Press Releases 2006  
Sail Rocket: The Winged Wonder Emerges 20 November 2006
'Hidden World' Exhibition at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy 15 November 2006
Students migrate to Weymouth for the first Championship of the season 3 November 2006
2006 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series winds up at Weymouth 29 October 2006
Sail for Gold Regatta: Day Three - A golden return for Shirley Robertson 15 October 2006
Second day of Sail for Gold: Goodison back on track at Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta 14 October 2006
First Day of Sail For Gold: Robertson shakes off the cobwebs on her return to Olympic sailing 14 October 2006
Tracking technology takes off at Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta 14 October 2006
280 boats flock to WPNSA for the first Sail for Gold Regatta 13 October 2006
Olympic medallists come out on top at National Ranker 9 October 2006

No pits for Cherry at RYA National Match Racing Championship

8 October 2006
The Most Successful Speed Week Ever 8 October 2006
Olympic Classes National Ranking Series kicks off in Weymouth 6 October 2006
Campbell James back to defend title at the RYA Match Racing Series 5 October 2006
Weymouth Speed Week 4 October 2006
Major talent on show at the RYA Zone Championships 3 October 2006
Lord Coe to visit 2012 sailing region and WPNSA 23 September 2006
J24 Autumn Cup at Portland - Jardine back in top spot 10 September 2006
Champions crowned at the Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship 3 Sepember 2006
Windsurfing Championship continues to attract young sailors 31 August 2006
29erxx Open Cup 31 July- 1 August 2006
Great Britain and Finland take on golden glow 29 July 2006
Hunt still on for 9er gold 28 July 2006
Mixed fortunes at 9er Championships 27 July 2006
Italy and Finland in pole position at Weymouth 9er Champs 26 July 2006
Scottish and Southern Energy to power Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy 25 July 2006
Light winds shake up day two of 9er Championships 25 July 2006
9er Championships sees tricky first day 24 July 2006
Mills praises Olympic venue 17 July 2006
Weymouth gears up for 2006 9er Championships 17 July 2006
Olympics Roadshow to visit Sailing Academy 12 July 2006
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy makes the South West & West final of The National Lottery Awards 2006 10 July 2006
WPNSA wins RLN Business Language Champion Award 5 July 2006
Radii 18ft Skiff UK Nationals and British Grand Prix: Day 3 8 May 2006
Radii 18ft Skiff UK Nationals and British Grand Prix: Day 2 7 May 2006
Radii 18ft Skiff UK Nationals and British Grand Prix: Day 1 6 May 2006

Radii to sponsor 18ft Skiff UK Nationals and British Grand Prix

4 May 2006
Sail Laser launches in Portland Harbour 4 May 2006
New management structure for Sailing Academy 1 May 2006
Record entry for Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006 19 April 2006
Perfect day to end RYA Youth Championships & Trials 14 April 2006

All to play for at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials

13 April 2006
RYA Youth National Championships & Trials 12 April 2006
Competitors' spirits lifted by Royal Presence 11 April 2006
Racing gets underway at the Youth National Championships & Trials 10 April 2006
Press releases 2004/5
 

Sail Rocket: The Winged Wonder Emerges
20 November 2006

The SAILROCKET project has recommenced sailing activities with its new solid wing sail. The wing is the culmination of an 18 month design, build and finance program.

The amazing craft now sitting in full standby mode in Weymouth is the product of all the teams' knowledge and passions regarding wind and water. The aim of the project remains the same, to set the Outright world speed sailing record and break through the 50 knot mark.

To date, the wing has met all of its weight and strength targets. According to our VPP (velocity prediction program) SAILROCKET should be capable of hitting 55 knots of boat speed in 22 knots of wind assuming ideal conditions. The wing was designed by team member and director of AEROTROPE, Christopher Hornzee Jones using a COMPOTECH carbon spar, FIBREFUSION water jet cut ribs, SP GURIT composite materials and all metal work supplied by EKSPAN.

The SAILROCKET build team were helped throughout the build in Southampton with floor space generously offered by VESTAS BLADES and DESIGNCRAFT. SAILROCKET has already completed 58 runs down the Portland Harbour speed sailing course using the Mk1 DOYLES/COMPOTECH soft sail without mishap. The top speed with this rig was 31 knots as the rig struggled to hold shape when SAILROCKET's unique concept began to work in earnest. The value of these trials relating to such a radical craft is immeasurable. Many of the lessons learnt were incorporated into the design of the new solid sail. The new wing is a highly efficient, practical and robust piece of engineering that has already been sailed twice. The whole craft can be rigged for sailing by two people and handled on the water by three.

WING STATS: area-16sqm weight-50kg working load- approx 1 ton


The team do not expect an easy ride to 50 knots. A whole host of new issues are bound to accompany the much higher speeds and small mistakes will be compounded. It remains to be seen if Portland Harbour can return to its former glory as a World record setting venue. It's no small feat that the project has got to this stage unfunded. It has taken longer but thanks to a dedicated team and a host of product supporters, quality has not been compromised.

Without the financial support of a sponsor, the risks are now very high. We can't afford to fumble the ball. The door remains wide open for a title sponsor who can help the team consolidate the huge amount of work already done. INNOVATION, SPEED and EFFICIENY are the qualities that underlie our endeavour. As soon as SAILROCKET demonstrates consistent record breaking potential we will start the haul beginning with the UK and women's outright records. We know it will not be an automatic process. Looking for a moment's perfection is a dedicated hunt that involves a lot of patience. The team is on full-time standby. Every sailing opportunity that comes along needs to be utilised as the radical craft continues its refinement process. The weather windows are short and sharp at this time of year in the UK. www.sailrocket.com will remain the project site with the most current activities updated on the blog spot.

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'Hidden World' Exhibition at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
15 November 2006

The Hidden World exhibition provides a unique opportunity to view Roger Smith's latest work of Macro Photography- the art of taking close up pictures of small, sometimes microscopic, objects. Based in Weymouth, Roger has had an interest in photography for over 20 years. He has studied art and photography at Weymouth College, Trowbridge College and The University of Plymouth in Exeter. He began shooting macro botanicals around three years ago.

"Originally my interest was in flowers and botanicals for their colour, shape, form and texture until I noticed that the close up magnification was giving me an insight into the barely visible, minute details. Therefore I started to compose my images differently, got closer to the subject and moved away from the image of a flower as a document.

I thoroughly enjoy taking something so small that is hardly visible and enlarging it to reveal the natural beauty and detail that is often missed by the naked eye.�

Hidden World will display botanicals, new pure abstract work, and Jurassic coast themed imagery including close ups of fossils, rock strata and petrified wood from our World Heritage coastline.

�We are delighted to be hosting The Hidden World exhibition at the Sailing Academy. WPNSA are particularly keen to support local artists and are very impressed with Roger's Macro Photography which we believe really compliments the modern architectural design of the building. The exhibition is open to all, and we would very much like to welcome members of the public to come along particularly since much of the work is locally themed around the Jurassic coast� said Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager at WPNSA.

Exhibition opening hours:
1 - 5 December, 7 � 10 December
9:30am � 4:30pm
NB: The exhibition will be closed on Wednesday 6 December

There will be photo and interview opportunities for the press at 5pm on Thursday 30 November

Please confirm your attendance with Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA
T: 01305 866000, E: rosie.julian@wpnsa.org.uk

For further information about the exhibition, please contact Roger Smith
T: 01305 785244, E: roger@jurassiccoastgallery.co.uk

Please visit and www.jurassiccoastgallery.co.uk for more information on Roger's work.

ENDS

WPNSA Notes

  • Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK.
  • Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has been selected by LOCOG and the RYA as the venue to host the 2012 Olympic sailing events.
  • WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.
  • A further $17 million has been agreed from LOCOG and the ODA to further develop the facilities in the lead up to 2012. Plans include the building of additional pontoons, an extension to the slipway and temporary facilities for the duration of the even such as additional showers and changing blocks.
  • WPNSA regularly hosts major Championship events such as:
    Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships, 2006
    Group 4 49er European/ 29er World Championships, 2006
    Laser SB3 European Championships, 2007
    Laser National Championships 2007
    Optimist National Championships 2007
  • The British Olympic Sailing Team regularly train at WPNSA. Much support is given to sailors on their path to World Class Potential, including reduced rates on membership and boat storage.
  • Four of Team GB's Athens Olympic Medallists are members of WPNSA- Sarah Ayton (Gold, Yngling), Nick Dempsey (Bronze, Mistral), Chris Draper (Bronze, 49er) and Simon Hiscocks (Bronze,49er).

•  The Academy exists for 3 main reasons:

- To promote the sport of sailing at all levels of competence and ability, through courses, training and events to include all people, especially those with difficulties.

-To provide a facility for the community to use, for example, actively encouraging Dorset schools to bring sailing into their outdoor activities, and providing services such as the boat hoist and storage.

- To contribute to substantial economic regeneration. Since we have been operating here, Dorset County Council studies indicate that we have created demand in service and marine industries worth in the region of £10m. The calculation is that when our new facilities are complete we will be adding something in the region of £6m each year to the local economy.

- Facilities on shore include a licensed clubhouse, restaurant, conference/ meeting rooms, slipways, a boat hoist, extensive dinghy and car parks, a permanent crane, and storage for all types of boats.

For more information, please visit www.wpnsa.org.uk

For further press/ media information, please contact:

Rosie Julian
Events & Marketing Manager
WPNSA
Osprey Quay
Portland
Dorset
DT5 1SA
T: 01305 866000
F: 01305 866001
W: www.wpnsa.org.uk

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Students migrate to Weymouth for the first Championship of the season
3 November
Nearly 300 sailors will be heading down to Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this weekend (4-5 November) for what promises to be an exciting first university sailing championship of the season.

The BUSA Fleet Racing Championships will give students the opportunity to race against each other individually in Lasers, Laser 2's, Fireflies and a Handicap Class, as well as competing for an overall Universities' Team Trophy.

BUSA Sailing and BUSA Sport have been working together to try and make this a weekend to remember, especially after the disappointment of last year, when only one race could be completed due to gale force winds.

Defending Champions of the Laser Fleet Stephen Powell and Nick Thompson from Exeter University will be returning to race against new students and, with forecasts predicting light winds, any fatigue caused by the social at Rendezvous is sure to affect the sailors!

With many ex-Youth Squad sailors (Richard Mason (Laser 2 Fleet, Loughborough), Nick Thompson (Laser, Exeter ), Dave Evans (Handicap, Swansea ) and Sam Carter (Laser2, Brunel)) actively sailing at BUSA Championships the standard seems set to rise each year.  This year, for the first time there will be an on the water Jury, ensuring fair but challenging racing for everyone.

Will Exeter University take the Team prize for a fourth year in the row?  Watch this space!

The latest news, information and the all-important results will be posted on the BUSA website [www.busa.co.uk].

End

For more media information, please contact Jessica Mapplebeck , Secretary to the British Universities Sailing Association, Tel: 023 80 604 167 Mob: 07876 017 134 Fax: 023 80 604 290 Email: jessica.mapplebeck@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing. BUSA is the governing body for University Sailing in the UK .  It is affiliated and supported by the RYA and has British Universities Sports Association recognition for its events.

Ø BUSA currently has 45 active university sailing clubs participating in 5 different Championships (Fleet Racing, Inlands, Team Racing, Match Racing and Yachting).  With over 1000 students competing in BUSA events each season. 

Ø A brief history: BUSA sailing was set up in the mid 1960's. The organisation was run by a small group of students from various universities. At the beginning this Committee of students ran the annual University Team Racing Championships and organized and selected the team for the bi-annual American and European tours.

Ø In 1991, when the whole University sport structure was changing, BUSA sailing remained independent from both the British University Sports Federation (BUSF) and University Athletic Union (UAU) and was provided with a full time secretary by the RYA funded by the Eric Twiname trust.

Ø Student sailing was an important development area for the RYA RYA saw student sailing as an important development area and was beginning to support it more strongly and provide coaching in various areas. The 1993 Team Racing Championships were the first for which regional qualifiers were run. With a number of Polytechnics becoming Universities the number of entries to the Championships saw huge growth., so a series of four regional qualifiers were introduced prior to the finals.

Ø During this period BUSA sailing continued to liaise with UAU and BUSF with an ever-improving relationship and by the time the two organisations merged to form the British University Sports Association , BUSA sailing was a well-recognised organisation with a long established constitution and Championship structure.  

Ø Further information can be found at www.busa.org.uk

Jessica Mapplebeck
Keelboat Racing & Coaching Development Administrator

Secretary to the British Universities Sailing Association

www.busa.co.uk

Direct Dial 023 8060 4167
Direct Fax: 023 8060 4290   

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2006 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series winds up at Weymouth
29 October

European Champion Nick Dempsey took a clean sweep of race wins at the final RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series for 2006, held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this weekend (28-29 October).

Racing got underway in over 20 knot westerly breezes on Saturday with all classes managing three races on the opening day of the event, but Sunday saw a different story with extremely light winds preventing any further action at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue.

Dempsey's three wins from the opening day's races were enough to hand him his third national ranking event victory for the year, while Finn European Champion Ed Wright also secured his third national ranker win, thanks to a 1,4,1 from Saturday's racing.

World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis came out on top in the 470 fleet, with two race wins and a second easing them to a five point margin of victory over Austria 's Matthias Schmid and Florien Reichstaedter, while visiting crews took a clean sweep of podium places in the 49er class. Germany 's Peckolt brothers, Jan Peter and Hannes, won thanks to a 1,1,2 from Saturday's three races, with France's Morgan Lagraviere and Stephan Christidis in second, and Emmanuel Dyen and Jann Rocherieux third. The top Skandia Team GBR crew was Dave Evans and Rick Peacock in fifth.

For the Tornado class, this was the final domestic warm-up event before the crews head down to Argentina for the World Championship in December. Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley took the event win ahead of world silver medallists Leigh McMillan and Will Howden, while Lucy Horwood came out on top in the third and final ranking event for the RS:X 8.5 fleet, beating European silver medallist Bryony Shaw into second.

The final Laser class qualifier of the year, held concurrently at WPNSA, also had racing action restricted to Saturday. Skandia Team GBR's Charlotte Dobson emerged as the top female in the Laser Radial fleet, while European Champion Paul Goodison topped the Laser Standard fleet with three race wins.

�The standard of these UK-based events just gets better and better ,  � Rob Andrews, RYA Competitions Manager explained. �Competitors from other countries are now making the trip to the UK to compete as they see these British events as key fixtures in the racing calendar.

" We had seven nations sailing this weekend with foreign sailors taking the top three in the 49er class , and this level of competition will simply make our sailors more competitive and our events even better.�

The RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series also forms the qualification for British sailors for the ISAF Olympic Class World Championships 2007, and, combined with the early season RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series are used as part of classes international championship places qualification and RYA grants for key Olympic regattas. Details of the grants and places selection system can be found at in the Olympic Classes Handbook at www.skandiateamgbr.com

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 w ww.skandiateamgbr.com

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

About Skandia

Skandia in the UK launched in 1979 and is now one of the leading international long term savings groups providing pensions, investment and protection products through intermediaries in the UK and overseas, with assets under management of £26.7bn (as at 31.10.05). Creators of the MultiManager approach, Skandia has teamed up with the world's top fund managers to create a range of funds tailored for investors' individual needs.

Skandia UK is part of a worldwide group founded in Sweden in 1855. The group is a leading, independent provider of long-term savings solutions.

In the first quarter of 2006 Old Mutual Plc completed a successful bid for the worldwide Skandia group and full ownership of the Group is currently being progressed.

Ownership by Old Mutual makes Skandia part of one of Europe 's largest financial service groups with a strong financial base. Old Mutual is a FTSE 100® company, headquartered in London , which understands Skandia's markets and customers well.

It has developed and evolved constantly over the years to reach its present position as one of the world's leading long-term saving companies with operations in over 20 countries and assets under management of £46.9 billion (as at 31.12.05). For more information on Skandia Insurance Company Limited visit www.skandia.com .

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A golden return for Shirley Robertson
15 October 2006

Two years after winning her Athens gold medal, Shirley Robertson saw a triumphant return to Olympic classes sailing on Sunday (15 October) clinching gold at the Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta just 13 weeks after giving birth to twins.

Back in the Yngling and racing for the first time with her new crew Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor, the double Olympic gold medallist won Sunday's final medal race and kept sufficient boats between her and her nearest Dutch rivals to seal the overall victory.

Robertson, Lush and Macgregor went into the day in third place with the Netherlands' Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Marye Kampen at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final double-points scoring medal race at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where big breezes around the 25 knot mark made for an exciting day's action.

Robertson's team were hotly pursued around the medal race track by the 38-year-old new mum's former crewmates Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, now sailing together with Pippa Wilson.

The two top Skandia Team GBR Ynglings ensured a British one-two in the medal race, which was enough to boost Ayton's team onto the podium in bronze medal position, in addition to Team Shirley Robertson's gold.

�It really feels fantastic to win our first event outing together but it was a bit of a surprise in some ways.

