Final preparations are being made for Yachting New Zealand's annual Olympicsail regatta, which is being hosted by Torbay Sailing Club from 13 - 16 March 2003.
New Zealand's Future Champions in the 470, 49er, Europe, Finn, Laser, Mistral IMCO, and Tornado classes will compete, hoping to secure a spot at the 2003 Pre-Olympic regatta in Athens later this year. The winner of each olympic class will gain automatic entry to the Pre-Olympics as well as winning a place at the 2003 ISAF World Championships to be held at Cadiz in September. As there are two entries available to each class for the World Championships, the second place holder will be decided by selectors.
The regatta also represents the final races for the New Zealand ranking series. The top sailor at the end of this series in each of the Olympic classes will secure a $3,000 travel grant from Yachting New Zealand to help them to fund their Olympic campaign.
Current Women's Mistral World Champion Barbara Kendall will be hoping to notch up another win, as will 470 World Champions Simon Cooke and Peter Nicholas, who are aiming to continue their winning form displayed at the Nationals held in Auckland earlier this month.
New Zealand's up and coming sailors will also be represented at Olympicsail through the inclusion of the 420, P Class, Splash, Starling and Optimist classes. This unique opportunity gives this younger group a taste of international quality competition, and a chance to rub shoulders with sailors achieving the things they are striving for themselves in years to come.