Sailors are fully prepared for the fight for the Santander City Trophy, the test event for the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
The Men's and Women's 470 and Finn class are making their final checks and will launch on Monday 9 September racing and testing on the Alpha and Charlie race areas located in the Sardinero and Loredo/Somo.
Each of the three events will run a total of 11 races through the week culminating in the Medal Race on Saturday 14 September.
470 And Finn Open The Race Courses
The Men's and Women's 470 and Finns will be the first to use the scoreboard on Monday with the Men's and Women's RS:X, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 joining them on Tuesday.
The Finn class will sail with 10 participants, representing Brazil, Bulgaria, Spain and Russia (with two boats per country), Germany, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden. Slovenia's Vasilij Zbogar, who is the current World #10 and European Champion will no doubt be the favourite alongside World #15 Josh Junior (NZL) who has put together some impressive results in 2013.
The Men's 470 will be the largest of the three classes beginning on Monday, with 35 registered boats representing Angola, Austria (2), Belgium, Denmark, Spain (with a presence of 9 boats), Finland (2) France (2), Great Britain, Germany (3), Israel, Japan, Portugal (3) Russia (2), Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden (2), Turkey and the United States.
It promises to be a great show both for the number of entries as for its quality. Among the participants is Great Britain's Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield who will face off against World #2 Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstaedter (AUT), World #4 Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) and World #5 David Bargehr and Lukas Mahr (AUT).
Spain will have nine teams in search of victory with 2009 J80 World Champion Rayco Tabares sailing with Alfredo Gonzalez. Tabares will have local knowledge on his side after taking the 2009 J80 title on the Santander waters.
Eighteen teams from 15 countries have arrived in the Women's 470 and include Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine and United States.
The group of sailors in the female category is spectacular, with three of the world's top four aiming for the title. World #1 Austrians Lara Valdau and Jolanta Ogar will go up against the World #3 British pair of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre as well as the Americans Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha who are at World #4.
To make the competition even more tantalizing Brazilian Olympic bronze medallist at Beijing 2008 Isabel Swan will also compete, as will London 2012 silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Spanish hopes will be pinned on London 2012 Women's Match Racing Gold Medallist Angela Pumariega who has made the switch to the Women's 470.
On Tuesday 10 September the Men's and Women's RS: X, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 will join the game.
Laser and Laser Radial racing will commence on Thursday 12 September.
Opening Of The Race Courses Alpha And Charlie
With the first races, the race courses of Santander's Bay ALPHA and CHARLIE will be used for the first time (at the Sardinero area Loredo / Somo). The racing will begin at 13.00 with trapezoid format races and two races scheduled for the day, to a maximum of 11 to be held throughout the week.
Santander 2014 Website