�We sailed well in some cases but at other points we made some bad choices which we will have to work on. But as we had a medal race today it allowed us to take back some of our previous mistakes. We knew this morning we just had to grasp the opportunity and pull it out of the bag. We started in a good position on the line and dominated the whole way round so we are very happy tonight.�

Robertson continued: �Having not raced in the Yngling since the last race of Athens I am pleased with my performance and so proud of my new team, Annie and Lucy. We had an exceptional performance this weekend.�

Austria 's Matthias Schmidt and Florian Reichstaedter won the 470 men's medal race, but it wasn't enough to knock Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield off the top step of the podium. Rogers and Glanfield crossed in second to clinch the overall victory with a seven point margin, while there was disappointing end to Nic Asher and Eliott Willis' regatta. A broken kicker forced the new World Champions to retire from the final race, which also resulted in them being squeezed out of the podium places into fourth.

Skandia Team GBR's Luke Patience and Chris Grube took silver with the Austrian pair finishing in third, while Ally Martin and Lottie Clay took the women's 470 title.

European Champion Paul Goodison won the Laser event in spite of a near capsize in the medal race, while Charlotte Dobson came out on top in the women's single-handed Laser Radial class. World number one Nick Dempsey took his fifth race win from the six race series in today's medal race for the RS:X 9.5 windsurfers to take the title nine points clear, with Bryony Shaw topping the RS:X 8.5 fleet.

Ed Wright, crowned Finn European Champion just two weeks ago, continued his winning streak, while a ding-dong battle in the Tornado saw Leigh McMillan and Will Howden, in spite of nearly capsizing, come out ahead of Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley to take the overall win.

"This is the highlight of the winter series results � we had top class competition here to challenge us all the way to the finish, so we are pleased to once again come out on top,� said Howden.

�It has again been great training for our Worlds in Argentina and we're pleased that we are once again moving in the right direction.�

A superb comeback in the 49er medal race saw Spanish Olympic champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez snatch victory from Europeans Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes. In overall second behind the Skandia Team GBR sailors heading into the final race, the Spanish team needed to keep four boats between them and the British pair to take the gold.

The Spanish team were in overall second behind the Skandia Team GBR sailors heading into the final race. After a good start they were forced back into ninth place after having to take a penalty, but an excellent display of boat handling and superior speed allowed them to claw their way back up the fleet. It still wasn't enough for the gold, but then Morrison and Rhodes made a critical handling error on the final run which saw them lose four boat places the title slipped away.

�We managed to make a little bit of a hash in the last race. It was very windy, and quite a tricky day,� a disappointed Morrison explained.

" We made a few silly mistakes. [Iker] made some mistakes as well which gave us opportunities to beat him. Unfortunately there turned out to be opportunities for us to make mistakes and we took those opportunities well and made some good mistakes!

�I hope we can learn from them and move on and I think we will. We know what we did wrong � we kind of got lost in the moment and didn't do the simple things right.�

The strong winds saw the three Paralympic classes confined to shore today, resulting in Gustaf Fresk and Annika Lindgren being crowned the first ever European Champions in the new Paralympic SKUD-18 class. The Sonar title went to the German trio of Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka and Tobias Schuetz, with Damien Seguin winning gold in the 2.4mR class.

This inaugural Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta saw an impressive 264 boats from 22 nations descend on the 2012 Olympic sailing venue for three days of world class competition, which also featured demonstrations of GPS boat tracking and radio commentary on the internet to enhance the regatta for spectators.

�I've been really thrilled with the turnout from the overseas sailors for this event, and we've been lucky as the weather has allowed us to get some top quality racing in over the past three days,� concluded Event Director Rob Andrews . �Ultimately going  forward  we hope this event will become one of the prime Grade 1 regattas on European circuit and I think weekend has given us a good start.

�The experiments we've been running here with the GPS tracking of boats and the audio race commentary over the internet have proved extremely popular and are a big step in the promotion of Olympic classes sailing.�

For full results and information, visit www.ryaevents.org.uk/sailforgold

End s

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Copyright free images for editorial use are available to download from:

OnEdition on-line image library at : http://www.w-w-i.com/sail_for_gold/

For assistance or specific requests please contact :

Tim Stonton

OnEdition

M: +44 (0)7841337649

e: Tim@onEdition.com

Broadcasters can request rights free access footage from the host broadcaster by contacting:

APP Broadcast

Carrie Tooth

T: +44 (0)1865 260200

e: ctooth@appbroadcast.com

Live  Radio interviews and feeds will be available via ISDN (G722), pre-recorded interviews and "cuts" with cues available via e-mail (MP3) from Friday 13 October - Sunday 15 October
For more information, contact: Tracey Clarke, Event Broadcast

Email: tc@eventbroadcast.org

During  regatta - mobile: Tracey Clarke 07768 806699

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

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Goodison back on track at Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta
14 October

Better breeze on Saturday (14 October) at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy saw some changes at the top of the leaderboards after day two of the Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta.

Amidst 12-15 knot winds at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue, Laser European Champion Paul Goodison shook off his bad start to the regatta with a race win and two seconds from today's three races to see him take over the top spot ahead of Mark Powell and Nick Thompson, now in second and third places respectively.

Goodison,  the 28-year-old world number one f rom Rotherham, was relieved to have had a more solid performance to see him into Sunday's final medal race, and explained his apparent lack form on the opening day.

�I had a bit of trouble in the first race of the series when I got something caught around my centreboard, so a bit frustrating, but I guess quite funny for the rest of them who watched me disappear down the back of the fleet!,� he explained.

�But since then I've either been first or second in every race so I'm pretty happy with that.�

With the bitter taste of a double disqualification still looming from yesterday. Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and new crew Pippa Wilson went out determined for a strong showing to drag themselves from the bottom of the Yngling table.

It was mission accomplished, with the Skandia Team GBR trio posting two straight bullets and a third to boost them back into contention. They finish the day in fifth overall, just one point off the bronze medal place which is occupied by Ayton and Webb's ex-helm Shirley Robertson. The double Olympic gold medallist and her team of Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor had a 3,8,6 today to see them into the third place, while the Netherlands ' Mandy Mulder and her team, and Janneke Hin's crew took over the top two spots respectively.

But Ayton seemed unruffled by the Dutch offensive. �They're putting a bit of a fight up but we were in control today and we dominated, so that will send them back to the drawing board I'm sure.�

Ed Wright, European Champion in the Finn class, saw a better day today, posting two firsts and a third to see him take the lead over Matt Howard, while the 470 event saw Athens silver medallist Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield leapfrog their World Championship-winning teammates Nic Asher and Elliot Willis with a three point lead at the top of the table going into the medal race on Sunday.

Spain's  Olympic champions in the 49er class Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez had a superb opening two races, with two wins followed by a ninth to challenge the Skandia Team GBR overnight leaders Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes. The Exmouth pair had a 2,4 followed by a discardable 21 which was enough for them to stay at the top of the ladder.

�Not such a good day today but pretty solid,� concluded Morrison.

�We obviously had a very good day yesterday which put us in a pretty strong position and so today was a bit more of a day about being safer and not messing it up!

�The Spanish team, who are the Olympic gold medallists from Athens, are a little bit heavier than us � that means they've got a little bit more horsepower so when there's a bit more wind they've got the potential to go faster.�

In the Laser Radial, Charlotte Dobson posted the perfect scorecard from today's three races to knock European bronze medallist Penny Clark off the top of the table, while European Champion Nick Dempsey remains in control in the RS:X 9.5 windsurfing class with Bryony Shaw leading the RS:X 8.5 fleet with two race wins and a second for her efforts today.

Ally Martin and Lottie Clay are still topping the women's 470 class, while Germany 's Johannes Polgar and Florian Spalteholz have a one point lead over Skandia Team GBR's Leigh McMillan and Will Howden in the Tornado class.

World silver medallist Helena Lucas broke into the podium positions in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, which is led by Frenchman Damien Seguin with Thierry Schmitter in second. Swedes Gustaf Fresk and Annika Lindgren remain in the top spot of the new Paralympic SKUD-18 event, in spite of a disqualification from race nine, with German trio Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka and Tobias Schutz two points ahead in the Sonar class.

For the Olympic classes, the top ten boats at the end of today will go forward into the final double-points scoring medal races which get underway at 1030 BST.   GPS tracking and live audio commentary will be available from the finals at  www.ryaevents.org.uk/sailforgold

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Copyright free images for editorial use are available to download from:

OnEdition on-line image library at : http://www.w-w-i.com/sail_for_gold/

For assistance or specific requests please contact :

Tim Stonton

OnEdition

M: +44 (0)7841337649

e: Tim@onEdition.com

Broadcasters can request rights free access footage from the host broadcaster by contacting:

APP Broadcast

Carrie Tooth

T: +44 (0)1865 260200

e: ctooth@appbroadcast.com

Live  Radio interviews and feeds will be available via ISDN (G722), pre-recorded interviews and "cuts" with cues available via e-mail (MP3) from Friday 13 October - Sunday 15 October
For more information, contact: Tracey Clarke, Event Broadcast

Email: tc@eventbroadcast.org

During  regatta - mobile: Tracey Clarke 07768 806699

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.

Back to top

Robertson shakes off the cobwebs on her return to Olympic sailing
14 October

Racing at the inaugural Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta got underway today (Friday 13 October) with double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson currently in fourth after her first day of competitive Yngling sailing since the Athens Olympics two years ago.

The 38-year-old new mother of twins notched up a race win in the fleet's opening race of this regatta � held on the 2012 Olympic waters at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy � with her new crew of Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor.

After a positive start, the second race proved not quite such plain sailing, with Robertson and her team posting a ninth.

�A good day and a bad day,� said Robertson. �It was good to get out there and racing again and it certainly blew the cobwebs away.

�We just need to get some more racing time in as a team � today was quite tricky in some ways, but we're finding our way and every day we're getting better and better.�

Robertson, Lush and Macgregor are in fourth with Sweden 's Ingrid Soderstrom, Johanna Larsson and Caroline Aberg leading the women's keelboat class after day one.

Robertson's former teammates Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, sailing with new crew member Pippa Wilson, got off to a conservative start, posting a couple of mid-fleet results before being subsequently disqualified from both of the day's races as Webb was judged to have infringed the regatta rules by not wearing a buoyancy aid.

Skandia Team GBR's European Champions Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes enjoyed a near-perfect start in the 49er event, posting two bullets and a second from their three races of the day. The world bronze medallists consequently lead the pack at the end of this first day, with Germany's Jan Peter Peckolt and Hannes Peckolt in second, Spain's Olympic Champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez in third, and World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks in fourth.

�We couldn't really have asked for a much better start with two firsts and a second from today,� said Morrison. �We're pretty pleased but it's still early days.�

Competing here in Weymouth at the site of their European Championship triumph, Rhodes reflected on what's been a good year for the pair. �We've been working well together this season � our strengths as a team have really complemented each other and between us we make up for each others' weaknesses!�

Newly-crowned 470 World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis lead the pack in the 470 men's fleet, ahead of teammates and Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield, who are in second place on equal points with Luke Patience and Chris Grube after two races. The women's fleet saw the withdrawal of pre-event favourites Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark through an injury to Clark, with Ally Martin and Lottie Clay currently topping the leaderboard after the first day's racing.

Things didn't quite go to plan in the Finn event for birthday boy Ed Wright � who turned 29 today � with the new European Champion and world bronze medallist lying in third after the fleet's opening two races. Matt Howard leads the pack, with Ireland's Timothy Goodbody in second, while Finn convert Giles Scott posted a 7,2 in borrowed equipment to see him into fourth in his first ever Finn regatta since switching from the Laser after the World Championship in Korea last month.

Laser European Champion Paul Goodison turned around a bad start to the regatta � posting a 15 th in his opening race � with two subsequent race wins to see him up into third at the end of day one. Mark Powell leads the fleet by just one point of Nick Thompson, who won the day's first race.

Penny Clark has gained a nine point lead over nearest rival Laura Baldwin after the Lasre Radial's first three races, thanks to a race win followed by 8,6, while David Jessop leads the male Laser Radial sailors in this Open class.

Nick Dempsey took two bullets in the RS:X 9.5m fleet's two races, while Kim Jiskoot currently heads up the 8.5m table, with Bryony Shaw in second and the top female sailor in that fleet.

Germany 's Johannes Polgar and Florian Spalteholz lead the Tornado fleet, with Skandia Team GBR's world silver medallists Leigh McMillan and Will Howden in second, while overseas contenders are on top in all three of the Paralympic disciplines. Dutchman Thierry Schmitter heads the 2.4mR single-hander leaderboard, France 's Joudren-Fulgoni-Balle top the Sonar table and Sweden 's Gustaf Fresk and Annika Lindgren lead the SKUD-18 European Championship by three points after five races.

Racing at the Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta is due to get underway at 1200 on Friday 13 October and will run through until Sunday 15 October.

For more information visit www.ryaevents.org.uk/sailforgold

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Copyright free images for editorial use are available to download from:

OnEdition on-line image library at : http://www.w-w-i.com/sail_for_gold/

For assistance or specific requests please contact :

Tim Stonton

OnEdition

M: +44 (0)7841337649

e: Tim@onEdition.com

Broadcasters can request rights free access footage from the host broadcaster by contacting:

APP Broadcast

Carrie Tooth

T: +44 (0)1865 260200

e: ctooth@appbroadcast.com

Live  Radio interviews and feeds will be available via ISDN (G722), pre-recorded interviews and "cuts" with cues available via e-mail (MP3) from Friday 13 October - Sunday 15 October
For more information, contact: Tracey Clarke, Event Broadcast

Email: tc@eventbroadcast.org

During  regatta - mobile: Tracey Clarke 07768 806699

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Back to top

Tracking technology takes off at Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta
13 October

This weekend's Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta (13-15 October) at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy will feature an innovative tracking experiment which the organisers hope will help bridge the gap between live sailing and spectator entertainment.

In conjunction with UK-based Traxu and Norwegian company Pro Sail, the organisers will run live GPS tracking of the finals races on Sunday 15 October.

During the finals for each class, the top ten teams after two days of qualification, will race in a double point scoring, non discardable medal race to decide the final positions. Each of the boats, the start line and marks will have a unique GPS tag that will which will then transmit live data to the event specific website.

In conjunction with this live tracking of the boats, the 30 minute races will also feature commentary provided by Airwaves technology featuring expert input from America 's Cup commentator Andy Green. Joining Andy will be Skandia Team GBR Olympic Manager Stephen Park to provide additional insight into the tactics and strategy.

This will be the first time that live tracking with audio commentary has come to Olympic classes sailing, where the technology required is much harder to achieve due to the need for self powering units and restrictions on weight. Although commonplace in the America 's Cup, this weekend's events will mark a significant breakthrough for the smaller Olympic classes.

The tracking developments are not only expected to enhance the shore-side spectator experience, but it is hoped that the initiative will also provide data for coaches, information for Race Officers in helping to police OCS, as well as helping on the safety side as the position of each boat that is tagged will be known to the organisers.

The Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta hopes to continue such technical developments on the spectator interface with future projects linked to live TV images on the shore, which will allow the regatta village to start to come alive.

To watch the live tracking on Sunday 15 October go to www.ryaevents.org.uk/sailforgold


End s

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Copyright free images for editorial use are available to download from:

OnEdition on-line image library at : http://www.w-w-i.com/sail_for_gold/

For assistance or specific requests please contact :

Tim Stonton

OnEdition

M: +44 (0)7841337649

e: Tim@onEdition.com

Broadcasters can request rights free access footage from the host broadcaster by contacting:

APP Broadcast

Carrie Tooth

T: +44 (0)1865 260200

e: ctooth@appbroadcast.com

Live  Radio interviews and feeds will be available via ISDN (G722), pre-recorded interviews and "cuts" with cues available via e-mail (MP3) from Friday 13 October - Sunday 15 October
For more information, contact: Tracey Clarke, Event Broadcast

Email: tc@eventbroadcast.org

During  regatta - mobile: Tracey Clarke 07768 806699

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Back to top

280 boats flock to WPNSA for the first Sail for Gold Regatta
13 October 2006

Olympic and Paralympic sailors from more than 20 nations will take to the water this weekend for the inaugural Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta (13-15 October) at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Over 260 boats have so far entered across the ten Olympic and three Paralympic classes at this three-day event, which sees double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson making her return to competitive Olympic classes sailing for the first time since the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and just 13 weeks after giving birth to twins.

Sailing with her new team of Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor, 38-year-old Robertson will compete in the 15-boat Yngling fleet which includes her former crew and Skandia Team GBR teammates Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, sailing with Pippa Wilson. There will inevitably be some focus attention on how the former teammates fare against each other, but it's not something which Robertson is dwelling on.

�Our priority for this event is just to start working together,� said Robertson. �It's still early days for us as a team so we've just kept everything simple, simple equipment and no changes. If we can get out there and do the basics right then I'll be quite happy.�

This Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta � which incorporates the European Championships for the new SKUD-18 Paralympic class - marks the first time that an international Olympic classes regatta has returned to the UK since the early 1990s.

�The turnout here has been really impressive,� remarked Robertson, �particularly as it's in October as it's traditionally a slack month.

