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26 November 2002, 03:06 pm
Worlds in Cadiz Bigger Than the Olympic Regatta
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Yngling - The Newest Olympic Class

2003 ISAF World Championships
Bay of Cadiz

The largest congregation of Olympic Class Sailors will converge on Cadiz in south-west Spain for the 2003 ISAF World Championships from 11-23 September 2003.
For the first time ever, the most important event for Olympic Class sailors outside the Olympic Regatta, will be held in the same city, at the same time. This makes the 2003 Olympic Qualification Regatta and Olympic Class World Championships in Cadiz the largest ever World Championship held in one place at the same time, which will be a spectacle and an event not to miss.

Preparation has been underway for the event since the city and the Bay of Cadiz was chosen by ISAF in 2000 to host what is to be an ambitious undertaking by all involved. In speaking of the decision to bring the event to Southern Spain, ISAF President Paul Henderson noted, "It was in 1992 that Cadiz showed the sailing world that it was capable of hosting important sailing Championships and all participants will remember the spectacular sailing conditions at that [Mundo Vela `92] event for a long time coming."

The Worlds will be held between three venues, Puerto de Rota who will host the 470 Men and Women, Puerto Sherry hosting the Mistral Men and Women, the Yngling, Finn Europe, Star, Tornado and 49er and Club Nautico Alcano hosting the Laser fleet.

By the time the first races start in the eleven classes over seven courses next year, some of the world's best known and best prepared Olympic hopefuls will have been through a newly implemented qualification process to entitle them to participate at the 2003 World Championships. The ultimate decision of which sailors will represent each country at the 2003 Worlds will remain with the respective Member National Authority, the number of entries per country per event will follow a system approved by the ISAF Council at the recent 2002 ISAF Annual Conference in Limassol, Cyprus.

Every ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) is automatically given the right to two entries per event. However, up to 4 additional entries, giving a total of 6, may be given to an MNA. The allocation of additional entries will be based on the number of sailors that MNA has in the top 100 of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings for the particular class as at 1 June 2003. In addition, the reigning World Champion in each Olympic class may have a bye (automatic entry). However, knowing that many MNA's will not take up their entry quota, whilst others will want more entries, each MNA and International Olympic Class Association may make request to ISAF for additional entries. MNA's will be required to confirm their take-up of places by 15 June 2003.

However, whilst the number of additional entries is based on the number of sailors that MNA has in the rankings, the decision on which sailors participate remains the responsibility of the MNA, and does not have to be the sailors on the rankings.

Whilst this process overrides each Olympic Class' individual qualification process for their World Championships, it has been determined in consultation with the Olympic Classes and received their consensus support at the 2002 November Conference and the Olympic Class administrators accepted the intent of achieving a fair entry process to the 2003 World Champoinships. To date many Olympic Classes have allocated the number of World Championship entries to a nation based on the number of boats in that country, thereby giving the larger countries a distinct advantage over the nations who have only one Olympic team. By automatically giving every nation two entries per event, means every country has a right to compete. Additional quotas being based on the rankings will lean in favour of the bigger countries who have more teams campaigning, thereby reflecting the previous "number of boats in that country" system as adopted by many Olympic Classes.

This process has been deemed to produce a fair and diverse spread of entries based on current levels of participation and contribution to the top level of the sport, whilst still retaining the highest profile of the ISAF World Sailing championship. It is envisaged that not all MNA's will actually take up on their potential allocations, but one does not need to have studied rocket science to note that the entry potential makes for a fantastic event.

In the build up to the event, and also coming out of the 2002 ISAF Annual Conference in relation to Cadiz was the principle that in order to retain control of quality racing in manageable yet competitive fleets, it is necessary to place a cap on the number of boats that can compete in one race. This reflects what a number of the larger international classes, and in fact many Olympic Classes are currently practising. At the 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championship, the maximum number of boats to compete in a keelboat race will be sixty, and in the dinghies, the multihull and boards this will be eighty. Any more competitors and the fleets will be split, with each flight racing against each other in heats to finally determine a gold and silver fleet for the final races.

The 2003 World Sailing Championships becomes the second Olympic Qualification Regatta for nations to gain entry allocations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, with the following slots up for grabs:

Class Host NOC 2002 Worlds 2003 Worlds (Cadiz) 2004 Event
Mistral Men 1 12 15 7
Mistral Women 1 10 12 5
Finn 1 9 11 5
Laser 1 14 17 8
Europe 1 9 11 5
470 Men 1 10 13 6
470 Women 1 6 8 4
49er 1 6 8 4
Tornado 1 5 7 3
Star 1 5 7 3
Yngling 1 6 6 3

To View the complete qualification process for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, please click here.

2002 saw the first Olympic Qualification Regattas held in all Olympic Classes, except the Mistral (IMCO One Design) which is due to start on 4 December in Phuket, Thailand. Congratulations to Spain who rank as the top qualifying nation so far. Spain has achieved qualification slots in 6 of the 10 events that have been held. Amazingly, two of Spain's qualifying places where achieved with the same crew. Sandra Azon sailed as crew in the Yngling and 470. In the Yngling she sailed with her sister Monica Azon and Laia Tutzo, whilst in the 470 she sailed with Natalia Via Dufresne.

The only classes not yet to have any allocations for Athens 2004 filled are the Mistral Men and Women. Their World Championship for 2002 takes place in Pattaya, Thailand on 4-12 December. All eyes for this World title will be on reigning World Champion and host of this years ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE). We will bring you a preview of the Mistral Worlds on Thursday.

Nations Qualified for Athens 2004

Class Event Nations
49er 2002 Worlds ESP, GBR, UKR, ITA, DEN, NED
Finn 2002 Gold Cup GBR, PL, CRO, ESP, BEL, GER, FRA, BRA, IRL
Yngling 2002 Worlds ESP, GER, USA, BER, DEN
Star 2002 Worlds GBR, BRA, FRA, USA, BER
Europe 2002 Worlds AUS, NOR, GER, FIN, CZE, NED, IRL, POL, CHN
470 Men 2002 Worlds NZL, ESP, ISR, AUS,USA, POR, GBR, ITA, JPN, ARG
470 Women 2002 Worlds NED, FRA, RUS, GER, ESP, ISR
Tornado 2002 Worlds AUS, FRA, AUT, ARG, SWE
Mistral Men & Women 2002 Worlds TBD - Pattaya, Thailand, 04-12 Dec 2002

Following Cadiz, the third and final qualification regatta for the Olympic Games will be once again each individual Class World Championship in 2004.

The 2003 ISAF World Championships in Cadiz, organised by Consorcio Mundo Vela and the State Company Deporte Andaluz, in association with ISAF, is sure to be one of the largest and well-run events in recent history.

On Friday we will bring you a complete run down of the format the event will take, followed next week with some further articles including profiles of the three venues to be used, and some of the people involved in the organisation and running of such an enormous event.

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Mascot for Cadiz 2003

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