Today again we bring you two event previews from the ISAF World Championship in Cadiz. There is now less than 48 hours before the event begins in earnest and all the competitors, if they haven't already, are now arriving in Cadiz.
It's the turn of the Europe and 49er classes today, both high profile events that are sure to be as competitive as ever.
Single-handed Dinghy Women - Europe
The single-handed women's event made its first appearance at the 1992 Olympic Regatta in Barcelona, and was won by Linda ANDERSEN (NOR). Whilst no longer competing in the Europe Class, a fellow Norwegian, Siren SUNDBY
has just hit the top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, and will be wishing to maintain her form.
Back in the same year, Natalia Via DUFRESNE
(ESP) was making her debut appearance at the Olympics in the Europe, and now in 2003 can be found leading the world rankings in the women's double-handed event in the 470 Class.
(AUS) returns to this year's World Championship as Australia's hope for another World Champion. Currently on form with a sixth in the Europe Europeans that were held recently in Palma, Mallorca, she has seen her position in the ISAF World Sailing rankings pop into the top ten. Hot on her heels in Cadiz however will be both of the ever present Scandinavian sailors, Sundby (NOR) and Sari MULTALA
Both have been on fire at the top of their game for almost two years now and are into the final stages of their respective nations' Olympic Trials Programme. A good position, if not a victory at this Championship in Cadiz will do nothing to harm their likelihood of selection for Athens.
Another girl who could very well feature at the top of the class in this year's World Championship is Petra NIEMANN
(GER). Having recently leaped from fifth into third place in the rankings, she came third in last year's Worlds and won Kieler Woche this year on home waters.
The 2000 Olympic Bronze medallist, Serena AMATO
(ARG) whilst having dropped to a placing of 123 on the world rankings due to only two results being included in her points, will no doubt be wishing to repeat her previous form. Having placed a sixth at the 1996 Olympic Regatta, Amato has certainly demonstrated her ability to stay at the top over the years.
With the 2000 and 1996 silver medallist, Margriet MATTHYSSE (NED) now out of the frame, Carolijn BROUWER
(NED) will be looking to make an impression. After a brief foray into the women's double-handed event in the 470 for the 2000 Olympic Regatta, Carolijn is back on the campaign trail. She has always been at the top in the Europe Class with the 1996 and 1998 World Championship titles to her credit, along with the honour of being voted the ISAF World Sailor of the Year 1998 in recognition of her achievements.
Nations Already Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta from results at the 2002 Europe Class World Championship:
Australia (AUS), Norway (NOR), Germany (GER), Finland (FIN), Czech Republic (CZE), Netherlands (NED), Ireland (IRL), Poland (POL), China (CHN).
Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er
This group of athletes is almost too difficult to separate in terms of pure ability, confidence, sailing talent and potential. The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for this fleet moves around so much, that any one of the top twenty in the world could be in contention for the top three places at the ISAF World Championships. Last year it was the Spanish pair of Iker MARTINEZ
and Xabier FERNANDEZ
, nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2002 at the top and they have continued their top form in a huge number of regattas and still rate as one of the teams to beat.
The resurgence of British 49er sailors is as apparent as how close the British Trials for the Olympic Games will be. Any one of the three top British entries could well take the title, currently claiming ?? of the world's top 10 places, and it will remain to be seen who can handle the pressure of the regatta best.
and George LEONCHUCK
(UKR), have been showing great consistency over recent months and as a result won Semaine Olympique Francaise, putting them as another of the favourites to win a World Championship title in Cadiz.
The 49er made its debut appearance in Sydney, to much media applause as a highly visible, highly exciting event. The 49er will continue to provide the thrills and spills and will no doubt provide some upsets along the way.
All the medallist crews from Sydney 2000 have re-formed with new partners, and it will be interesting to see how past experience sets them down the medal path for 2004.
Interestingly, only one of the nations claiming a medal in Sydney has already qualified for Athens 2004, being Great Britain, albeit achieved by a different pairing as won the Sydney medal. As the two other defending medallists, Finland (Gold) and the USA (Bronze) still to qualify, who knows what Cadiz has to hold.
Nations Already Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta from results at the 2002 Mistral Class World Championship:
Spain (ESP), Great Britain (GBR), Ukraine (UKR), Italy (ITA), Denmark (DEN), Netherlands (NED).
To see details of all the Olympic sailors, or to upload your own profile, be sure to visit ISAF Sailor by following the link above. Tomorrow we will bring you the form guides on the Yngling.
Runners and Riders - previously published articles
Windsurfer Men and Women - Mistral
Single-handed Dinghy Men - Finn
Single-handed Multihull Open - Tornado
Single-handed Dinghy Open - Laser
Double-handed Dinghy Men and Women - 470
Online Information Resources
ISAF World Sailing Rankings - http://www.sailing.org/rankings/
Historic Olympic Results 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics
Overall Medal Tally 1099-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medal_tally.asp
Olympic Medallist by Country 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_country.asp
Olympic Medallists by Class 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_class.asp
Olympic Qualification System for the 2004 Olympic Games - http://www.sailing.org/olympics2004/ISAF%20OQ%20system.pdf
2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece - http://www.athens2004.com
Results of ISAF Graded events for the classes sailed at the Olympics are available via the ISAF Calendar - http://www.sailing.org/isafcal/calsearch.asp