�But people are really keen to see what it's like here, and from our point of view it's perfect to have this event at home.�

The 49er class will see strong competition both from home talents including reigning World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks, and European titleholders Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, as well as international contenders such as Spanish Olympic champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez amongst the 44 boats currently entered.

The Laser class boasts the biggest entry, with 52 boats due to compete. World number one and European Champion Paul Goodison headlines the fleet, while European and Pre-Olympics bronze medallist Penny Clark will be hoping to continue her excellent form this season with a result on British waters.

After a stint standing in for Shirley Robertson in the Yngling, Helena Lucas returns to Paralympic class racing this weekend in the 2.4mR. Nominated for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award for her achievements this year in both the Olympic and Paralympic class sailing, world silver medallist Lucas will count Frenchman Damien Seguin, Thierry Schmitter of the Netherlands and Norway's Bjornar Erikstad amongst her main rivals.

The host nation will be hopeful of honours in the men's 470 event, with Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield, and newly-crowned World Champions Nic Asher and Elliott Willis both in contention, while Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark head the women's 470 fleet.

New European Champion and world bronze medallist Ed Wright will be the man to beat in the Finn class, while Skandia Team GBR's World Champions John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas will be pushing for home glory in the Paralympic Sonar class.

For the Tornado entrants, this event will prove a good warm-up for their end of year World Championships in Argentina this December, while the RS:X windsurfing events will provide a chance for youngsters such as Richard Hamilton, fifth at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, to compete up against experienced campaigners such as Athens bronze medallist Nick Dempsey.

Racing at the Skandia RYA Sail for Gold Regatta is due to get underway at 1200 on Friday 13 October and will run through until Sunday 15 October.

For more information visit www.ryaevents.org.uk/sailforgold

End s

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Copyright free images for editorial use are available to download from:

OnEdition on-line image library at : http://www.w-w-i.com/sail_for_gold/

For assistance or specific requests please contact :

Tim Stonton

OnEdition

M: +44 (0)7841337649

e: Tim@onEdition.com

Broadcasters can request rights free access footage from the host broadcaster by contacting:

APP Broadcast

Carrie Tooth

T: +44 (0)1865 260200

e: ctooth@appbroadcast.com

Live  Radio interviews and feeds will be available via ISDN (G722), pre-recorded interviews and "cuts" with cues available via e-mail (MP3) from Friday 13 October - Sunday 15 October
For more information, contact: Tracey Clarke, Event Broadcast

Email: tc@eventbroadcast.org

During  regatta - mobile: Tracey Clarke 07768 806699

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Back to top

Olympic medallists come out on top at National Ranker
9 October 2006

Britain 's Olympic sailing medallists were out in force at this weekend's first RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking event (7-8 October) at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy .

Yngling Olympic Champions Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, 470 silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield, bronze medal-winning windsurfer Nick Dempsey and 49er bronze medallists Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks all came out on top in their respective classes after a weekend of solid breeze and world class racing at the 2012 Olympic venue.

In winds of up to 20 knots, Skandia Team GBR's World Champions Draper and Hiscocks emerged victorious in the 40-strong 49er fleet, with the Weymouth locals winning by just one point in spite of a strong start by Spain's visiting Olympic Champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez . Austria's Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch finished second, with the Spanish duo squeezed into third.

The 470 men's fleet promised an interesting battle between Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield, and newly-crowned World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis. The two-time Olympians took an early grip on the race series, with three firsts in their opening three races, and a further bullet in race five which helped them to a four point win over Asher and Willis. Ally Martin and Lottie Clay won the 470 women's event.

Nick Dempsey cruised to victory in the RS:X men's fleet, gaining such a commanding lead that he could sit out the sixth and final race � an approach also employed by Yngling sailors Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, sailing with Pippa Wilson on the bow, and also newly-crowned European Champion Ed Wright in the 11-boat Finn event.

World silver medallists Leigh McMillan and Will Howden were made to work for their win in the Tornado class, but eventually secured a two-point margin of victory over second placed Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley, and Hugh Styles and Tom Peel in third.

�This is another good result for us in the build up to our Worlds,� said Howden.

�We were pleased to get the four wins in conditions which are not normally our strongest, but we still have to start the regattas better!  There are 3 more events before our Worlds so there is still plenty of practice to get in shape for our most important event of the year!!�

European Champion Bryony Shaw clinched the win in the RS:X 8.5m discipline, while Megan Pascoe took the win in the 2.4mR Paralympic class. There was disappointment for world silver medallist Helena Lucas, who was forced to retire from the 2.4mR event when her tiller and the foot pedals in her boat both broke.

�We saw some excellent racing conditions this weekend, and with such a star-studded entry both from the top the Skandia Team GBR sailors and international visitors, it was a great start to the 2006 National Ranking Series,� said RYA Competitions Manager Rob Andrews.

�All eyes will now be on the inaugural Sail for Gold Regatta next weekend, where Olympic hopefuls both from home and abroad will be pushing for good results on the 2012 Olympic waters.�

The three weekend National Ranking Series at WPNSA (7-8 October; 13-15 October in conjunction with the Sail for Gold Regatta; 28-29 October) will feature Skandia Team GBR's top talent against the new breed hoping to challenge for 2012, as well as domestic Olympic class racers.

The National Ranking Series forms the qualification for British sailors for the ISAF Olympic Class World Championships 2007, and, combined with the early season RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series are used as part of classes international championship places qualification and RYA grants for key Olympic regattas. Details of the grants and places selection system can be found at in the Olympic Classes Handbook at www.skandiateamgbr.com/events

For full results from the National Ranking event, visit http://www.wpnsa.org.uk/results.htm

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

About Skandia

Skandia in the UK launched in 1979 and is now one of the leading international long term savings groups providing pensions, investment and protection products through intermediaries in the UK and overseas, with assets under management of £26.7bn (as at 31.10.05). Creators of the MultiManager approach, Skandia has teamed up with the world's top fund managers to create a range of funds tailored for investors' individual needs.

Skandia UK is part of a worldwide group founded in Sweden in 1855. The group is a leading, independent provider of long-term savings solutions.

In the first quarter of 2006 Old Mutual Plc completed a successful bid for the worldwide Skandia group and full ownership of the Group is currently being progressed.

Ownership by Old Mutual makes Skandia part of one of Europe 's largest financial service groups with a strong financial base. Old Mutual is a FTSE 100® company, headquartered in London , which understands Skandia's markets and customers well.

It has developed and evolved constantly over the years to reach its present position as one of the world's leading long-term saving companies with operations in over 20 countries and assets under management of £46.9 billion (as at 31.12.05). For more information on Skandia Insurance Company Limited visit www.skandia.com .

Back to top

No pits for Cherry at RYA National Match Racing Championship
8 October

This weekend (6-8 October), Team Cherry had a near- perfect performance at the RYA National Matching Racing Championship, winning 10 of their 11 matches to be crowned the latest RYA National Match Racing Champions at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Sailing on the RYA's J80s, 21 year-old Cherry, with High Wycombe's Nick Houchin, Hamble's Matt Adams and Connor Myant from London , proved to be a strong leader and a cunning opponent.

�It feels great to have come out of the event at the top.� Southampton 's Cherry enthused. �I had a really good team behind me. We've been sailing together for three years and have put in a lot of practice recently so it's fantastic to have done so well.�

Friday, the first day of the three day event, brought autumn gales with 55 knots gusting off the pontoons. Due to high winds and much to the frustration of the eager sailors, racing was cancelled.

However, Saturday dawned as a better day, with ideal match racing conditions breaking across Portland Harbour . In 15-17 knots racing got underway and the round robin with 22 flights was completed to determine the 2006 winner.

While Cherry's 10-win-one-loss record is impressive, the competition was still strong out on the water, with each team displaying effective boat handling, good use of rules and a strong understanding of the conditions.

Cherry continued, �It certainly wasn't an easy event to win. Everyone sailed well and there were some top sailors competing.�

To claim the title, Cherry was able to count one more win than two-time national champion, Mark Campbell James and his tried and tested team of Andy Clark, Andy Yates and Graham Sunderland who finished the event in second overall.

Warsash-based, Andy Clark, bowman for Team Campbell James reflected on the event. �It was a shame to lose the first day of racing but the race committee did a great job getting the event back on pace and completing the round robin.

�We're disappointed not to have won the event, but Nick sailed well all weekend. You win some you lose some, that's all part of Match Racing. We'll be back again next year to try for a hat trick.�

Results

1. Nick Cherry, Nick Houchin, Connor Myant, Matt Adams

2. Mark Campbell James, Andy Clark, Andy Yates, Graham Sunderland

3. Ali Hall, Rob Grieg-Gran, Gaz Owen, Tudur Owen

4. Andy Cornah, Andy Bryson, Matt Findlay, Rob Miller, James Roche

5. John Greenland, Tom Montgome, Annie Lush, Dan Sanders, Paul Harris

6. Robbie Allam, Tom Makey, Adam Richards, Ali Haylet, Matt Pinner

7. Ed Hill, Athol King, Andy Mackay, Chris Carden

8. Andrew Shaw, Nick Blevins, Dan Schieber, Tom Hodkinson, Elliott Parsons

9. Katie Archer, Victoria Rawlinson, Kate Fairclough, Hannah Kemlo

10. Mark Lees, Nicky Macgregor, Matt Radmore, Mary Rook, Lucy Macgregor

11. David Tabb, Rob Kemp, Ben Scroggig, Matt Waterhouse

12. Roger Tait, David Wallace, Robert Yeamans, Ewan Stirling

Round robin results can be found in the Match Racing area of the RYA website,   www.rya.org.uk/AboutRYA/programmesinitiatives/matchracing/MatchRacing2006.htm

End

For further media information, please contact :

Myrrh Walker

RYA Racing Communications Assistant

t. 02380 604 219

m. 07769505203

e. myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

About the RYA:

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Back to top

The most successful Weymouth Speed Week ever!
8 October

The harbour record was broken on the first day by Kitesurfer Nigel Bowley with an amazing 36.85 knot run which was not beaten all week and netted him $1000 prize purse donated by DaKine. The previous record holder Bjorn Dunkerbeck was not there on the day to challenge Nigel as he was on route from the Sylt World Cup event. He arrived champing at the bit to get out and reclaim his title, but other contenders were also hungry for the title including David (Whitey) White the current production world speed record holder. They got within 0.2 of a knot but could not beat Nigel's time.

With Whitey beating Bjorn by the slimmest of margins only 0.07 of a knot! It was not proving to be Bjorn's week. But showing the top sportsman that he is, he was the first to congratulate Whitey and vowed to return next year to reclaim his crown.

Other records broken were, the Ladies Harbour Record set by Zara Davis at a very respectable 32.44 knots. The previous record had stood for 22 years, set back in 1984 by Jenna de Rosnay. Zara finishing 1 st Lady and 18 th overall, which considering the company she was keeping, is a result to be proud of.

Dan Simpson the top junior from last year set a new Junior Record at 28.39 knots and won an X15 race sail from Tushingham.

From the boat camp, It was good to see the mighty Basilica, a 40 foot Extreme catamaran with six crew, flying the course with one hull raised and achieving a commendable 27.24 knots.

WSW came under much more of media a spotlight this year, which is great for speedsailing specifically, and windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing in general. If you were there look out for yourself on SKY, Extreme sports channel, Discovery and the BBC. We also succeeded in attracting sponsorship from inside and importantly from outside the industry, in the case of Maui Jim, who provided their polarised sunglasses to the timing and support crew's and prizes for contestants, worth over £3000, and Kangaroo Poo who provided clothing and paid for the Saturday night Barbie.

But Weymouth is not all about winning records it is a place that ordinary sailors can pit there skills against each other, achieve their own personal bests and have a great time. This year a record number of 59 contestants achieved over 30 knots. Which goes to show the improvement in equipment and skill that is out there. Its also about experimenting with new Ideas in hull and sail design, the wackiest must be the dinghy with the spinning bernouli effect rotor built by Stephen Thorpe which achieved over 5 knots, or perhaps Graeme Fullers high aspect sail pictured, I know it looks like it was altered in Photoshop, but I assure you it wasn't.

We also had a new category this year with recognition to the amateurs that take part every year and with a prize of a brand new F2 Missile, the competition was hot. Simon Hinkley was the eventual winner with 34.11 knots. A special mention must go to a local sailor Tony Robinson who won the Rookie category, he has seen WSW running over the years but always thought it was too good for him. With some persuading from his friends and family he showed up gave his best and won a holiday from Club Vass for his trouble. He says he will be back next year to take the harbour record!

Speedsailing one of the simplest sports around you don't have to be able to tack or jibe you just have to be able to go fast from point A to point B and age is no restriction either. Our youngest contestant was 9 and our oldest was 72. Come on next year what is stopping you? But get in early as we had to turn people away as we were full by August.

Finally the question is.

Winners

Fastest Craft and Kite Overall Nigel Bowley 36.85K $1000 Chq *

2 nd Fastest Kite Jeremy Waitte 30.99K Maui Jims

3 rd Fastest Kite Stacy Vass 29.13K Maui Jims

Fastest Pro Windsurfer David White 36.64K Maui Jims *

2 nd Fastest Pro Windsurfer Bjorn Dunkerbeck 36.57K Maui Jims

3 rd Fastest Pro Windsurfer John Sanderson 35.76K Maui Jims

Fastest Amateur Windsurfer Simon Hinkley 34.11K F2 Missile

2 nd Fastest Amateur windsurfer Robin Penna 33.65K Naish bag

3 rd Fastest Amateur windsurfer Peter Cunningham 33.17K Anemometer

Fastest Master (+45) Windsurfer Robin Penna 33.65K DaKine B/Bag

2 nd Fastest Master windsurfer Pete Davis 32.45K Gaastra ext

3 rd Fastest Master windsurfer Barry Mason 30.20K Maui Sails Q/bag

Fastest Rookie Windsurfer Tony Robinson 32.29K Club Vass Holiday

2 nd Fastest Rookie Rupert Fisher 31.97K Fiberspar Mast

3 rd Fastest Rookie David Strudwick 31.09K Naish Bag

Fastest Lady Windsurfer Zara Davis 32.44K Gaastra ext *

2 nd Fastest lady Jane Sanderson 24.60K Naish Harness

Fastest Junior ( W/end only) Dan Simpson 28.39K Tushingham Sail *

2 nd Fastest Junior Richard Jones 26.19K Tushingham prize

3 rd Fastest Junior Sam Gooch 26.09K Tushingham prize

Fastest Boat Basilica 40' Cat 27.24K Maui Jim Glass's

2 nd Fastest Boat Trifoiler Exp/foil 23.51K Maui Jim Glass's

3 rd Fastest Boat Exajet Exp Cat 15.00K Maui Jim Glass's

Fastest Veteran Brian(Bruno)Warner 23.65K Dakine Harness

Wipe out of the week Tony Ireland Stiff neck & double vision

*New Harbour Record

Our Thanks go to our sponsors and supporters Maui Jim Sunglass, Kangaroo Poo, Windsurf Magazine, Dakine, F2, Fiberspar, Naish, Thommen T1, Tushingham, Gaastra, Maui sails, AYRS, Weymouth & Portland Council, WPNSA.

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Olympic Classes National Ranking Series kicks off in Weymouth
6 October 2006

This weekend (7-8 October) sees the first event in the revised RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series, held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy .

The three weekend Series at WPNSA (7-8 October; 13-15 October in conjunction with the Sail for Gold Regatta; 28-29 October) will feature Skandia Team GBR's top talent against the new breed hoping to challenge for 2012, as well as domestic Olympic class racers.

Amongst the entries so far are Olympic gold medallists Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb in the Yngling class, Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield and newly-crowned World Champions Nic Asher and Elliott Willis in the 470 men's fleet, world silver medallist Helena Lucas in the 2.4mR Paralympic class and 49er European Champions and world bronze medallists Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes.

For 2006 the RYA overhauled its UK Olympic Classes events in order to ensure both the best possible attendance from world class sailors, to provide quality national racing opportunities for aspiring 2012 sailors and to continue to provide quality racing and venues for the UK Olympic class sailors generally.

�With the new 2006 format the NR series should be the most keenly fought UK Olympic Classes Series for many years especially considering the attendance of Athens medallist in  in most classes and 2007 World Championship qualification places up for grabs,� explained RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager Barrie Edgington.

�The winners of all the classes will have to be on top form to win and therefore the series champions will represent the best of British.�

The National Ranking Series will form the qualification for British sailors for the ISAF Olympic Class World Championships 2007, and, combined with the early season RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series are used as part of classes international championship places qualification and RYA grants for key Olympic regattas. Details of the grants and places selection system can be found at in the Olympic Classes Handbook at www.skandiateamgbr.com/events

For further event information, visit www.ryaevents.org.uk/nr

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

About Skandia

Skandia in the UK launched in 1979 and is now one of the leading international long term savings groups providing pensions, investment and protection products through intermediaries in the UK and overseas, with assets under management of £26.7bn (as at 31.10.05). Creators of the MultiManager approach, Skandia has teamed up with the world's top fund managers to create a range of funds tailored for investors' individual needs.

