An experienced field of Star and Finn sailors will head to Weymouth from 31 July to 13 August for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta to test the venue of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
A whole host of former World Champions, Olympic medallists and seasoned Star sailors will make up the 24-boat fleet at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada head into the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta in fine form after they comprehensively clinched the ISAF Sailing World Cup Star title. The Brazilians won gold at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Semaine Olympique Française, Delta Lloyd Regatta and Skandia Sail for Gold. The only glitch on a near perfect scorecard was their eighth place finish at Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Sailing Competition the Brazilians picked up the silver medal and finished eight points behind gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR). But in the build up to the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta Scheidt and Prada have had the better of the Brits after they won Skandia Sail for Gold with Percy and Simpson finishing down in fifth.
Fredrik Loof (SWE) won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Sailing Competition with Anders Ekstrom. At 41-years-old Loof is campaigning for his sixth Olympic Games and heads to the Olympic Test Event with 22-year-old crew Max Salminen. The Swedish pair finished third in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Star Standings and came behind Scheidt and Prada at Skandia Sail for Gold so will be looking to go one better second time round in Weymouth.
The 24-boat Star fleet also features Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini (ITA), who finished second in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Star Standings, 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallists Percy and Simpson, World #4 duo Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen (GER) and World #6 Swiss pair Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria.
Ben Ainslie (GBR) will be the favourite to take the Finn gold medal at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta after dominating the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Ainslie sailed in five World Cup Regattas and came out on top in four. At the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta Ainslie won five races to comprehensively take the gold medal ahead of compatriot Giles Scott. Ainslie was selected ahead of Ed Wright and Scott who finished behind him in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Finn Standings.
Scott was the only sailor to come ahead of Ainslie throughout the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup after he won gold at Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE so the remaining 26 Finn sailors will have their work cut out to defeat the three time Olympic gold medallist.
2008 Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Zach Railey (USA), World #5 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, 2004 Athens Olympic Games silver medallist Rafa Trujillo and World #6 Pieter-Jan Postma will sail in the fleet.
The Finn and Star fleets start sailing on 6 August with the Medal Race taking place on 13 August.