games sailing regatta for 2008 and this RS:X Windsurfing World Championships represents the final chance for remaining countries to qualify a place to compete. In Olympic sailing, each nation that qualifies can send just one sailor to compete in that class.
Olympic Qualification
RS:X Men: Nine more countries will earn national qualification for the Olympic Games 2008 at this event. In total 35 sailors will be on the start line in Qingdao, China.
There are 21 countries represented at this World Championship that are yet to qualify for an entry in the Men’s RS:X at the Olympic Games later this year. With just nine places remaining there will be some interesting mid fleet battles amongst those sailors fighting to qualify their country.

Competing nations yet to qualify in the Men’s division include the following…
Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Thailand, Taiwan & Venezuela

RS:X Women: Seven more countries will earn national qualification for the Olympic Games 2008 at this event. In total 28 sailors will be on the start line in Qingdao, China.

There are thirteen countries represented at this World Championship that are yet to qualify for an entry in the Women’s RS:X at the Olympic Games later this year. With just seven places remaining six nations that are here in New Zealand will miss out on Olympic qualification.

Nations yet to qualify in the Women’s division include the following…
Argentina, Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay & USA

The numbers

200 competitors
49 countries
55 registered coaches
300 volunteers
Plus families, media & spectators
About the Neil Pryde RS:X Board

The RS:X is a tightly controlled One-Design class selected by ISAF for use at the 2008 Olympic Regatta and probably also for 2012. Racers therefore all use the same equipment. In Qingdao, China where the board is being sailed in the Olympics for the very first time, Neil Pryde, the manufacturer, will supply the equipment.

Previous World Championships have been held in Lake Garda, Italy (September 2006) and Cascais, Portugal (July 2007 – part of the ISAF World Championships for Olympic Classes) Takapuna, North Shore City is therefore the third ever worlds for the RS:X and the first time that any Olympic windsurfing Worlds has ever been held in New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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