Skandia UK is part of a worldwide group founded in Sweden in 1855. The group is a leading, independent provider of long-term savings solutions.

In the first quarter of 2006 Old Mutual Plc completed a successful bid for the worldwide Skandia group and full ownership of the Group is currently being progressed.

Ownership by Old Mutual makes Skandia part of one of Europe 's largest financial service groups with a strong financial base. Old Mutual is a FTSE 100® company, headquartered in London , which understands Skandia's markets and customers well.

It has developed and evolved constantly over the years to reach its present position as one of the world's leading long-term saving companies with operations in over 20 countries and assets under management of £46.9 billion (as at 31.12.05). For more information on Skandia Insurance Company Limited visit www.skandia.com .

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Campbell James back to defend title at the RYA Match Racing Series
5 October

This weekend a battle of tactical wit and boat handling skill will ensue as some of Britain's top-ranked match racers fight it out for the RYA National Match Racing title.

In a three -day format, the RYA National Match Raing series will once again be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, from 6 -8 October and will be contested in the fleet of RYA J80s.

The 2006 final will see an elite line-up of 1 2 teams with several familiar faces competing against some new names.

Mark Campbell James and his successful team are back to defend their title, hoping to win their third consecutive National Match Racing title. Team Campbell James are currently ranked second in the UK match racing rankings, just behind Ian Williams who will be absent from the event. After storming to victory in 2005, winning all their matches bar one, Team Campbell James are expected to pose a good challenge for the title.

Ranked third in the UK, Andrew Cornah with his team of Andy Bryson, Matt Findlay, Rob Miller and James Roche will aim to better their third place finish at the same event last year.

After finishing fourth at the Match Race Finals in 2005 Nick Cherry has a score to settle and will hope to wrestle away the trophy. The Southampton-based sailor has pulled together a familiar crew featuring Nick Houchin, Connor Myant, and new team-mate Matt Adams in the hope that this team will fit the bill.

The Women's National Match Racing Champion, Katie Archer, also from Southampton will helm the only ladies boat at the event, with her crew of Victoria Rawlinson, Kate Fairclough and Hannah Kemlo expecting to follow on from their good performance at the Women's finals.

Archer will go up against another sailor that she knows well, as her boyfriend, John Greenland, will also be competing with his team. If the two sailors go head to head in the first round robin, one of them might be walking home.

Scotland's Roger Tait, winner of the Scottish qualifier which took place for the first time in 2006, will make the trip down from Shetland with his crew David Wallace, Robert Yeamans and Ewan Stirling to contest for the top prize.

Mark Lees and David Tabb bring some new blood to the event with each helming their own team in a challenge to some of the more familiar names on the circuit.

Three youth teams will also join the foray, to try their hand at un-seating some of the more mature teams. Andrew Shaw, Robbie Allam and Ali Hall, who finished fifth in the 2005 event, will each helm their own teams.

Racing starts on Fri day 6 October and continues through to Sunday 8 October.

End

For further media information, please contact:

Myrrh Walker
RYA Racing Communications Assistant
t. 02380 604 219
m. 07769505203
e. myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

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Weymouth Speed Week
4 October

A real David and Goliath battle is developing at the 2006 Weymouth speed week. On the first day a kitesurfer Nigel Bowley broke the harbor record, achieving an amazing 36.8 knots! He has therefore laid claim to the $1000 prize fund put up by Da Kine. Bjorn Dunkerbeck the previous title holder was not there to defend his title set in 2004 which previously had stood for over 22 years, as he was on his way from an international competition in Sylt, Germany. Bjorn has now arrived in Weymouth with his caddie and is determined to get his title and the $1000 purse.

With strong winds forecast for Thursday and Friday 40 plus knots is being predicted.

Let Battle commence!

Peter Davis spokesman for the event said �What an amazing start! We knew it would be good with a record number of entries including a 40 foot racing catamaran Basilica, and the largest number of 1 st timers ever. But no one could have predicted this, with strong winds coming and more competitors arriving including the juniors who knows what we can achieve�

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Major talent on show at the RYA Zone Championships
3 October 2006

Winners have been named and prizes have been handed out at RYA Zone Championships, a multi-venue regatta that saw Britain 's best junior sailing talent gather across England .

Racing took place this weekend 30 September-1 October, in each of the six RYA Zones with nearly 1000 sailors signing up to take part in an event that would not only decide Zone Champions but would also help select the RYA Junior Racing Squads for the next competitive year.

Once again, the RYA Zone Championships have proved to be the biggest RYA Junior Racing event of the season and the most popular, with around 800 boats and boards competing across the country.

SOUTH
The South Zone Championship hosted by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy boasted the largest entry of the six zones with over 300 sailors taking part.

Saturday in Weymouth brought gusting winds of up to 20 knots but with the weather forecast to bring stronger winds on Sunday, the sailors bravely hit the water to get in some racing.

Laser 4.7 sailors from around the UK attended the South Zone Championships, the last qualifier for the National 4.7 Squad. Close racing dominated the fleet with Martin Hayes, Shane Terry and Charlotte Greenhalgh gunning for the top three places. After some exhausting racing with sailors fully hiking to keep their boats upright, Hayes from Blithfield Sailing Club took the win with Terry in second and Greenhalgh in third.

The girls led the way in the Cadet fleet, with three female helms winning the top three places along with their crews. Joanna Freeman and Holly Francis from Poole finished in first overall and added another trophy to their growing collection, followed by Phillipa and Michael Horne from Frensham and Sophie Pearson and Liam Pardy from Parkstone.

As predicted Sunday brought winds gusting up to 29 knots and as a result, racing was called off and prize giving held early to recognise the sailors who had finished at the top.

SOUTH WEST
In the South West Zone , the Championship was hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing who made the decision early to get in as many races possible on the first day of the event.

Racing in a brisk 12-16 knots, a battle between sailors from Restronguet SC quickly ensued in the Optimist fleet, with five sailors from the club finishing in the top five. George Wilson and Christian Townrow finished on equal points with Wilson winning on count-back with two firsts and two seconds. David Grant finished just behind them in third.

The Mirror fleet had some good racing with most boats capsizing in the fresh breezes. Rob and Will Searle got off to a rocky start with a DNF but followed it up with three first place finishes giving them the win. John Harvey and Alex Parks took second and Freya Adams and Mike Chapman took third.

WEST
The West Zone Championship , held at Blithfield Sailing Club saw over 130 sailors and the largest windsurfing fleet of all six Zones gather together to compete in the varying 6-15 knots of wind.

Blithfield, a relatively small lake, threw up several challenges for the race committee, none smaller than that of getting over 130 boats competing in a restricted area.

The 40 windsurfers were treated to a morning of training before hitting the racecourse, where Tom Dickinson from Covenham Sailing Club put his new skills to the test, going on to win all five races in the 5.5 Open Fleet.

The Bic Techno fleets also had some close racing with Finlay Forster Davies from Astbury Sailing Club finishing top of the heap on the 7.8 and North Lincolnshire 's George Bowles on the 6.8.

Draycote Water's Michael Wood was also on top form in the 51-boat Topper Fleet, counting only first place finishes on his score card. It was a close race for second and third with Andrew Salt from Chelmarsh just edging out Sam Watson from Nantwich for the second place position.

NORTH
At Derwent Reservoir , host of the North Zone Championship , the first day of racing brought a bright, late-summers day, with the wind filling in as if on cue, straight after the competitor briefing.

When the rest of the country were struggling with strong winds, a light shifty breeze descended on the reservoir, testing all the competitors to the limits throughout out the four races on day one and the one race on day two.

The Optimist fleet saw some hot competition with Ben Pole from Saunton Harold Sailing Club and Northampton Sailing Club's Lucy Childs tussling for first place. Ben mastered the light and shifty conditions on the first race of the first day posting a convincing win, enabling him to take the top spot. Racing between Ben and Lucy was nip and tuck all weekend, with Ben just scraping through to victory by one point.

The Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club Novice trophy, awarded to a sailor who had never competed in a championship before, was given to local Optimist sailor Daniel Trotter who finished 19 th out of 34, an awesome feat for a junior who has been racing for less than a year.

EAST
Strong winds were also on the table at the East Zone Championship , held at Dabchicks Sailing Club and West Mersea Yacht Club where racing took place on three courses on the River Blackwater.

The event, sponsored by the East of England Co-operative Society, got off to a rocketing start. Saturday saw three races completed for all fleets with winds increasing from 10 knots to 16 knots over the course of the afternoon, accompanied by gusts of 22 knots, often catching out the unsuspecting sailor. On Sunday the wind increased and continued to build making it possible to complete only one race before racing was abandoned for the day.

The 22-strong windsurf fleet had an action packed two days.  The conditions were tough for the younger competitors but all showed tenacity and determination, resulting in some spectacular racing. For many of the sailors this event marked their first experience sailing on the sea and all handled it well.

Racing in the Optimist fleet was full of excitement, with the top three boats all tied with five points following the final race. Ben Harden from Burnham on Crouch finally took honours on count-back with local sailors Sam Curtis and Ollie Gozzett from Dabchicks SC finished in second and third respectively.

The RS Feva class saw the weekend's most consistent performance with Nathan and Anna Ackroyd from Norfolk Broads YC placing first in all four races to convincingly win the class.  The pair took home the RYA Eastern Regions Junior Champions Trophy for the best overall performance at the event

SOUTH EAST
141 sailors made the trip to Bewl Valley Sailing Club for the South East Zone Championship . With 8-14 knots on the first day sailors got three races in with the Windsurfing fleet having a morning training session before beginning to compete for the Championship title later in the day.

Sunday brought bigger breeze but with 20-30 knots on the course, sailors still braved the conditions to get in some races and for some a bit of swimming.

The Topper fleet was dominated by Freddie Connor from Bexhill Sailing Club, who showed a high standard of racing from the moment the first starting gun was fired. Julia Beck placed second and finished as the highest placed girl in the Topper Fleet, proving an inspiration for many young female junior sailors.

�We had a host of bright young sailing talent participating in what I believe was the biggest RYA Zone Championships to date,� said Duncan Truswell , RYA Junior Racing Manager.

�The conditions have been tough this weekend but we saw some fantastic sailing which bodes very well for the future. We have received many positive comments from all concerned but predominantly that the sailors were a credit to their sport.

�On behalf of the RYA I would like to reiterate our gratitude for the huge number of people who provided RIBs and the hundreds of volunteers who helped out nationwide.�

For further information and results please visit the event website www.ryaevents.org.uk/zonechamps

End

For more media information, please contact 

Myrrh Walker
RYA Racing Communications Assistant
Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 
Mobile : +44 (0) 7769 505 203 

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo. 

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

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Lord Coe to visit 2012 sailing region and WPNSA
23 September
Sebastian Coe will be in South West England next month to further promote the region as it gears up to host the 2012 sailing events.

Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, will be visiting Weymouth and Portland on October 3 and be hosted by leading members of Team South West � Juliet Williams, chairman of South West of England RDA, Ged Roddy, chairman of Sport England South West and Guy Lavender, South West England director for the 2012 Games.

Lord Coe, himself a former Olympic champion, will open Weymouth College's new Sports Centre and start the Team South West relay around Weymouth and Portland at 10.45am. The race is for people of all ages and abilities, who will participate in a range of sporting disciplines (To be determined) to cover the area.

Invited guests from the region and the local area will hear first hand about the progress towards hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and Guy Lavender will provide a regional update.

Guy Lavender said: �Lord Coe's visit will be a further boost for South West England as preparations for hosting 2012 events get into full swing.

�The opening of the Weymouth College's new Sports Centre by Lord Coe underlines how important the London 2012 Games will be for the region and what a focus our area will have for the Games. We thank Lord Coe for his time in coming to see the great progress we are making towards 2012.�

Lord Coe will also visit the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to see how this facility is already contributing to a sporting, community and economic legacy.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

•  The South West of England Regional Development Agency was established by government in 1999 to promote the long-term economic success of the region. It does this by working with others to give people the skills they need, encouraging enterprise, improving infrastructure, helping communities with regeneration and promoting the strengths of the region.

•  Sport England is the agency tasked with the development of community sport in England and invests Lottery and Exchequer funds into sport. Sport England has nine Regional Sports Boards, each made up of experts from areas such as business, local government, sport, health and education. The RSBs provide the strategic lead for sport in their regions and distribute investment for grassroots sport. Sport England has invested more than £2.2 billion of Lottery funds into sport across England and more than £550 million from the Exchequer. www.sportengland.org

•  The South West England Directorate for the 2012 Games is funded by the South West RDA and Sport England and has been developed to ensure South West England secures a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The director is Guy Lavender, who will be an advocate for the Games at all levels across the region. On a practical level he will manage and co-ordinate the South West England operational team for the 2012 Games. He will work with the public and all partners around the region to capitalise on the opportunities provided by hosting the Games, as well as contributing to the successful hosting of the sailing events in Weymouth & Portland in Dorset.

•  The South West England Director's post is jointly funded by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA) and Sport England South West.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Guy Lavender, please contact the RDA Press Office on 01392 229583

For information about Sport England South West, please contact Jason Lyons on 020 7273 1840 or email jason.lyons@sportengland.org

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J24 Autumn Cup at Portland - Jardine back in top spot
10 September 2006


The J/24 Autumn Cup brought a long overdue return to the top spot for former National and European Champion Stuart Jardine.  But the weekend's most notable feature - once again - was the close racing enjoyed by the J/24 Class.  With the Sailing Academy hosting and Race Officer Derek Abbott and the team in charge, the closely matched fleet of 11 was guaranteed excellent facilities and racing, both in the wind and waves of Saturday and the gentler conditions of Sunday.  This was also a final chance for teams to shake down before the European Championships in two week's time at Parkstone YC. 

Saturday's South Easterly breeze had moderated from the stronger winds of Friday, but began squarely in the mid range for Jibs, with seas   that were difficult upwind, exciting downwind.  With Bob (the "Special One") Turner away, his rotated squad ( Serco Defence helmed, as usual, by Al Clarke), took the early lead, winning race one and placing 2nd in race two.   David Ellis' Hitchhiker's Guide stormed back from his disappointing initial showing by winning races two and three, the latter in a closely fought tussle with Jardine's Stouche - as competitors tried to decide whether Jibs or Genoas were quicker in the moderating breeze.  None of which fully captures the closeness of the racing - places continually changing, both up and down wind - with Duncan McCarthy's Madeleine and Jim Anderson's Boomerang closely grouped with the leaders.  Indeed, the upwind finish to race three required a second recount from the Returning Officer, before the places 3-5 were finalised.  Overnight, Clarke led by two points from Ellis and McCarthy (tied on points), with Anderson and Jardine a further three points back and looking out of the hunt. 

Sunday was a perfect late summer day for racing.  With the lighter breeze veering back towards the same direction as Saturday and the tide - strong by Weymouth Bay standards - thowing further variables into the mix, the first beat of race 4 presented an interesting conundrum.  Derek Abbot's square course and start line gave no clues, and the fleet divided off the start.  Ben Williamson's Rumble went right, followed by Jardine,  believing the wind had a little further to go that way and hoping that this would bring bigger gains than any additional breeze or reduced tide towards the shore.  So it proved, with Williamson's initial break giving him an early lead.  Once the breeze stabilised, the fleet bunched again at the top left of the beat, with Williamson in the lead at the weather mark and Gareth Robinson, helming J-Whizz , back in the leading bunch after going walkabout in races 2 & 3.  Downwind, however Jardine was on great form, picking the shortest route and finding the best of the breeze, to take the lead.  Ellis climbed back to take 2nd place from Robinson, with Williamson in 4th.  In the final race, it was once again a question of spotting the shifts, avoiding the light patches and judging the lay line in the increasing tide.  Once again, Jardine worked Stouche into contention, this time taking an early lead which he consolidated downwind.  Robinson took third place, behind Clarke. 

Overall, it could not have been closer and - with three boats tied on 9 points - it was back to the Returning Officer!  Jardine's perfect Sunday gave him first place from Ellis, with Clarke in third. 

Results

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Champions crowned at the Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship
3 September
This weekend, 2-3 September, saw wet and windy weather prevail at the RYA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship hosted by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

New champions in each class were crowned and newcomers celebrated in what has once again proved to be a successful event which brought together over 170 windsurfers of all ages and the biggest Bic Techno fleet seen yet at an RYA regatta.

Saturday brought fiercely gusting conditions and rain to WPNSA. Racing was postponed due to the strong winds averaging 30 knots until late afternoon when the race committee made the decision to send out the Formula Youth and Masters Fleets.

Several of the windsurfers took up the challenge but only six actually completed the one race of the day.

Sunday brought slightly more race-able conditions and after a one hour postponement, windsurfers prepared to hit the water with winds gusting up to 30 knots. With strong breeze in Portland Bay a downwind slalom course was set just off Chesil Beach in a bid to get some race results on the board.

A crowd of supporters gathered just off the beach to cheer on the sailors who brave enough to battle it out in the blustery wind.

