Over two hundred young sailors from twenty-one countries will compete next week in the 2004 Laser Radial European Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club, near Bangor in Northern Ireland.
The Championship, which is are the biggest One Design sailing event ever to be held in Northern Ireland, has attracted the cream of international sailing talent to what promises to be a week of intense competition.
The event kicks off with a practice race on Sunday 25 July at 1400hrs and continues daily at 1100hrs, ending with the finals on 30 and 31 July.
Among the contestants are the 2003 Womens' World champion, Katarzna SZOTYNSAKA from Poland and this year's Youth Worlds Bronze medallist, Charlotte DOBSON (GBR).
Local interest centres on Liverpool University student, Paul MCMAHON from Strangford Lough Yacht Club, who caused a major upset in the 2002 event when he finished 5 overall. Paul is strongly fancied to take the overall honours. Debbie Hanna from East Antrim Boat Club, who is currently studying in Edinburgh, is also a strong medal prospect and Bangor sailor, Richard MCCULLOUGH is this year's RYA Youth Champion.
The Championships are sponsored by UK Sport, the Northern Ireland Events Company, North Down Borough Council and Rooster Sailing.