From the 4-8 April, Great Britain's top Laser sailors will battle it out for the final sailing place in Team GB for the 2004 Olympic Games at the RYA UK Olympic Trials Regatta 2004.
Great Britain has had a good deal of success at the Olympics in the Laser class with Ben AINSLIE winning Silver at the 1996 Games and Gold at the 2000 Games. Ainslie has already booked his place in Team GB in the larger Finn class but there are many British sailors looking to fill his shoes. Next week will see an extremely strong fleet of 40 of the top Laser sailors going head to head to try and win selection and their ticket to Athens 2004.
Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy is the chosen venue for the Trials as it is felt that Weymouth can provide conditions similar to those that the sailors may experience in Athens, and as one of the RYA's Sailing Academies it is an ideal venue, as well as a pivotal project in the London 2012 Olympic Bid.
The Trials will also incorporate the RYA UK selection trials for the 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, and thirteen of the top youth Laser sailors will be battling it out for the chance to represent Great Britain at the youth worlds, as event that is dubbed the youth Olympics.
Racing commences on the 4 April and continues until the 8 April with a total of eleven races scheduled for the trials. The Olympic Selection Committee will be on hand to view the racing and, if it is felt appropriate, nominate a sailor to the BOA (British Olympic Association) for selection - completing the sailing team for the 2004 Olympic Games.
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented, "I think the week will provide some of the best and toughest dinghy racing competition in the UK this year. 40 of Great Britain's best sailors will be doing everything they can to make their case to be the countries representative at the 2004 Games, and with a number of the top sailors having re-located to Weymouth after the decision to race there was announced, I am sure it will be very exciting."
Full results throughout the trials will be available on the RYA website at the address below.