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18 August 2009, 04:43 pm
RYA Set For Mega Month Of World Class Sailing Events
Bryony Shaw of Great Britain collects her bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics
Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw is one of the British stars aiming for success on her home waters

Royal Yachting Association News

Saturday 22 August marks the start of what is guaranteed to be four unforgettable weeks of World Class dinghy and windsurf racing being brought to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) courtesy of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and UK Sport.
Kicking off with the 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships this Saturday (and concluding on 29 August), the regatta is the first of three back-to-back RYA-run World Class events, supported by UK Sport, being staged at WPNSA through until Saturday 19 September.

Following in the immediate wake of the IWA Worlds, the 2009 RS:X World Championships - the windsurfing class competed in at the Olympic Games - is the next event to arrive in Dorset between Monday 31 August - Friday 11 September.

The prestigious multiclass Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, which for the first time this year doubles up as the final round of the 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup series, then completes the hat-trick of spectacles as the world's top Olympic and Paralympic Classes sailors, including champions of past, present and future, will do battle at WPNSA from Monday 14 - Saturday 19 September.

With the RYA and UK Sport also having brought the 2009 Mirror World Championships to British shores this summer - the regatta held at Pwllheli SC in North Wales last month - as well as the announcement that the four regattas comprising the 2010 Laser World Championships will be staged at Largs SC in Scotland and Hayling Island SC in Hampshire next year, there has never been more opportunity to see the World's best sailors and windsurfers in action.

David Campbell-James, RYA Competitions Manager, said: "It is a really exciting time for everyone involved in World Class sailing and windsurfing in Great Britain.

"The RYA is committed to bringing World Class Championship events to Britain to not only keep further raising the profile of the sport around the UK but to also ensure we continue to develop the skills of individuals officiating and volunteering at these events so that they can take those skills back to their own club and class events and run better quality racing to improve standards across the board nationwide."

The 2009 IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships incorporate the Bic Techno Under 15 and Under 17 and Raceboard Youth and Raceboard Masters Worlds.

Meanwhile Skandia Team GBR duo Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw will be looking to put on a show on home waters as they bid to land RS:X World Championship glory.

More than 500 boats competing in all 10 Olympic Classes - including the new women's match racing class - plus the three Paralympic Classes are expected for the 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.

As part of the RYA's ongoing commitment to enhance Olympic Classes sailing's universal spectator appeal, the final day of Skandia Sail for Gold - Saturday 19 September -will be a full-on live interactive spectator treat with a megascreen beaming all the action live from the water accompanied by live tracking and expert onstage analysis from some of the top names in world sailing while the victorious sailors will immediately join the commentary teams on stage post-race to give the lowdown on their latest success.

Two hours of BBC Interactive red button coverage is also scheduled to be broadcast live from the closing day of the regatta between 12:00-14:00 with Campbell-James adding: "This is the first very important step towards us managing to consistently engage the wider public in sailing and to help people better understand and appreciate our sport at its very best."

UK Sport Events Consultant Esther Nicholls said: "UK Sport is delighted to be supporting the RYA in bringing strategically important world class sailing events to the UK. This will provide crucial opportunities for British sailors to compete on home waters, which will continue to underpin our investment in the RYA's World Class Performance Programme up to 2012 and beyond."
Lindsey Bell
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