By 1130 racing got underway and in misty sunshine, the Formula fleets were the first to launch. With winds averaging 25 knots, there was some fantastic sailing as windsurfers ripped around the course. The jybe marks brought some spectacular wipe-outs and traffic jams as sailors struggled to turn their boards in the tough conditions.

With three races completed the Formula, Race board, RS:X, 6.8 and 7.8 Techno sailors came off the water dripping wet and smiling. As the wind slightly eased off the young sailors in the remaining fleets were given the signal that their racing was to begin.

Still fully powered up the smaller-rig sailors had a good blast in a more sheltered area just off the WPNSA pontoons.

�We had really strong winds this weekend, so it was great to get some races in.� Helen Cartwright, RYA National Windsurfing Coach and Event Director explained. �Getting out and racing in such strong wind was a challenge for some of our younger sailors but by all accounts has really given them a boost.�

�It is also hugely encouraging to see so many Bic Techno sailors competing at this event. The RYA made the Techno one of its official junior and youth windsurf classes last autumn, and with the number of sailors using the equipment steadily increasing, it seems to be a success.�

The afternoon's prize giving saw the top three in each fleet recognized for their success.

The 3.5 open fleet hosted sailors as young as eight years-old. The young sailors braved the windy conditions and following three races Josh Knight (Wirral), Noelle Finch (Clevedon, North Somerset ) and Thomas Addison took the top three slots.

Jade Rogers (Cheadle, Staffordshire) had a golden victory in the 4.5 Open fleet followed by Antony Milton and Connor Wells ( Biggin Hill , Kent ) with silver and bronze.

In the 4.5 Techno class Samuel Conroy ( Hythe , Kent ), Robyn Robinson (Nuneaton) and Joe Bennett (Rotherham, South Yorkshire ) took first, second and third respectively.

Aleksander Sedgwick-Wilde (Spaxton, Somerset ), Rory Yonge (Compton, Hampshire) and Maurice Guy (Wimborne, Dorset) took the podium in the 5.5 Open Class.

The 5.5 Techno class was won by Jack Brooks ( Hythe , Kent ), with Kieran Martin ( Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire) in second and Tom Davies in third.

Newcomer Connor Bainbridge, 13, ( Halifax , West Yorkshire ) was the top finisher in the 6.8 Techno fleet finishing the event with nine points. With equal points, Sam Latham, 12, (Redhill, Surrey) and Sam Sills, 13, (Launceston, Cornwall ) raced their way second and third respectively.

The 7.8 Techno fleet had the largest number of entries with 27 boards competing. Jacob Briber (Stockwell, London ) came out as top dog after racking up two firsts and a second on the slalom course. Elliot Taylor (Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent) and Jamie Ingram (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) jostled for the silver medal position with 14 year-old Taylor coming out on top after count back.

Alex Griffiths (Barton-upon-Humber) and Daniel Skudder ( West Wellow , Hampshire) had a close three races on the RS:X, going into the final race on equal points. After a close race, Griffiths took second over the line and Skudder third, giving Griffiths the gold medal. Richard Cleworth (Macclesfield, Cheshire ) took home the bronze medal, just ahead of Lewis Robinson who finished on equal points with Cleworth and was edged out of the medals on count back.

Two newcomers, Jamie Walker (Helston, Cornwall) and Adrian Wallis (Portsmouth, Hampshire), took gold and silver in the Formula Masters fleet with Bob Ingram (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) close behind in third.

With four races completed in the Formula Youth class, all sailors were allowed one discard. Dan Simpson (Bicester, Oxfordshire) sailed to victory earning a gold medal and trophy. James Simpson (Tamworth, Staffordshire) who stayed onshore for the first race was able to discard his score counting one first and two seconds putting him in silver medal position with Alex Smith (Burton Latimer) in third.

Race board Masters, Robert Kent (Southampton, Hampshire), Chris Gibson ( Hayling Island , Hampshire), Bob Warren ( Truro , Cornwall )

Race board Youth, Duncan Bryan ( Truro , Cornwall ), Richard Walker ( Bridgewater , Somerset ), Charlie Winn ( Winchester )

Complete results can be found on the event website www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthandmasters

End

For more media information please contact Myrrh Walker , RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile : +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

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Windsurfing Championship continues to attract young sailors
31 August 2006
This weekend, the 2-3 September, over 170 windsurfers will battle for glory at one the largest annual UK-based windsurfing events, the RYA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) will host the event, which showcases both experienced master windsurfers along with the youths who make up the UK 's hot new talent.

The 2006 RYA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championships is one of the biggest to date, and the massive turnout is due predominantly to the continued growth of Team15 (T15), an RYA initiative encouraging children into windsurfing, and also due to the launch of the new BIC Techno as the recently recognised RYA windsurfer for sailors under 17.

In 2005 the RYA introduced the BIC Techno to the youth and junior racing programmes identifying a clear pathway from beginning to top level competition windsurfing, and providing an avenue to the Olympic Games. The RYA Zone Squad allows young windsurfers to purchase new equipment with the help of grants, resulting in the near doubling of the number of BIC Techno sailors competing at this event.

Competitors ranging in age from 9-64 are expected to take part in this annual event and several families will be competing with Mum and Dad sailing in the master class and the kids in the youth classes.

Whatever class the competitors are racing in, they are assured of a busy weekend with up to seven races scheduled for each class. An added incentive is the glamorous prize giving with loads of prizes that have been generously donated by the windsurfing industry.

Event director and RYA National Windsurfing Coach, Helen Cartwright , who has been involved in the event for the past seven years said;

�It is really encouraging to see that the number of sailors attending the event has  grow n over  recent years. This year we have seen a surge in the number of BIC Techo sailors ready to  hit the water  and as a result our sport will continue to grow and thrive. To see so many kids out racing is great for the future of British windsurfing.�

END

For more media information please contact Myrrh Walker, RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile : +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

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29erxx Open Cup
31 July - 1 August

Twenty-seven teams from eight countries gathered at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for two days of racing in the first 29erXX Open Cup. The 29erXX, a new design by skiff guru Julian Bethwaite, is a high-powered rig for the existing 29er hull. This new rig is only 18 inches longer than the standard 29er mast, and features carbon construction, double trapeze wires and three sets of shrouds. A masthead kite adds quite a bit of speed downwind while the responsive 29er platform requires the sailors to move with precision through maneuvers. Carbon tubes extend out the back of each rail to allow the crew to keep their weight further aft and the bow out of the water.

After the first day of racing Canadian Genevieve Bougie-Basiten remarked "Under ten knots I felt a bit under powered, but the new rig demands better boathandling [than the 29er]. You must be in good shape, and the skipper has to work so much harder now. Its really fun!"

Although the 29erXX is aimed to be the first women's Olympic skiff, the inaugural event was open to all sexes and featured competitors from eight different countries. The teams were divided evenly into three heats and the first fleet was sent out on Monday July 31st to a course inside Weymouth Harbor in winds gusting up to 25 knots. The remaining teams watched from a nearby dock with an up-close view of the weather mark. Cheers were loudest after big wipeouts, of which there were many.

Pepe Bettini (ARG) and Pete Perera (GBR) won the first race after only capsizing twice. "Its fun! We won the first race, making history! We can control the boat, go fast, and have fun," remarked Pepe. The breeze remained strong over both days. Amidst high-wind delays, four races were held for each flight for a total of twelve races.

Considering the wind and the fact that it was the firt time that most helms had trapezed the boats and rigs stood up remarkabley well with only the usual broken tiller extensions and torn kites after swimming, one mast went after an extreme gust and a big pile up. Nonetheless, the competition was fierce, all had fun, and the general consensus supports the direction the 29erXX design takes. Local I-14 gurus Kate Nurton and Louise Hickey wished the boat included more high-tech features, but were completely in favour of including a women's skiff in the Olympics. 2004 Yngling gold medallist Sarah Ayton raced on the last day. She returned to the dock with a huge grin, commenting, "This is great! Its really good fun to go so fast."

Five masts will return to Canada with the hopes of hosting another 29erXX event following the CORK regatta the third week of August. Going forward the main goal is a good showing at the ISAF Observation Trials in Santander, Spain next spring. From there, the possibilities are endless.

A special thanks to event organizers Dave Hall and Gerardo Seeliger, PRO Dave Shepard, videographer and safety boat operator Steve Hopper, and builders Ovington, PS2000 and Bethwaite Designs for providing the rigs.

2006 29erXX Open Cup results:

Overall:
Position      Country        Skipper                     Crew                     Points
1                 GER            Julian Ramm             Hannes Wagner   5
2                 ARG/GBR   Pepe Bettini               Peter Perera         7
3                 FIN/AUS      Silja Lehtinen             Scott Babbage      10
4                AUS/USA     James Francis           Matt Noble             11
5                GER            Georg Borksenstein   Iver Ahlmann          12

All Female Teams:
Position Country        Skipper                      Crew                           Points
1            GER             Kerstin Beucke         Susann Beucke           15
2            USA             Tracy Smith               Kathleen Tocke           16
3            USA             Jen Glass                  Genny Tulloch              20
4            AUS/CAN     Emma Spiers           Katja Smutny                20
5            CAN              Genevieve and Veronique Bougie-Bastian    21

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Great Britain and Finland take on golden glow
29 July

The final day of racing at the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships saw Great Britain 's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes crowned 49er European Champions and Finland 's Silja Lehtinen and Australian crew Scott Babbage turn their lead into solid 29er gold at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy .

With 10 knots to a gusty 25 knots on the course, the 49er gold fleet took to the harbour this morning to battle it out for a place in the afternoon's medal race. There was one last shake-up and the top ten slots changed hands once again, with several boats including Skandia Team GBR's John Pink and Alex Hopson getting squeezed out by single points.

In a dramatic medal race, Spanish sailors Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez lead around the first mark, extended their advantage throughout the race and secured first. Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks rounded the first mark in fifth but kept their boat fast and made up places, finishing in second with the Sibello brothers from Italy taking third.

However, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes also remained at the top of the fleet earning a fourth place, enough to secure the Brits a gold medal on overall score. Morrison-Rhodes will now add this gold medal to their bronze from the 2006 World Championships held in June.

"We're chuffed to bits. A medal at each of the major class championships so far this year is a great accomplishment, so we're really happy." Morrison explained. "We haven't been as consistent as we usually can be, but we sailed well this week, continually knocking on the door of the top slots."

Rhodes was also positive about their experience at the Europeans. "We're finally getting some of the top results and are counting firsts and seconds from this event. We're making progress and are hoping to keep it going."

Morrison concluded, "It's been great to sail here in Weymouth and to such a high profile event in the UK ."

In the 29er fleet Silja Lehtinen and Scott Babbage stood at the top of the podium as world champions after stretching their lead to a golden victory. The pair have spent the last few days at the top the rankings and have continued to distance themselves from the rest of the fleet.

The silver and bronze medals were decided in the protest room, when American sailors Cameron Biehl and Matt Noble took British youth sailors Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge to the jury room for hitting a mark in the final race. After hearing each side, the jury threw out the protest giving Fletcher-Partridge the silver medal and Biehl-Noble taking the bronze.

As the first place finishing youth boat, Draycote's Fletcher and Waverham's Partridge have also been crowned 29er Youth World Champions, along with Anglesey 's Huw Humphreys and Max Todd who take a 29er Youth Worlds silver medal.

"It's been an exception event," Julian Bethwaite from Bethwaite Designs who are behind the 29er and 49er skiff designs said. "It's been great both in terms of the weather and with the number of boats we've seen here. This is the biggest congregation of 9ers we've ever had and it's just been wonderful."

For full results, visit:

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f49.htm

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f29.htm

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

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Hunt still on for 9er gold
28 July

With only one day to go until new champions are named at 29er World Championship and 49er European Championship, the gold medals remain up for grabs. Today (Friday)  the competition got fierce and once again new names are leading the fleets. Skandia Team GBR's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes move to the front of the 49er fleet while 29er sailors Silja Lehtinen and Scott Babbage continued to extend their lead.

Warm sunshine and building breezes made for near perfect sailing conditions off the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy . With an average 10-20 knots all fleets knocked off four races, leaving the top slots open in what has become a very close regatta.

The 49er gold fleet's penultimate race of the day was the closest yet. The first placed boat and the last placed boat finished within just 68 seconds of each other with many places being lost and won through the gate.

With teams now able to discard a result in the final series, there has been yet another shake-up on the 49er leader board as Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes move into pole position following first and second place finishes.

The Brits have taken a three point lead over the Danish duo of Peter and Soren Hansen who finished third at the 2005 49er Europeans and will be looking to better their previous result. Germany 's Garbiel Wicke and Wolf Jeschonneck are currently in third but with 64 points they trail the British leaders by 18 points.

World champions and defending European Champions, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks began to claw back some places today after dropping into 16 th place following a disqualification due to a protest. The pair, who routinely train on Weymouth and Portland waters, are back in the top ten resting sixth overall.

Yesterday's leaders, John Pink and Alex Hopson have tumbled down the rankings lying just behind Skandia Team GBR team mates Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith who close the day in tenth overall.

Campbell James is already focusing on the final day of racing "We had a mixed day today which seems to be the case for many of the sailors out there. Tomorrow will be a big day, with a lot resting on the first race. We haven't been hugely consistent this week but we're hoping to hang in the top ten."

Those just inside the top ten including Italy's Sibello Brothers and Spain's Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez who will be hoping to use the first race of the day to solidify their postion and qualify for the all-important medal race.

American sailor, Pete Spalding, currently in ninth overall, was enthused about the change in the weather. "It was a blast out there today. Probably the best racing the class has had in a while. Really good fun."

The hunt for the 29er World Champion continues but Finnish helm Silja Lehtinen and Australian crew Scott Babbage have extended what was a one point lead into a ten point advantage. Moving from fourth into second are Americans Cameron Biehl and Matt Noble who turned up the heat today with 2,2,7,1 finishes. The duo will now discard the seventh place giving them 30 points overall.

Team GBR youth sailors Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge had a frustrating start to the day, unable to get off the start line ahead of the fleet; however the pair, known for their speed and boat handling skills, posted a first and a third in two of four races just enough to keep them two points ahead of the fourth placed boat Huw Humphreys and Max Todd also of Great Britain.

Racing runs through to Saturday 29 July. For full results, visit:

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f49.htm

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f29.htm

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.


Back to top

Mixed fortunes  on day four at 9er Championships
27 July

It was a mixed bag for the top sailors at the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships on Thursday, with the Italian Sibello brothers losing their lead to Brits John Pink and Alex Hopson in the 49er European Championship fleet, while Finland continued their strong showing in the 29er World Championships.

After a short postponement to the start of racing, a steady south-westerly settled once again befell the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on Thursday, with wind speeds in Weymouth Bay reaching up to 20 knots by mid-afternoon. This allowed the 49er European Championship contenders three races at the start of the gold fleet series, with the 29ers all managing four races.

Overnight leaders in the 49er class, Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello got off to a superb start once again, with a bullet to kick start their final series, but went quickly downhill as the wind speed increased. The Italians posted 23,15 from their second two races of the day to end in fifth, while 11,8,8 for Skandia Team GBR's John Pink and Alex Hopson today was enough to see them top the leaderboard by one point.

Teammates and world bronze medallists Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes are right behind them in the silver medal position, up from fifth place overnight. They had a shaky start to the day with a 15 th from the first race, but got back on track posting a first and a second from their subsequent races.

"We just went the wrong way to start with," Morrison explained. "We went left and everyone else went right in the first. But once we were over that, for the second and third races we just tried to keep things simple and it seemed to gain us some good ground over the rest of the fleet."

Denmark 's Peter and Soren Hansen are looming just one point behind Morrison and Rhodes in third place, while Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith made great gains today, moving up from 17 th overnight to fourth in the leaderboard thanks to a solid 4,3,3.

World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks had a day to forget, crossing at the back of the fleet in their opening race on Thursday, and with a 9,12 to follow. They're currently in tenth, dropping from third on Wednesday. A pending protest by the Netherlands ' Jeroen van Catz and Wilco Stavenuiter could yet damage the Brits further, as the Dutch deemed that the defending titleholders tacked too close.

Olympic champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez had an up and down day, with a 23,7,10 to sit them in eighth overall.

Two Finnish helms are tied on equal points at the top of the 29er Worlds table - Silja Lehtinen and Australian crew Scott Babbage are just on top, in spite of an OCS and Lehtinent nearly falling in in the first of their four races today. They're tied on 16 points with Mikko Hentinen and Miikka Pennanen, who count two seconds from Thursday.

British youth national champions Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge improve to third place overall with the help of a bullet from race three. They're two points adrift from the Finnish leaders, with Germany 's Cameron Biehl and Matt Noble right behind them in fourth place on 19 points.

National champions Paul Brotherton and Mari Shepherd, in second place overnight, had an up and down display in the stronger winds today, losing ground to sixth place overall, while young British pairing Will Twemlow and Pete Perera scored a notable two bullets today.

