The world's top Laser sailors have gathered in Estonia, Northern Europe, to compete in the European Laser Standard and Laser Radial Championships and Trophy 2010.
From 4 - 11 June, Tallinn Olympic Sailing Centre will be hosting 250 athletes from 42 countries and five continents, including Olympic medal winners and world champions.
Ants Väinsalu, regatta director said that it is one of the largest and high-level sports competitions to take place in Estonia since the Olympic regatta was held in Tallinn in 1980.
"Teams have shown great interest in competing in Tallinn - we have athletes coming in from all across the world and the entry list has come close to maximum capacity," Väinsalu said. "We have worked hard on organizing this championships regatta for a long time and we are hoping to offer the participants a memorable regatta experience, worthy of the 30-years back Olympic city."
Tallinn, the medieval capital on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, has been excited to see hundreds of sailors and their teams finding their way to Tallinn in the last few days. The total count will be 155 athletes from 37 countries in the Laser Standard and 94 athletes from 31 countries in the Laser Radial.
The Laser Standard entry list includes current Olympic and world champion Paul Goodison (GBR), 2007 and 2008 world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS), world-ranking number two and current leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series, Javier Hernandez (ESP).
The Laser Radial entry list features world champion Sari Multala (FIN), Beijing Olympic silver medallist Gintare Volungeviciute (LTU), 2007 world champion Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and last year's European Trophy winner Paige Railey (USA). All in all, the entry list includes six Laser Standard athletes and seven Laser Radial athletes in the latest ISAF World Rankings top ten.
Hosting nation Estonia is represented by eleven Laser Standard athletes and four Laser Radial athletes. The Estonian Laser Standard line-up presents Argo Vooremaa who placed sixth in Hyeres this year, and Karl-Martin Rammo who came fourth in the European Junior Championships 2009. In the Laser Radial, Estonia has high hopes for Anne-Mari Luik and junior Anna Pohlak who is sailing her first season in the Radial after her last year's triumph as Zoom8 world champion.
Friday and Saturday are for registration and measuring as well as a practice race, on Saturday evening all participants are welcome to the opening ceremony at the historic Pirita convent ruins, where amongst others they are greeted by Esko Reckhardt (FIN), the 1980 Olympic winner in Finn class. Qualifications will be held on 6 - 9 June and final races on 10 - 11 June.
Regatta homepage www.laser2010tallinn.eu
Online-info on Facebook www.facebook.com/lasertallinn2010