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25 July 2011, 03:42 pm
RS:X Sailors Testing The Waters
Marina Alabau
Marina Alabau At Skandia Sail For Gold

Weymouth and Portland International Regatta
Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain

Sixty five RS:X sailors will look to set an early marker one year ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as they compete at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011, the London 2012 Olympic Test Event, from 31 July to 13 August.
In the 34-strong Men's RS:X fleet Nick Dempsey (GBR) will be hotly fancied after he clinched gold at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in June. The regatta was held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition and with the experience gained from winning on Olympic waters Dempsey knows what it takes to come out on top in a strong competitive field.

ISAF Sailing World Cup champion Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) will be one of the favourites coming into the event after the Dutchman won gold at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE before coming third at Skandia Sail for Gold behind Dempsey and training partner Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL).

Tobin was selected for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta ahead of 2008 Men's RS:X Olympic Gold Medallist Tom Ashley (NZL) after his second place finish at Skandia Sail for Gold. And like Dempsey and Van Rijsselberge, Tobin will certainly fancy his chances.

The field also includes 2008 Olympic Silver Medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA), World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR), who finished third in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Men's RS:X Standings, Kieler-Woche gold medallist and World #2 Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) and Delta Lloyd Regatta gold medallist Taehoon Lee (KOR).

The Women's RS:X consists of 31-sailors with varying ranges of experience. The most experienced being Italy's Alessandra Sensini who is aiming to make it six Olympic Games in a row. The 41-year-old first sailed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Sailing Competition where she placed seventh in the Lechner. Since then she has gone on to win bronze in the Mistral at Atlanta 1996, gold at Sydney 2000 and a bronze at Athens 2004. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Sailing Competition she won silver in the Women's RS:X.

At the other end of the spectrum is 16-year-old Audrey Yong who won bronze at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games before finishing fifth at the 41st ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Zadar, Croatia. Yong has sailed on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit this season finishing 32nd at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, 53rd at Skandia Sail for Gold and 20th at Kieler-Woche so will be using her experience of senior sailing at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta.

Marina Alabau (ESP) will be the favourite to take the gold medal in Weymouth following her comprehensive eight point victory at Skandia Sail for Gold and further victories at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE.

Skandia Sail for Gold silver medallist Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) and bronze medallist Lee Korzits (ISR) will be looking to stake their claim as will World #2 Charline Picon (FRA) and 2008 Women's RS:X bronze medallist and World #3 Bryony Shaw (GBR).

Racing begins for the men's and women's fleet on 4 August and culminates with the Medal Race on 11 August.

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