Racing runs through to Saturday 29 July. For full results, visit:

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f49.htm

http://www.9erchamps2006.com/results/f29.htm

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

Back to top

Italy and Finland in pole position at Weymouth 9er Champs
26 July

Day three at the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships saw some breeze return to the Weymouth waters, with the world number two-ranked Sibello brothers from Italy managing to maintain their lead in the 49er European Championship fleet, and Finland's Silja Lehtinen with Australian crew Scott Babbage topping the 29er World Championship table at the end of the qualifying series.

The wind was shy at Wednesday's revised start time of 1000hrs for both the 29er and 49er fleets at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, but after a short wait on shore a steady south-westerly built to around 7-8 knots by 1100hrs, allowing racing to commence and the race officers to try and balance out the schedule for those sailors in both classes who fell behind on Tuesday.

Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello revelled in today's conditions, posting two further race wins from their two races today - their fifth bullet from seven races - to top the leaderboard in the 49er Olympic skiff class at the end of the qualifying series. Counting eight points, the Italians are looking strong for a podium finish this week which, if successful, will be their seventh major regatta medal of 2006.

Skandia Team GBR's John Pink and Alex Hopson are firmly back in the running now the first discard has kicked in, and are three points off the lead. They posted an admirable 2,1 from their two races on Wednesday, although, according to Pink, it could have been two bullets.

"We could have won our first race of the day - we were in the lead when we managed to hit some weed and then just stopped!" Pink explained.

"But it's going pretty well on the whole. We're quite good in the light, which is what makes our result at the Worlds even more annoying!" said Pink who finished 19 th at the light wind-plagued 49er World Championships in France last month.

Now on 11 points, Pink and Hopson push teammates and World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks into third at the end of day three, with the Olympic bronze medallists and defending European titleholders counting 17 points with a 4,2,6 from their three races. Spain 's Olympic Champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez are just behind them in fourth place, while world bronze medallists Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes are making their way through the pack, up to seventh today from 11 th place overnight.

In the 29er Worlds fleet, a Finnish helm maintain the top spot for the second day in a row, as Silja Lehtinen and Scott Babbage replace Mikko Hentinen and Miikka Pennanen in pole position ready for gold fleet racing on Thursday.

Lehtinen and Babbage racked up 1,1,2 from their three races to put them into the lead on countback over British national champions Paul Brotherton and Mari Shepherd, who posted the same scoreline today. Both pairs are on eight points, with overnight leaders Hentinen and Pennanen four points adrift.

RYA Team GBR's youth national champions Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge are the top youth crew, currently in fourth place overall. Teammates and European Champions Huw Humphreys and Max Todd are in sixth, with Denmark 's Niels Joachim Gormsen and Peter Lang sandwiched between the two British youth pairs.

With seven races sailed now sailed for the 49er Olympic skiff, and eight sailed for the 29er, gold fleet racing will start for the top 25 boats in each class on Thursday and the heat will be on for those in the hunt for medals.

The Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships is run in association with the RYA, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the 29er and 49er Class Associations, and is supported by UK Sport's World Class Events Programme.

Racing runs through to Saturday 29 July. For full results and information, visit www.9erchamps2006.com

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosie julian @wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

Back to top

Light winds shake up day two of 9er Championships
25 July 2006

It's all change at the top of the leaderboards on day two of the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy , with racing again hampered by light winds.

After a promising start to Tuesday's racing, the schedule was upset once more when the 10-11 knots which greeted sailors for the scheduled start time of 1100hrs at this combined 29er World Championship/49er European Championship decreased throughout the course of the afternoon.

Half of the 94-boat 49er fleet managed to sail a fifth race, with the other half confined to shore with the prospect of an earlier 1000hrs start looming for Wednesday.

British 49er World Champions and defending European titleholders Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks are in second place, with just four races counting for all boats at the end of day two. The Skandia Team GBR pairing couldn't quite match their perfect regatta start from Monday, where they posted two race wins, but are still firmly in the running with a 3,6 to show for Tuesday.

"We didn't have the best of days," said Draper, sailing in the yellow flight which started racing when the wind was disappearing for the day. "We weren't starting all that well, and in these conditions, when everyone's sailing the right and you don't get a great start it's quite hard to pick up places through the fleet."

The Italian Sibello brothers, Pietro and Gianfranco take over the top spot, with a 1,3,1 from their first three races on Tuesday to add to a third from their one and only race on Monday. The blue flight in which the Italians sailed also squeezed in a fifth race, with the brothers' first place from that race coming in to play on Wednesday when all 49er flights have caught up to five races.

Denmark 's Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp are in third overall, in equal points with Ukraine 's Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk, while Skandia Team GBR's Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith, after posting 12,11 on Monday, had a perfect scoreline from the second day, crossing first in races three and four on Tuesday.

Finland currently occupy the top two berths of the 105-boat 29er World Championship table, with Mikko Hentinen and Miika Pennanen in the lead on seven points, and top female helm Silja Lehtinen with Australian Scott Babbage close behind on eight points.

Sailing in the green flight, Lehtinen and Babbage notched up two race wins in races three and four, and another from race five still to count tomorrow, as not all 29er flights managed to get a fifth race in today. However, at press time the regatta jury are considering whether to throw out race four for Lehtinen's green 29er flight, as the wind reportedly dropped to less than four knots for over five minutes during that race.

Overnight leaders and British national champions Paul Brotherton and Mari Shepherd are currently in third, but will be in the frame once again tomorrow as they still have a first to count from race five, and then have a discard to play with.

British youth national champions Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge are just off the overall podium positions in fourth.

The Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships is run in association with the RYA, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the 29er and 49er Class Associations, and is supported by UK Sport's World Class Events Programme.

Racing runs through to Saturday 29 July.   For full results and information, visit www.9erchamps2006.com

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosie julian @wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

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SCOTTISH AND SOUTHERN ENGERY TO POWER WEYMOUTH AND PORTLAND NATIONAL SAILING ACADEMY
25 July 2006

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has announced that Scottish and Southern Energy are to be their first sponsor in a partnership worth over £300,000 which will continue until 2014. Scottish and Southern Energy will be working with the Academy to facilitate increased levels of potential renewable electricity generation and show their support for the Academy's youth development programme.

Scottish and Southern Energy has arranged the installation of a further 10 Kwp of photo voltaic cells, increasing the level of potential renewable electricity from 11% to approximately 15% of the Academy's existing requirements.

Bill Ludlow, Chairman of the Academy commented: �We are delighted to welcome Scottish and Southern Energy as partners to the Academy and would like to thank them for their support . We are committed to increasing our usage of renewable energy and this partnership enables us to do this'.

In addition Scottish and Southern Energy has arranged the installation of two Swift Turbines to augment the photo voltaic cells. The Academy will be used as a case study for renewable energy venues.

Scottish and Southern Energy is also providing funds to help support the Academy's youth development programme dedicated to disadvantaged young people.

Scottish and Southern Energy's Chief Executive, Ian Marchant, added: �We applaud the Academy's commitment to using renewable energy and are happy to be able to contribute towards increasing the Academy's target of improving their potential renewable electricity generation. As the country's leading generator of renewable electricity we are also grateful to the Academy for allowing us to showcase our micro generation technology on this prestigious, high profile site. We hope this will encourage other organisations to adopt the Academy's excellent example for reducing their carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy.'

- ends -

Press Contact: Katie Doerr Fast Track Sailing Katie.doerr@fast-track-events.com 020 7593 5200

Note to Editor

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). The activities of WPNSA are providing sustainable benefits in terms of the environment, the economy and the community generally.

Scottish and Southern Energy are one of the UK's largest energy companies and the UK's largest producer of renewable electricity. They supply electricity and gas to over 6.7 million customers throughout the UK through the Southern Electric, SWALEC, Scottish Hydro Electric and Atlantic Brands. It distributes electricity to 3.5 million customers throughout central southern England and the north of Scotland. Its contracting business, Southern Electric Contracting, offers mechanical and electrical contracting, data communications, high voltage design and maintenance, electrical and instrumentation engineering and public and highway lighting.

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9er Championships sees tricky first day
24 July

The opening day of the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships was a frustrating one for sailors and race officers alike at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy , as the light and fickle breeze refused to settle.

The 2012 Olympic venue was bathed in glorious sunshine for the start of this event, which comprises the 49er European Championships and the 29er World Championships, but with winds light (6 knots at most, decreasing) and patchy, racing was tough out on the Weymouth waters.

In the 94-boat 49er Europeans fleet, just two of the four flights were able to complete two races - the blue and red flights managed just one apiece, leaving the leaderboard a little lop-sided at the end of the first day.

Skandia Team GBR's World Champions and defending European titleholders Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks did see two races today in the yellow flight, showing they could master their local conditions by posting a bullet in each to sit them at the top of the table.

Teammates John Pink and Alex Hopson, racing in the green flight, are currently in second on equal points with Germany's Gabriel Wicke and Wolf Jeschonnek, while British youngsters Tristan Jaques and Alain Sign sailed a good first day with a 1,7. They sit in fourth on equal points with the Nielsens of Denmark and Germany 's Marcus Baur and Hannes Baumann.

Spain 's Olympic Champions Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez did get in two races, posting a 9,1 to see them in tenth place, while Italy 's Sibello brothers, ranked second in the world, and 2005 World Champions Luka and Leonchuk will be hoping to be quick out of the blocks when they embark on their second race tomorrow.

Under starters' orders earlier in the day, the 105 boats in the 29er World Championship all completed two races on Monday. Paul Brotherton and Mari Shepherd saw the perfect start to their Worlds campaign, with two bullets for the newly-crowned British National Champions from the fleet's two races, while Will Twemlow and Pete Perera managed a near-perfect 1,2 to sit in second overall, just ahead on Finland's Mikko Hentinen and Miikka Pennanen in third on four points.

Finnish sailor Silja Lehtinen is the highest ranked female helm after day one - sailing with Scott Babbage, she's currently in fourth with a bullet and a fifth as reward for her day's efforts, while new European Champions, Huw Humphreys and Max Todd of Wales , are in 13 th with a 3,8 from their opening two races.

Argentinian Pepi Bettini, who's been in the top three at the last three World Championships, saw a tough start to the day with a 19 th in the first race.

Tuesday could prove something of a groundhog day at WPNSA, with similar light and patchy conditions predicted for the second day of racing tomorrow.

The Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships is run in association with the RYA, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the 29er and 49er Class Associations, and is supported by UK Sport's World Class Events Programme.

Racing runs through to Saturday 29 July.   For full results and information, visit www.9erchamps2006.com

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosie julian @wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

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Weymouth gears up for 2006 9er Championships
17 July 2006

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy 's month of major events is set to continue with 2012 Olympic sailing venue hosting the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships 2006 from 22-29 July.

Following straight on from the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship (12-21 July), the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships combines the 29er World Championships and the 49er European Championships, which together will feature some 200 boats and 400 sailors from 25 countries racing in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour.

Weymouth locals and newly crowned World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks will headline in the 95-boat 49er Europeans fleet, where they will be gunning for their third consecutive European title. The world number one ranked Skandia Team GBR sailors are in good form having claimed the world title for the second time in Aix-les-Bains , France , last month, but will face competition from some tough rivals if they're to keep a hold on their European title.

Teammates Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes will also be hungry for another podium finish following their bronze from the Worlds, while Italy 's world number two ranked pairing of Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello are definitely ones to watch. With the exception of the 49er Worlds where they finished 16 th , the Italian brothers have medalled at each of the six major regattas they've competed in this year, with a gold from their most recent efforts at Kiel Week last month.

Spanish Olympic champions Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez are also a potent threat, with two golds in the Olympic skiff class at the French Olympic Sailing Week at Hyeres in April, and at the ISAF World Sailing Games at Lake Neusiedl , Austria , in May.

The 29ers recently concluded their European Championships in Alicante , Spain , with the British dominating the youth high performance class. The European gold medallists from Wales, Huw Humpreys and Max Todd, will be on good form heading into the 29er Worlds on home waters, while European silver medallists and current British Youth Champions Dylan Fletcher and Rob Partridge will also be eager to impress.

Finnish sailor Silja Lethenin will be both a contender for the overall and the girls' prize, while Pepi Bettini from Argentina has been in the top three at the last three World Championships. The Danish and American sailors are also expected to put up a strong fight.

"We're delighted with the strength of entry at these Championships, which, in terms of competitor numbers, will be the biggest sailing event staged to date at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy," said Rosie Julian, Event Director.

The Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships is run in association with the RYA, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the 29er and 49er Class Associations, and is supported by UK Sport's World Class Events Programme.

Racing runs from Monday 24 July through to Saturday 29 July.

ENDS

For more information on the Group 4 Securicor 9er Championships, please contact:

Rosie Julian, Events & Marketing Manager, WPNSA. T: 01305 866000, E: rosie julian @wpnsa.org.uk

Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer. T: 07905 246044, E: lindsey.bell@rya.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Ø The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Ø WPNSA has been selected as the venue for the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Ø Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest sailing waters in the UK .

Ø WPNSA received £7.3 million of funding in 2004 to develop a new purpose built Clubhouse and other onshore facilities. Major contributors were the National Lottery, South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and the Royal Yachting Association . Many other contributions have been made including those from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council, Charitable Trusts and individuals themselves.

About the boats

Ø The 49er is the high performance skiff class for the Olympic Games. It is an out and out racing machine for people who both sail from trapezes off very wide wings, and offers spectacular sailing and is the boat that wins the spectator vote.

Ø The 29er is the 49er's baby sister, a single trapeze boat for smaller and younger teams that will be the official two-person boat for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from the 2007 event onwards.

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Mills praises Olympic venue
17 July 2006

Sir Keith Mills, deputy chairman of the 2012 London Olympic Organising Committee, said the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy would be "one of the best sailing venues in Olympic history".

Mills visited the location of the 2012 Olympic regatta, currently hosting the ISAF/Volvo World Youth Sailing Championships, as the London Olympics road show visited the south coast.

His own interest in sailing was nurtured by taking part in the Clipper round-the-world race. Mills has since set up a joint venture with Alex Thomson to manage Thomson's solo sailing projects with the Open 60 Hugo Boss.

Mills is keeping a watchful eye on possible America's Cup involvement. "With sailing being the most successful Olympic sport in this country, getting our own venue right for 2012 was very important, and we're incredibly pleased with the academy here," he explained.

In Croatia, Denmark's World No 1-ranked Finn class sailor, Jonas Christensen, won the 50th Gold Cup in a strong 99-boat, 30-nation fleet. A notable absentee was four-times Gold Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, but several Athens Olympic participants returned to the class after a break, as well as former Laser sailors moving up to the heavier boat. Foremost was Briton Ed Wright, who managed an excellent third overall.

The Sydney Finn gold medallist, Iain Percy, came in 11th overall. It was a very impressive result for someone who had not raced the Finn for six years, as he returned to the class in a gap between Italy's +39 America's Cup challenge and his two-man Star class Olympic campaign with Steve Mitchell.

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OLYMPICS ROADSHOW TO VISIT ACADEMY
12 July 2006

This week's Olympics Roadshow will be a great opportunity to highlight the long-term benefits of the 2012 Games for Weymouth & Portland says Dorset South MP Jim Knight. The Roadshow will be at Weymouth and Portland's National Sailing Academy between 10.30am and 1pm on Saturday.

The National Sailing Academy is currently hosting the World Youth Sailing Championships - involving competitors from a record 62 nations.

Dorset South MP Jim Knight said:

�We need to make sure all our communities and businesses are engaged in preparations for the 2012 Games. The Roadshow is an important first-step in getting people talking about and looking forward to the Olympics.�

�The London 2012 Olympics Deputy Chairman Keith Mills, Olympic gold medallist Ed Goode and Jack Lemely of the Olympic Delivery Authority will all be joining the Roadshow on Saturday and touring the Sailing Academy. And the event coincides with the prestigious World Youth Sailing Championships.�

Jim Knight MP recently met with the new South West Olympics Co-ordinator Guy Lavender to discuss plans for the area's 2012 Olympic legacy.

Rosie Julian, Events and Marketing Manager at the Sailing Academy said:

�We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jack Lemely, of the Olympic Delivery Authority and Keith Mills, of the London Organising Committee, to the Sailing Academy as part of a National Roadshow to demonstrate the benefits of the 2012 Olympic Games to the whole of the UK. We are particularly pleased that they are visiting us here at Weymouth & Portland, at the venue for the 2012 sailing events.�

�We have a lot of work to do before 2012 but are confident that with the London Organising Committee's and the Olympic Delivery Authority's help and support we are well ahead of the game. This should ensure a stunning sailing event in 2012 as part of an inspirational Olympic Games.�

Jim Knight MP added:

�I want us to ensure the 2012 Games are a catalyst for far reaching change and regeneration; attracting investment and good-quality jobs; raising aspirations; building cultural links; and boosting participation in sport.�

�The National Sailing Academy is a great example of how we can use our local environment to boost prosperity, promote sport and raise Portland's national profile. The Academy, which offers first-rate onshore facilities combined with the finest sailing waters in the UK, is a tremendous asset for the area.�

~ ends ~

Notes for Editors

•  For more information contact Jim Knight's Parliamentary office on 0207 219 8466.

