Hayling Island sees an entry of 160 men qualified to represent 51 different countries as well as an entry of 137 Juniors who will compete for the inaugural Laser Junior world title. So the waters off the renowned English club will have nearly 300 sailors competing on two different course areas. The Laser Junior World Championships is for sailors between the ages of 17 and 20.
The biggest names in Laser sailing are registered to race including a host of previous World Champions. Defending champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) will be hoping to retain his title and will be up against 2007 and 2008 Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) and the winner of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup Javier Hernandez (ESP).
After a preliminary practice race on Sunday 29 August, competition for the titles starts on Monday 30 August. The qualifying series which splits the total open fleet into gold, silver and bronze divisions, runs Monday 30 to Thursday 2 September with two races scheduled each day. The final series is scheduled to set two races a day from Friday with the title presentations on Sunday 5 September.
"We are all fully prepared and ready to go. We have had our organizing committee working on the delivery of a high quality event for well over a year now. Now all the boats are here, there have been sailors here training for a while now and the atmosphere is really building up nicely. The army of volunteers we have are all recruited and prepared. All of the safety boats are here ready to go. The Race teams are ready. Accommodation is filling up fast. The club kitchen is fully stocked with orange juice, energy drinks and pasta. We are ready to go." confirms Hayling Island SC's general manager Carol Letten.
The club has a great reputation for running major events. In recent years they have hosted the 420 World Championships, the 505 World Championships as well as the RYA Youth National Championships. Already this season they have run the RS Feva UK Nationals, the Musto Skiff UK Nationals and next year they will be the base for the Flying 15 World Championships.
One week out and it is hard to predict what version of the British late summer weather will unfold for the huge armada of Laser sailors.
"In truth in September anything could happen and we have to be prepared for all the different extremes and possibilities. But suffice to say the Hayling 'sunshine factor' quite often prevails, where we can see sunshine here when it raining elsewhere!" says Letten.
"We have more than 100 volunteers offering their time and skills every day during the Worlds. And between the Worlds and the Masters Worlds that equates to an incredible 2500 volunteer days, which includes club members and student volunteers from South Downs College. Along with the fundamental skills such as boat driving and race management, we have made sure that we are well covered for language skills."
"We have spent many months ensuring that Hayling Island Sailing Club is ready for this prestigious event and are now keeping our fingers crossed that the weather gods play their part in putting on some great conditions! Many HISC members will be assisting with the race management of this event and we look forward to witnessing a competitive and exciting World Championships." concludes the Club Commodore Mark Wood.