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11 September 2003, 11:10 pm
48 Hours To Go Until Opening Ceremony
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Presentation atOrganising CommitteeReception on Thursday

2003 ISAF World Championship

The venue is ready for competition, the Organising Committee are ready and the competitors are into final preparations.
With only 48 hours to go until the Opening Ceremony on Saturday evening, the 2003 ISAF World Championship is all set to provide an excellent arena in which World Championships and Olympic Qualification slots will be claimed.

The first thing ISAF President, Paul HENDERSON (CAN) did on arriving at the venue this evening was to walk through the boat park at Puerto Sherry. His comments, "This will be the greatest show."

This evening the Organising Committee hosted a reception for all the staff and volunteers, at which Paul HENDERSON commented, 'Today is a very proud day for ISAF to see its dream of creating a global event, attracting the world's top sailors achieved. With more than 1000 boats and over 1500 athletes, Olympic Qualification opportunities and World Championship titles, the 2003 ISAF World Championship ranks as the most significant event ever held in our sport.

You are about to witness the greatest sailing event ever and with only 48 hours to go until the Opening Ceremony, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those have made this Championship possible.'

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Looking around, everyone has smiles on their faces and we managed to catch up with a few sailors in the boat park.

Past World Champion and double-Gold Medallist, Mark Reynolds, who lays claim to two Gold Medals in 1992 and 2000 and a bronze in 1998, was to be found on his scooter in the boat park, and commented, "The impact of this event will be huge in terms of media exposure, which has got to be good for the sport." Considering all the events taking place at one time in the same venue, Mark acknowledged the logistical challenge, but felt "That it is great to be able to mix with friends sailing in the other classes." And on Paul CAYARD's (USA) aims to win the Star Worlds, "We'll see!!"

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Measurement has been focused on the Yngling Class today, with a total of three days of measurement scheduled, before the practice race on Saturday, and the opening qualification series on Sunday 14 September.

However, ahead of the women's keelboat fleet, tomorrow sees the women's single-handed dinghy underway. With 122 entries the Europe is the second biggest fleet behind the single-handed dinghy open, Laser, with 172 entries.

Measurement concluded today, and tomorrow sees the first of the six qualifying races, with the Europe fleet split into groups based on their rankings and re-seeded after each day's racing.

The single-handed women's fleet will prove a tough contest. To get the lowdown, read ISAF's Europe Class Runners and Riders overview.

Over in the single-handed men's event, in the Finn, 2000 Olympic Silver Medallist, Luca DEVOTI (ITA), is here with his wife and young daughter and looking forward to the competition. Based on the conditions over the past 30 days Luca has spent training in Cadiz, he forecasts light to medium conditions. But when questioned on his likely performance responded, "I am a tourist. I will be 41 in a month's time!!" Whilst Luca may feel this way, no-one will forget his Sydney success and some could say surprising Silver Medal. Despite a current world ranking of 78, points can be deceiving as this drop in position is more to do with his new found role as a father and non-appearance on the Finn circuit, than results from events.
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