Entries are closed. The fleets are full. 120 men and 80 women have been accepted to race at the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships scheduled to start racing on 21 March.
Here in Cadiz, there are competitors from 47 countries and five continents registered to race in the Men's RS:X fleet with 19 of them chasing nine national qualification places for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Over in the Women's RS:X fleet, there are racers from 36 countries, 16 chasing only seven remaining places. More than 50 countries have taken part in the Olympic Qualification process and 49 of them will assemble for the Opening Ceremony in Puerto Sherry, Cadiz on 20 March.
In the Women's fleet, Lee Korzits (ISR) who won gold at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships spectacular style in Fremantle, Australia just two short months ago is going to have her work cut out if she wants to retain her title. Zofia Klepacka (POL) and Marina Alabau (ESP) who took the remaining podium places in Perth are back and determined to go one, or two, better.
Alessandra Sensini (ITA) who made a quick exit from the board park after failing to qualify for the Medal Race last time will certainly be more determined than ever to prove that she is not to be discounted when it comes to the battle for top honours.
Eager to press her claims will be Bryony Shaw (GBR) who made a blistering start in Perth only to fade towards the end. Shaw has got to convert her potential into gold if she wants to be considered as someone for a London 2012 medal. She must get fired up early on and press her case right through to the end of the Medal Race. She has it in her but desperately needs to stamp her authority on the fleet this time so she can go into the Olympic regatta with the psychological advantage on her side.
Someone else with it all to do is Charline Picon (FRA). She is always knocking on the door but has not burst through it to be considered a serious medal contender. It's now or never if she wants to muscle her way through to the front and show what she is really made of when the pressure is on
Over in the Men's RS:X fleet, competition will be just as intense. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) has just returned from winter training in New Zealand. The World Champion seemed to be able to make mistakes with impunity in Perth and bounce back without apparently feeling the pressure. Piotr Myszka (POL) could not find the answer to his dominance. Nor could Nimrod Mashich (ISR) who finished third overall.
Meanwhile JP Tobin has been picked for the New Zealand team over his arch rival Tom Ashley, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold medallist
Perth was the place that two new kids burst through into contention posting regular top 10 finishes. One is Zac Plavsic (CAN) who finished 12th. He is Dorian's training partner so don't be surprised if he pushes on this time to claim a top 10 finish. The second is Elliot Carney (GBR) who finished one place behind Olympic bronze medallist Nick Dempsey (GBR). They were like two sides to the same coin. Elliot was in sparkling form and determined to take as many scalps off the established front runners as possible before the Games. Nick just did not have his head in the game at all and It was plain to see.
To represent your country at the Olympic Games is a very special honor. For many it is an obsession. For all, it is an unreasonable ambition to hold. Few achieve it. Even fewer go on to win a medal. The 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championship will be one step closer for some. For others, it may appear to be the end of the road.