•  For more information about the National Sailing Academy, please contact Rosie Julian on 01305 866000 or go to www.wpnsa.org.uk .

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Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy makes the South West & West final of The National Lottery Awards 2006
10 July 2006

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the world class sailing centre confirmed as the Olympic sailing venue for 2012, has been selected from hundreds of other Lottery funded projects to reach the South West & West's final of The National Lottery Awards 2006.

The sailing academy is one of four projects chosen by a panel of high profile judges to go head to head in a public vote to claim the title of the South West & West's National Lottery Project of the Year.  The winner will earn a place in the UK final, set to be broadcast on national television later in the year.

In 2012 Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy will play host to the sailing elite from around the world. Having already been selected as an Olympic venue for the London games, the Academy provides some of the best facilities, training and sailing waters in the world.

The Academy does not just cater for the elite end of the sport, it teaches people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to sail and is inspiring and encouraging more people to try the sport. It's �sail for a fiver' days help make sailing accessible to everyone and schools are encouraged to include sailing in their outdoor activities. Thanks to Lottery funding of £3 million from Sport England, over 20,000 people a year have benefited from visiting the Academy and the project has provided employment for almost 200 people.

Sarah Ayton - 2004 sailing Olympic gold medallist said:

"The Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy is a fantastic facility which is being used by sailors of all levels - from youth squads to the Olympic team. For my home town to be used as the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is awesome and I know we will stage one of the best Olympic sailing regattas ever."

John Tweed, Development Director, Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy said:

�A world class sailing academy has been created which capitalises on the beautiful natural setting of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. We were delighted to be chosen as an Olympic venue in 2012 and hope that it will help us to promote the sport of sailing even more.�

Now the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre needs your help to be in with a chance of winning. The winning Lottery funded project from the South West & West will be chosen by public vote. The South West & West project with the most votes will go forward to the UK final to compete against winning projects from other English regions, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

To register your vote for the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre call 0845 434 9072 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and click on National Lottery Awards. Voting lines are open now and close 11 August 2006.

Representatives from the winning South West & West project will attend the UK awards ceremony where the overall winners will be announced. The BBC will showcase this during The National Lottery Draw programme on National Lottery Day later this Autumn.

The other three South West & West finalists competing for the title are Age Concern Torbay, Farms for City Children and Storytellers in Mendips.

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, more than £18.5 billion has been raised and over 240,000 grants given out across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment. The National Lottery Awards recognise the hard work and dedication of people who use Lottery funding to make a difference to communities across the UK.

•  Ends �

Notes to editor:

  • Calls to vote are charged at a BT local landline cost of 1.5p
  • For more information please visit The National Lottery Good Causes website: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
  • For every pound spent on The National Lottery, 28p goes to good causes
  • An independent panel of high profile judges chose the shortlisted projects. The panel included Jonathan Edwards, Sir Terence Conran and Polly Toynbee

For further media information please contact:

Clare Richardson on 020 7299 8766 or Nicola Green on 0207 299 8764

Email- clare.richardson@geronimocommunications.com or nicola.green@geronimocommunications.com

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WPNSA wins RLN Business Language Champion Award
5 July 2006

�World Class Welcome for World Class Sailing� � that's the message from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the £7.85m host sailing club venue to the London 2012 Olympic Games sailing events.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is working with the Regional Language Network South West to address international communications as part of the organisation's Passport 2 Export development and in preparation for the welcome of world class events. The planning of an international strategy is underway as a long term process that underpins the drive to attract and run more successful international events.

Steps taken so far include an audit of short and long term needs, travelling to China to observe best practice in action and subscription to the Language Line interpreting translation service. The translation of part of the website into French is also planned.

Rosie Julian, WPNSA events and marketing manager said: �We recognise that developing language skills for staff in frequent dialogue with overseas competitors is a priority and a potentially very useful requirement in the recruitment of volunteers that assist us with international events. The advisory support of RLN SW will help to ensure that the Sailing Academy offers a world class welcome at future events.�

Philada Rogers, RLN Dorset & Wiltshire business advisor said: �We are really pleased to be able to help the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in its plans to develop an effective international communications strategy.�

For further information, contact Rosie Julian. Tel: 01305 866000 or email: rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk www.wpnsa.org.uk and Philada Rogers, RLN SW Tel: 01305 264927

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2006 RADII UK 18FT SKIFF NATIONALS AND BRITISH GRAND PRIX
FINAL DAY AND RESULTS
Two races were scheduled for the final day of the 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff National Championships and British Grand Prix . However an almost complete calm kept the fleet ashore for an hour and a half until the promised sea breeze started to fill in from the South West.

The first race started in an encouraging 7-10 knot breeze. Almost immediately, the increasing cloud cover made its effect felt and what breeze there was veered and faded almost entirely leaving large windless holes over the left hand side of the course. Radii (Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Alex Tobutt), Barron and Smithers (Peter Barton, Martin Borrett and Ian Turnbull) and Fat Face (Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold) made the best job of picking their way around the holes, never more than a few boat lengths apart for the majority of the race. The course was shortened after a frustrating two laps, with Radii leading on the final run to the finish. However they left their final gybe late. Barron and Smithers, coming down with slightly more pressure saw their opportunity and gybed inside to take the gun at the committee boat end by the smallest of margins.

Despite the best attempts by race officer Lawrence Grimes to start a second race the wind did not stabilise sufficiently and the second race was abandoned and the fleet sent home when the wind died completely early in the first beat.

By this time Radii had already done enough to win the championships with a race to spare. Andy Richards and his crew sailed an incredibly consistent series to count nothing worse than second in their final results winning both the National Championships (for a second consecutive year) and the British Grand Prix by a considerable margin. Special mention should go to supersub Alex Tobutt who only replaced regular crew Dave Richards on the bow at the last minute as Dave was on maternity leave.

Despite an awful final day Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec Mckinlay on Base 1 had already done enough to take overall second place in both the National Championships and British Grand Prix. Barron and Smithers last minute win in the last race was enough to gain them third overall in the National Championship rankings by the narrowest of margins, pipping Fat Face to the podium on count back. However the inclusion of the Europeans results saw them move down a place in the British Grand Prix ranking with Fat Face's more consistent results enough to give them third overall in that competition.

UK Nationals final results
1 Radii (Andy Richards) 1, 2, 1, (5), (5), 1, 1, 2 � 8 pts
2 Base 1 (Rob Dulson) 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, (7), 4, (10)� 15 pts
3 Barron & Smithers (Pete Barton) 4, 5, 2, 2, (7) 3, (6), 1 � 17 pts
4 Fatface (Tim Penfold) 2, 1, (5), 3, 3, (5), 5, 3 � 17 pts
5 SELS (Ed Brown) (6), 4, (12), 4, 4, 2, 2, 4 � 22pts

British Grand Prix final results
1 Radii GBR 1, 2, 1, (6), (5), 1, 1, 2 � 8pts
2 Base 1 GBR 3, 3, 4, 1, 1, (8), 4, (12) � 16pts
3 Fatface GBR 2, 1, (8), 4, 3, (6), 6, 3 � 19pts
4 Barron & Smithers GBR 4, 6, 3, 3, (7) 4, (7), 1 � 21 pts
5 GP Covers DEN 6, 4, 2,2, (15), 3, 5, (9) � 22pts

Contacts:
18ft Skiff Communications: Alec Mckinlay, skiffs@mac.com , +44 777 444 3688
WPNSA Communications: Rosie Julian, rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk +44 1305 866005
Radii Limited: Andy Frost andy@radii.co.uk

Web:
18ft Skiff UK National Championships: www.uk18footer.org
18ft Skiff British Grand Prix: www.18footer.org
Radii Limited: www.radii.co.uk
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy: www.wpnsa.org.uk

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2006 RADII 18FT SKIFF UK NATIONALS AND BRITISH GRAND PRIX
5-7 May 2006


Day 2 Report
The second day of the 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff UK Nationals and British Grand Prix dawned cold and grey BUT with a decent breeze. Fortified by the previous evening's barbeque courtesy of event sponsors Radii Ltd the fleet headed out for four races on a windward-leeward course set in Portland Harbour.

The first two races belonged to Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec Mckinlay on Base 1 who showed excellent boat speed in the stronger breeze and lead both from start to finish. The fleet were uncharacteristically aggressive at the starts with several boats flagged OCS in both races - sign of the competitiveness of this fleet. Overnight leaders Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Alex Tobutt on Radii were one of those penalised in the first race and were unable to recover from their restart. Danish team Fleming Clausen, Thomas Ebler and Anders Strume on GP Covers resumed where they left off with a second in the first race but sailed through the line in fourth position in the second race to the ominous sound of silence having been over at the start and not returned.

Peter Barton, Martin Borrett and Ian Turnbull on Barron and Smithers took another third in the first race after a hard fought gybing match on the last run with Fat Face (Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold). Scottish team Martin Goodlad, Johnny Aikman and Roy Goodlad on Alba Marine showed they were getting to grips with their new boat with a second in the second race of the day just holding off Fatface on the final gybe to the line.

The breeze softened slightly for the third and fourth races and Radii showed that this was their wind strength, starting the third race from the favoured pin end and sailing away to win by a huge margin. The fourth and final race of the day, shortened to three laps for the sake of the now tired and aching crews, was also Radii's. Ed Brown, Graham Oliver and Mark Addison on SELS, after a morning spent tuning their rig, reaped the reward of their hard work with two second places, leading the final race for some time before misjudging a gybe to let Radii through. GP Covers kept up the chase for a podium place in the Grand Prix with a third in the third race and Pica (James Mears, Andy Ramus and Andy Mears) showed good speed to hold off Base 1 for third.

So after seven races Radii have consolidated their position at the top of the leader board but have shown they are by no means unbeatable, Base 1 in second have closed the gap slightly but will need a very strong performance tomorrow to take the title. Two more races are scheduled tomorrow to decide the winner of the Ovington Cup.

UK Nationals overall
1 Radii 1, 2, 1, (6), 5, 1, 1 � 11pts
2 Base 1 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, (8), 4 � 15pts
3 Fatface 2, 1, (7), 3, 3, 5, 5 � 19pts
4 Barron and Smithers 4, 5, 2, 2, (7) 3, 6 � 22pts
5 SELS 6, 4, (12), 4, 4, 2, 2 � 22pts

British Grand Prix Overall
1 Radii GBR 1, 2, 1, (6), 5, 1, 1 � 11pts
2 Base 1 GBR 3, 3, 4, 1, 1, (8), 4 � 16pts
3 Fatface GBR 2, 1, (8), 4, 3, 6, 6 � 22pts
4 GP Covers DEN 6, 4, 2,2, (15), 3, 5 � 22pts
5 SELS GBR 7, 5, (15), 5, 4, 2, 2 � 25pts

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2006 RADII 18FT SKIFF UK NATIONALS AND BRITISH GRAND PRIX
5-7 May 2006

Day 1 Report
The first day of the Radii 18ft Skiff Nationals and British Grand Prix saw a fleet of fourteen skiffs from four countries gather at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy to compete for the Ovington Cup (despite the best intentions of local vehicle inspection authorities who delayed several of the European teams on their way to Weymouth and held their vehicles for several hours in the small of the morning).

Although the forecast had looked less than exciting during the week the sun shone and a steady breeze of up to 12 knots blew for most of the racing. Not quite enough for full three string sailing but enough to ensure good competitive sailing throughout the afternoon. Race officer Laurence Grimes set an Olympic course for the fleet inside Portland Harbour, with a very tight and challenging reaching leg to keep the crews busy.

In the first race, Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec Mckinlay on Base 1 found more wind up the right hand side of the beat and rounded the top mark in front. However they were rolled by Champions Radii (Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Alex Tobutt) on the tight first reach, who held their lead until the finish. Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold on Fatface showed excellent upwind speed to take second place ahead of Base 1.

For the second place the top two positions were reversed, Fat Face leading from start to finish, with Radii making a very strong comeback after a poor start, rounding the first mark in seventh place and working their way up to second by the finish. Base 1 again took third after a close tussle with the Danish team of Fleming Clausen, Thomas Ebler and Anders Strume on GP Covers.

The third and final race started in slightly more breeze, again Radii showing they will not let go the Championship title lightly, taking the lead from the start. However, GP Covers showed good speed in the slightly stronger breeze and rounded in second, a position they held to the finish. Peter Barton, Martin Borrett and Ian Turnbull on Barron and Smithers took a well deserved third place.

So, after three races overall standings are:

1 st Radii (Andy Richards, Andy Fairley, Alex Tobutt) 1,2,1 4pts

2 nd Base 1 (Rob Dulson, Paul Constable, Alec Mckinlay) 3,3,4 10 pts

3 rd Fat Face (Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado, Will Penfold) 2,1, 8 11pts

4 th GP Covers (Fleming Clausen, Thomas Ebler, Anders Strume) 6,4,2 12 pts

5 th Barron and Smithers (Peter Barton, Martin Borrett, Ian Turnbull) 4, 6, 3 13pts

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RADII TO SPONSOR 18FT SKIFF UK NATIONALS AND BRITISH GRAND PRIX
Industry leading software house Radii Limited have been announced as sponsors of this year's 18ft Skiff National Championships and British Grand Prix taking place over May 5-7 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Radii Limited are an established supporter of sailing events, having supported Emma Richards' Pindar sponsored Open 60 sailing programme since 1999 and also providing title sponsorship to the current UK 18ft Skiff National Champions. This is however the first time they have lent their support to a championship event. Radii Limited Marketing Director Andy Frost commented: "We are proud to be involved with the 2006 UK 18ft Skiff Nationals and British Grand Prix. We very much enjoyed the opportunity of travelling to Sydney earlier this year, to support the Radii team at the JJ Giltinan Championships and are looking forward to an exciting event this weekend."

The 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff UK National Championships and British Grand Prix is likely to see one of the biggest gatherings of 18ft Skiffs in the UK in recent years. The UK fleet has been bolstered this year by a number of new teams including former US Match Racing Champions Mason Woodworth and crew on White Stuff, who made their intentions known by winning their debut race on the UK circuit at Draycote Water two weeks ago; James Mears, runner up at this year's B14 World Championships on Sydney Harbour, crewed by B14 World Champion crew Andy Ramus on Pica; and new for this event but not new to skiffs by any means will be Scottish sailor Martin Goodlad on Alba Marine. Martin is one of the UK's most experienced 18ft Skiff sailors and is making a welcome return to the fleet after a couple of years absence. They join one of the most competitive 18ft Skiff fleets seen in the UK in recent years. Racing for the Ovington Cup for the National Championship title will be close with any one of six or so teams showing the potential to take the title although current holders Andy Richards and team on Radii will not make that easy!

The UK fleet will be joined by some of the top skiff teams from Europe for the British Grand Prix , the first round of the 2006 European Grand Prix series being held concurrently with the UK Nationals. Skiff sailors from France, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland will be making the long trip to Weymouth to compete with the UK teams for the British Grand Prix trophy. The European Grand Prix series includes events in some of the best sailing locations in Europe. The next stop on the tour is Lake Garda for the European International Championships, then Travemuende as part of Travemuende Week, Italy's Lake Como and finally Carnac on the Brittany coast.

The first race of the 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff UK National Championships and British Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 2.00pm on Friday the 5 th May on the flat, open waters of Portland Harbour. The fleet will rig and launch from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, sailing venue for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Radii Limited is the leading software author and supplier to the furniture industry.

Contacts:

18ft Skiff Communications: Alec Mckinlay, skiffs@mac.com , +44 777 444 3688

Radii Limited: Andy Frost andy@radii.co.uk

Web:

18ft Skiff UK National Championships: www.uk18footer.org

18ft Skiff British Grand Prix: www.18footer.org

Radii Limited: www.radii.co.uk

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RADII TO SPONSOR 18FT SKIFF UK NATIONALS AND BRITISH GRAND PRIX
Industry leading software house Radii Limited have been announced as sponsors of this year's 18ft Skiff National Championships and British Grand Prix taking place over May 5-7 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Radii Limited are an established supporter of sailing events, having supported Emma Richards' Pindar sponsored Open 60 sailing programme since 1999 and also providing title sponsorship to the current UK 18ft Skiff National Champions. This is however the first time they have lent their support to a championship event. Radii Limited Marketing Director Andy Frost commented: "We are proud to be involved with the 2006 UK 18ft Skiff Nationals and British Grand Prix. We very much enjoyed the opportunity of travelling to Sydney earlier this year, to support the Radii team at the JJ Giltinan Championships and are looking forward to an exciting event this weekend."

The 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff UK National Championships and British Grand Prix is likely to see one of the biggest gatherings of 18ft Skiffs in the UK in recent years. The UK fleet has been bolstered this year by a number of new teams including former US Match Racing Champions Mason Woodworth and crew on White Stuff, who made their intentions known by winning their debut race on the UK circuit at Draycote Water two weeks ago; James Mears, runner up at this year's B14 World Championships on Sydney Harbour, crewed by B14 World Champion crew Andy Ramus on Pica; and new for this event but not new to skiffs by any means will be Scottish sailor Martin Goodlad on Alba Marine. Martin is one of the UK's most experienced 18ft Skiff sailors and is making a welcome return to the fleet after a couple of years absence. They join one of the most competitive 18ft Skiff fleets seen in the UK in recent years. Racing for the Ovington Cup for the National Championship title will be close with any one of six or so teams showing the potential to take the title although current holders Andy Richards and team on Radii will not make that easy!

