#roadtorio – Olympic class sailors including Irish Olympic campaigns will return to the London 2012 sailing venue in June this year. The ISAF Sailing World Cup will be held at the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy (WPNSA) 8 – 14 June 2015, organised by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
Over 450 of world's top sailors in all ten of the Olympic sailing Classes and the three Paralympic classes will be battling it out on the courses on Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour in June for places in ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi 27 October – 1 November 2015.
The line up includes 24 Olympic medallists from around the world who will return to the 2012 Olympic venue in the run up to Rio 2016. The entry list includes the British Sailing Team's only returning Gold medal winner, Helena Lucas MBE, who scooped Paralympic Gold in the 2.4mR class and has recently been named as the first British athlete to be selected for ParalympicsGB for Rio 2016.
Stephen Park, British Sailing Team Manager explains: "The ISAF Sailing World Cup has undergone a transformation this season to become a more elite invitation-only event with just 40 of the very best crews in each of the Olympic classes battling it out for event honour and a place the World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi. The Weymouth and Portland event will also see elite Paralympic Classes sailors plus some top kiteboard racers in action.
"We're delighted to welcome the world's best sailors back to our home in Weymouth and Portland for what I'm sure will be high quality event with hopefully lots of home support for our British Sailing Team stars. The new World Cup format complete with live medal race TV coverage, plus the RYA's plans for a World Cup Race Village in the venue will provide a fantastic showcase for our sport and our Rio 2016 medal hopefuls. We hope to see you there!"
The RYA won the bid to host one of two European legs of the ISAF Sailing World Cup at the British Sailing Team's training base at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The team know these waters well and expectations are high for the athletes. Sailors must qualify to take part in the event based on performance and rankings from the previous legs.
The British squad so far includes 15 veterans of London 2012. The British competitors boast an impressive Olympic / Paralympic medal haul of one Gold, three Silver and three Bronze medals between them from previous Games. Along with the Olympic vets, Giles Scott will be competing in the Finn Class, looking to continue his winning streak and Nick Thompson in the Laser Class will be aiming to upgrade his recent Silver medal wins in the Hyeres and Miami events.
Park continued: "We are on home waters so clearly we want to put on a good show.. The global competition will be fierce as many of the country teams use the ISAF Sailing World Cup events as part of their selection processes towards Rio."
Spectators are invited to WPNSA to watch the racing and get up close to the sailors during the event. You can watch the progress on the live tracking system, follow the action on the live blog and on live streamed TV from the courses on the Medal Race Day (Sunday 14th June).
Admission to ISAF Sailing World Cup Race Village is free, and as well as the sailing action there will be a host of shore-side activities and opportunities for the whole family.