With the teams now having arrived, the place is starting to feel the nervous buzz typical of the build up to a major competition. 1,564 sailors from 76 nations are expected to compete in 1,037 boats.
The first steps of the Championship have involved registering and measuring the boats. Alongside this formality are the training sessions. Good knowledge of the five regatta courses is the secret to a medal or a qualifying place for China, which means spending as much time in the water as possible, so nothing is overlooked. In the last few months, the Cascais Naval Club has been a must-visit place for all the great names in world sailing. The two Cascais International Sailing Weeks have helped to raise tension in the fleets of boats.
'The advantage of knowing the regatta courses is less than usual. Everyone has done a lot of training here in Cascais,' stated Afonso DOMINGOS, from the Portuguese Star team. Conditions are not easy, with the forecast indicating a northerly wind blowing between 16 to 20 knots. Or, to put it another way, there is real racing to be watched. With a lot of speed, colour and emotion.
Setting up the equivalent of five 'stadiums' every day is no easy task. The work of the five Regatta Commissions is vital to the success of the 306 regattas which will be held. All in all, 160 people will work hard to ensure that the competition takes place in exemplary conditions. The five teams, headed by Portuguese presidents, have 32 members. In addition, there will be six ISAF observers on the water and ten measurers.
The International Jury, made up of 45 judges and led by the Frenchman Bernard BONNEAU, will have the task of ensuring competition is fair between the more than 1,500 sailors taking part in the championships. 'It is an enormous challenge and a great responsibility, but I am confident in the experience and knowledge of my team,' says BONNEAU.
The French judge spoke of the work to be carried out by his team, 'We are the last resort the sailors can turn to when they wish to have the protests made between them or against the organization clarified,' he said. 'Our task can be divided into two parts. The first, on the sea, is where we make direct judgements. The second, on land, is resolving protests.'
BONNEAU also appealed to sporting behaviour. 'The spirit of sailing is one of mutual respect and great fair play. This is the message we have to transmit to the young athletes', concluded the Jury Chairman.
Ensuring the smooth functioning of championships of this dimension - a point of comparison can perhaps be made with the Winter Olympic Games - requires the management of resources rarely seen in Portugal.
This is the first time that the ISAF Sailing World Championships have taken place in a single location, so space is at a premium to house the 'machine' which runs the event.
The classes are distributed along the beaches of Conceiçaõ (Tornado), and Pescadores (49er), Cais dos Pescadores (Neil Pryde RS:X), Cascais Naval Club (470) and the Marina (Laser and Laser Radial, Finn, Star and Yngling).
The operational centre is located between the club and the marina, and the numbers involved speak for themselves.
There are four special places to follow the ISAF Sailing World Championship regattas. All of them are scheduled to start at 13.00.
Farol da Guia: This was one of the first lighthouses on the Portuguese coast, and references to burning torches at the location date back to the 15th Century. It was restored a short time ago and alongside it is the Nossa Senhora da Guia Chapel.
The Citadel/Fort of Nossa Senhora da Luz. The origins of this fort date back to a tower erected in 1492 and its current layout is the result of additions made over time. This is also the place to be, as it is where the social programme will take place.
Praia do Tamariz - Estoril: The House of Tamariz was built on the remains of the São Roque Fort, whose exotic shape gave its name to the beach.
Ponta do Sal - São Pedro do Estoril: Occupied by man since the pre-historical period, it forms part of the coastline of the region. After some building renovation work, the Centre for Environmental Interpretation was established here.
The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships will take place from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.
All Media wishing to attend the Championships will require accreditation. The Media Accreditation application form is available online at the Championship website www.cascaisworlds2007.com and should be completed by 31 May. After 31 May, on-site accreditations only will be available.
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