The International 14 Class is revving up for the 2011 edition of their most important regatta on the global circuit, the 'Artemis 2011 International 14 World Championships'.
The event will run from September 3rd through to the 18th, from the British shores of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).
With 68 entries to date, including teams from Australia, Japan, Canada, USA, Italy, Germany, France and the UK, the event promises to provide a spectacle both on and off the water.
Two times defending World Champion, Archie Massey and crew Dan Wilsdon, will be looking to take an unprecedented third World Title, in the tough seven race series. Based in Australia, and the current 'International 14 Australian National Champion', Massey regularly competes against some of the best skiff sailors in the world on the 18ft skiff circuit in Sydney Harbour.
But with valuable International 14 training lost due to the shipping time from Australia to the UK, Massey admits, "With the boat having been moth-balled since the last Worlds, we are completely under-prepared compared to last time". Maybe the door is ajar for a new 2011 World Champion? Or perhaps this expert is down playing his chances, during the moth-balled period Massey and Wilsdon won this year's Australian National Championships.
Competition comes in the form of Roger Gilbert and Ben McCrane, second at last year's Worlds in Sydney, Australia. They have been training hard in Weymouth and Portland over the summer and have been the team to beat on the UK circuit in both 2010 and 2011.
Three newly designed International 14 dinghies will line up at the Championships. The Tingtong 1, designed by Briton Tom Partington, the B6 designed by American Paul Bieker, whose boats have won eight of the last nine World Championships, and the Killing 3 designed by Canadian, Chris Leigh. The Tingtong 1 has shown blistering pace this year, under the guide of Doug Pattison and Mark Tait, winning the Riva Cup in Garda, Italy. The B6 is more of an unknown quantity, having only competed in a few races in North America; this could be the dark horse to watch. The Killing 3, the newest boat on the water may require some pre-event tuning but no doubt the Canadian Olympic 49er pairing of Billy Gooderham and Ian Hogan will inject some speed.
Follow all the action with race updates on the event website www.i14worlds.com
as well as on Twitter
The Artemis 2011 International 14 World Championships is kindly supported by Artemis, Oceanair and Magma.