Champions and aspiring Olympians are preparing for battle at the 49er European Championship, taking place in Gdynia, Poland, with racing taking place from 5 - 10 July.
The starting line will be spectator and media friendly with the newly instituted country flags on all mainsails as well the ability to quickly identify the top 10 in the 49er world by their sail number 1-10, as well as personal sail numbers which sailors have been allowed to choose for one year use. These two editions will make identifying the fleet relatively easier and more exciting.
Fresh off their win at the latest ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta in Kiel, John Pink
and Richard Peacock
of Great Britain are bidding to win the European title as well as current Sailing World Cup leaders Nico Delle - Karth
and Nikolaus Resch
of Austria. French sailors Emmanuel Dyen
and Stéphane Christidis
have two 2010 World Cup titles from Miami and Palma while Paul Brotherton
and Mark Asquith
from Great Britain hold the title from Hyeres.
Close to 100 entries have been received including a new team to the 49er world from Malta. Skipper Benji Borg
with crew Sebastian Ripard
will represent the island nation training to gain a berth for the 2012 Olympics.
The event looks to be a key stop on the way to the last ISAF Sailing World Cup event in August and no doubt the event to watch in Poland this week.
For more information, go to: www.49er.org
All photos for this event can be viewed at: http://photos.friedbits.com/201049ereuropeanchampionship