The UK fleet will be joined by some of the top skiff teams from Europe for the British Grand Prix , the first round of the 2006 European Grand Prix series being held concurrently with the UK Nationals. Skiff sailors from France, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland will be making the long trip to Weymouth to compete with the UK teams for the British Grand Prix trophy. The European Grand Prix series includes events in some of the best sailing locations in Europe. The next stop on the tour is Lake Garda for the European International Championships, then Travemuende as part of Travemuende Week, Italy's Lake Como and finally Carnac on the Brittany coast.

The first race of the 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff UK National Championships and British Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 2.00pm on Friday the 5 th May on the flat, open waters of Portland Harbour. The fleet will rig and launch from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, sailing venue for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Radii Limited is the leading software author and supplier to the furniture industry.

Contacts:

18ft Skiff Communications: Alec Mckinlay, skiffs@mac.com , +44 777 444 3688

Radii Limited: Andy Frost andy@radii.co.uk

Web:

18ft Skiff UK National Championships: www.uk18footer.org

18ft Skiff British Grand Prix: www.18footer.org

Radii Limited: www.radii.co.uk

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Sail Laser launches in Portland Harbour
4 May 2006
This month sees the launch of Laser's new national training centre within the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. It is the first time that Laser, makers of the world's favourite sailboats, has undertaken such an initiative, and Portland will become the venue for a range of Sail Laser courses and events that will bring sailing alive for many thousands of sailors of all abilities. As well as drawing many visitors to the area for training, Sail Laser will use the centre as a demonstration centre for new boats, and as the focus for a number of Laser's community activities. First to benefit from the new facility are pupils from 10 local schools, who will each enjoy a free half-day introduction to sailing, under the careful supervision of Laser's RYA-qualified instructors.

Neil Coxon is the General Manager for Sail Laser: �Laser are delighted to be coming to Weymouth and Portland. The range of sailing conditions and the outstanding facilities of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy are unrivalled anywhere else in the UK. We will be able to cater for all sorts of sailors here � from those who have never been in a dinghy before, to those who want to test themselves on the more challenging offshore courses. The safe waters of the harbour are also ideal for those who come to us with special needs as part of the Sailability programme, or through the RYA's OnBoard campaign, which aims to introduce 500,000 young people to sailing for the first time.�

As well as bringing the top coaches and the newest boats to Portland, Sail Laser has an important role in reaching out to the local community, which will be overseen by a dedicated Sports Community Officer. John Tweed , Director of Development at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy sees this as complementing his own remit: WPNSA is not just about the Olympics. Yes, it's about providing world class training for stars of tomorrow, but it's also about encouraging participation in the sport of sailing. Laser is an ideal partner for us; they are the biggest name in dinghy sailing and this partnership will enable more people to receive first class tuition and training at the Academy. This will help us to deliver more activity for schools and the community.�

So the future at Weymouth and Portland looks bright for all sorts of sailors. Hopefully the combined efforts of Sail Laser and the National Sailing Academy can help develop the skills of some future sailing champions, and provide a great deal of enjoyment for many thousands of others in the meantime.

Fort further information, contact Rosie Julian (WPNSA, T:01305 866000, E:rosiejulian@wpnsa.org.uk) or Neil Coxon (Sail Laser, T: 08453373214)

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NEW MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE FOR SAILING ACADEMY � THROUGH AND BEYOND 2012
1 May 2006
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is creating a new post of Chief Executive and embarking on a strengthening of its organisation and resources following careful consideration by the board of directors and taking external professional advice from top UK consultants.

Chairman of the Academy, Bill Ludlow explains �The Sailing Academy was launched in 1999 as a not-for-profit company. We had virtually no assets or resources, but high ambitions. The Academy developed well and when we secured funding for the development of the Osprey Quay site hosting the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics was an aspiration and not a reality. The Academy has three main long term tasks; making sailing available to everyone, regardless of age, experience or circumstances and attracting new entrants to the sport; training elite sailors who will win medals and championships for Great Britain; and providing a world class venue for local, national and international events�.

�Being part of the winning Olympics bid has been the big story and it will certainly create a tremendous boost to the development of the facilities at Portland and bring the world spotlight on us, but the Academy exists to foster sailing at all levels, now and beyond 2012�.

The first step in the implementation of the new plan is the creation of the post of Chief Executive which is being advertised in the national sailing press during May. This is a key appointment to introduce an experienced person who will take on the leadership of the Academy team, to develop the service to the local community, the national sailing teams and world class competitors.

Few may realize yet that the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships, being held at Portland in July this year, will be the showcase for those aspiring to places at the 2012 Games. The Academy's role will be to encourage new generations of sailors to ensure Great Britain remains the world Leader in competitive boat sailing. One of the new Chief Executive's first tasks will be to determine how WPNSA can develop to provide the sailing infrastructure to these young sailors, who will then be six years older by 2012. This means making sailing opportunities available to as wide a section of young people as possible � whether they can afford their own dinghy and equipment or not.

The new structure is intended to build on the success created by the current team, which has gone from a zero ground base in 1999 to participation in the winning Olympic bid and still has much to do in continuing to develop the facilities necessary for the forthcoming events. The repercussions are many. Development of facilities will be brought forward by outside investment to produce the World Class sailing waterfront and infrastructure for sailors, support crews and race officials. In the two years leading up to 2012 there will, in fact, be larger test events with each nation potentially fielding up to two teams in every class, as opposed to the single team in 2012.

The facilities being created for the Games and the legacy these will leave offer greatly enhanced opportunities for young people to try sailing and develop their skills in the sport. It also offers opportunities to those, of all ages and abilities, interested in sailing as a hobby, with access to high quality boats and instruction.

The new Chief Executive will be tasked with leading a team, which can make the most of the facilities and the opportunity presented by the Games, to attract new entrants alongside providing training our top sailors and securing national and world class events for Portland through the coming decades. This role will include working closely with the RYA and ISAF to attract such high profile events.

John Tweed, who has performed a huge task in driving forward the development of the Sailing Academy since 1999, will continue to play a key role as Director of Development and Company Secretary. John will continue to work closely with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Agency (ODA) in the build up required to 2012. Sail Force Limited, which was appointed to manage and carry out the operational aspects of the Sailing Academy, will play a vital continuing role, headed by company directors, Phil and Sandra Gollop.

Bill Ludlow continues �The new Chief Executive will join the existing team to ensure that we can meet our objectives on a sustainable basis, to the benefit of the sailing community and the local economy. This is a new set of tasks, with new challenges but, thanks to the continuing work of the current team, there is an excellent springboard for the future�.

END

Issued by: Andrew Coupe, t: 01305 824000

For further media information please contact:

John Tweed, Director of Development,

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

t: 01305 866066

e: john.tweed@wpnsa.org.uk

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Record entry for Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006
Around 250 of the world's best young sailors from a record 62 nations will flock to Great Britain this July for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006.

Home of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy will host the 36th edition of this premier youth event from 12-21 July, with potential young Olympians hoping that a podium finish at this summer's regatta could translate to an Olympic medal at the very same venue in six years' time.

A total of seven gold medals will be up for grabs in Weymouth in July, with racing taking place in the single-handed Laser (boys) and Laser Radial (girls), the double-handed 420 (boys and girls), the RS:X windsurfer (boys and girls), and multihull Hobie 16 (open).

Some 43 sailors will take to the water in the Laser fleet, with 41 to compete in the Laser Radial event. With 33 boats, the boy's 420 fleet sees the next highest entry; 25 boats will start in the girl's 420, while the RS:X windsurf sees 29 boys and 18 girls line up. The multihull Hobie 16 has the smallest entry with 14 boats.

The ten sailors comprising the 2006 Volvo RYA GBR Youth Worlds Team have already been selected following the conclusion of last week's RYA Youth National Championships and Trials at WPNSA, with eight other sailing strongholds - Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, New Zealand and USA - also looking to send their full complement of competitors to the world event, which is supported by up to £365,000 from UK Sport's World Class Events Programme.

"It's great news that we've now confirmed a record entry for an ISAF Youth World Championship," said RYA Competitions Manager Rob Andrews . "The challenge now is to ensure that the event is not only the biggest ever, but also the best ever for all those who'll be joining us in Weymouth in July."

As well as looking to boost their medal haul of one gold, one silver and two bronze from the 2005 event in Korea, the Brits will be hoping to use their home advantage to reclaim the coveted Volvo Trophy (the award presented to the top scoring nation), which they last won ten years ago when the event was staged in Newport, USA.

Several of the medallists from Korea will be returning to the Youth Worlds this year, with Brazilian bronze medal winning Girls' 420 helm Mariana Basílio lining up with new crew Daniela Adler Pimentel Duarte, whilst last year's silver medal winning crew Briana Provancha will be back in 2006 with Emily Dellenbaugh now at the helm. Meanwhile Britain 's charge for medals will be led by 2004 gold and 2005 silver medallist in the Hobie 16, Tom Phipps. Now somewhat of a Youth Worlds veteran, Phipps this year will be teaming up with Richard Glover in his bid to retain the title he lost to Australia last July.

Through the funding support of the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme, 25 sailors from 17 countries have been assisted to compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, with Barbados set to compete for the first time, represented by Gregory Douglas in the Laser. Colombia , Cuba , El Salvador , Jamaica and Pakistan will appear in only their second ever Youth Worlds through the support of the Programme.

Previous ISAF Youth World Championship medallists include sailing legends such as Russell Coutts (NZL), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Chris Dickson (NZL), whilst from this year's host nation, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Sarah Ayton, Nick Dempsey, Nick Rogers, Joe Glanfield and Chris Draper have all stood on the podium at the Youth Worlds before going on to win medals for Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

Nations entered in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Turkey, US Virgin Islands, USA

End

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

Lindsey Bell RYA Team GBR Communications Officer T: 02380 604 216 M: 07900 570530 www.rya.org.uk

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Perfect day to end RYA Youth Championships & Trials
After five days of tough competition at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials, 15 of Britain 's brightest young sailing stars have been named the 2006 Youth National Champion in their respective classes.

With perfect sailing conditions today (Friday) and all classes completing at least three races, the Championship has certainly ended on a high note.

Today's battle of the Lasers, ended with Cardiff 's Sean Evans winning by a mere two points. Evans, who struggled at the beginning of the week, had a seamless last day of sailing which catapulted him into the lead. Welshman, Dyfrig Mon finished in second after earning a string of seconds and fourths on the final day. Max Holloway of Mudeford slipped into third during the last race.

In the Hobie 16 class Richard and Andrew Glover of Weymouth and Tom Phipps and Sam Newton from Cornwall went head to head. The Phipps-Newton team managed to pull off three bullets while the Glover brothers seemed to struggle in the last race taking second place overall. Christchurch 's Luke Butler and Sam Rowles from Weymouth finish in third.

"Our goal for today was to go out and sail conservatively;" Sam explained. "We covered the fleet well and won the series. We're really pleased with the result."

Richard Mason from Lymington and Daniel Schieber of Englefield continued to dazzle in the 420 fleet and will go home with a gold medal from the event after a combination of 1,3,3 finishes in Friday's racing. "It's really great that in our last year of youth racing that we will go out with a bang!" Richard grinned.

Second place goes to the Ellis brothers from Wembury, Plymouth , who have continually pushed to finish in the top five this week and have solidly succeeded. David Brewer of Poole and Oren Richards of Lymington will finish the week third in the boys' fleet.

The girls' 420 fleet was dominated by Lymington's Sophie Weguelin and Leigh-on-Sea's Katrina Hughes who have secured a gold medal. Welsh sailor, Hannah Mills and Oxfordshire's Peggy Webster finished in second with Ashford's Sophie Anisworth and Jasmine Husband of Lymington in third.

Winners, Sophie and Katrina explained, "The whole week was quite hard so we're very happy to have won. It means quite a lot."

Richard Hamilton of Barrow-upon-Humber proved that consistent sailing pays and clenched the title of National Champion in the RS:X after eleven top three finishes. Elliot Carney of Hythe , Kent and Kim Jiskoot of Uckfield finished in second and third in the boys' fleet.

Also in the RS:X Beth Williamson of West Kirby was able to secure her place on the podium as the top finishing girl after pushing herself hard out on the water. Hampton 's Kirsten O'Callaghan earned a second and Flintshire's Jilly Bromley earned a third on the girl's podium respectively.

Draycote's Dylan Fletcher and Weaverham's Rob Partridge were an unstoppable force in the 29er and tied up the event 12 points in the lead, only counting second and first place finishes. Anglesey 's duo, Huw Humphries and Max Todd have ended the week well in second place overall followed by Henry Maxfield of Farnham and Dicken Maclean of Sutton who have earned a bronze medal.

Clinching pole position in the 29er girls' fleet were Sarah Martin of Buckinghamshire and Nicola Groves of Surrey who finished 44 points ahead of the nearest girls' boat. London sailors Hannah Tattersall and Sophie Porteous finished in second and Hannah Diamond of Warsash and Olivia Petitt third in the girls' fleet.

Eifion Mon from Anglesey took the top slot in the boys' Laser Radial Fleet and Anna Dobson from Helensburgh was top of the heap in the girls' fleet. Stuart Godwin and David Jessop finished in second and third respectively on count-back after they tied in points.

Second and third in the girl's laser Radial Fleet was Welsh sailor Sarah Williams and Clare Chapple from Guernsey respectively.

Full results and event information can be found on www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthnationals

Photographs are copyright free for editorial use.  Please credit RYA/Photolounge.

For more media information please contact Myrrh Walker, RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile : +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

End

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All to play for at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials

13 April
On the penultimate day of racing at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials all fleets got out on the water, but as the wind built to an average 25 knots, race organisers were forced to send competitors back to the shore after the majority of classes completed one race.

By the afternoon, further racing in the Laser, Laser Radial silver fleet, 29er, 420, Hobie 16 and RS:X fleets was postponed; however the Laser Radial gold fleet was sent back out as the wind slowly began to ease off.

The RS:X sailors got in two solid races in the harbour but the second race proved a challenge for some of the younger racers. Beth Williamson, who remains in the lead in the girls' fleet, pulled off a gutsy second race in the building breeze and was the first girl to zoom across the finish line.

"It was really good racing out there this morning," a grinning Beth explained. "It was quite breezy and a bit scary downwind but I just held on tight and made it across the finish line. I really got going and was just flying across the course."

The 420's completed one race which saw Sophie Weguelin and Katrina Hughes slip out of first and into second after Richard Mason and Daniel Schieber earned a second place finish moving them back into first overall.

It was a no-sail day for the 29er's who made it out into the harbour before being turned around and set back to dry land as conditions became more extreme.

The top three in the Laser fleet remained unchanged after today's race. Max Holloway remains at the top with 18 points followed by Dyfrig Mon in second and Evan Scott in third.

Hobie sailors, Richard and Andrew Glover, currently lead the fleet but continue to battle for the top slot with Tom Phipps and Sam Newton. With only two points separating the two teams there is still everything thing to play for.

The Laser Radial fleet split into gold and silver flights with the silver fleet completing one race and the gold fleet completing three. The Radial golds were the only fleet to race in the afternoon, not coming off the water until after 1800.

Competitors from the Radial fleet carried their net points from the qualifying series into today's racing. Eifion Mon managed to unseat David Jessop from the top slot by securing a first and two seconds. Tomorrow Eifion will don the yellow jersey.

In the girls fleet Anna Dobson and Sarah Williams continued to battle it out with Sarah Williams beginning to close the gap moving from third into second in the girl's fleet.

Tomorrow is an important day for the selection committee as they will have to decide which sailors will go on to represent Great Britain at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006.

"It will be a really hard decision;" RYA Youth Racing Manager and selector Simon Wergan explained. "We have seen some top talent and a high standard of competition throughout the event. We are looking for sailors that will be able to medal at an international level and want to make the right calls."

Racing continues through to Friday 14 April. Further results and event information can be found on www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthnationals

Interviews with race organisers and competitors will be available on request. 

Photographs are copyright free for editorial use.  Please credit RYA/Lee Whitehead.

For more media information or to register for a press pass to attend the event, please contact Myrrh Walker, RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile: +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

End

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RYA Youth National Championships & Trials
12 April
After disappointing conditions on Tuesday, the RYA National Championships and Trials got back on track today with every class completing at least three races at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

With fifteen knots in the morning, the Beachmaster and his crew of volunteers got over 250 boats and boards on the water promptly. Racing kicked off on three courses with the 29ers and Hobie 16's attracting a crowd of spectators who watched from the balconies at WPNSA.

Richard Hamilton from Barrow-upon-Humber continued to consolidate his lead in the RS:X fleet with three more first place finishes today. In the girl's fleet, West Kirby 's Beth Williamson has a 12 point lead over her nearest female competitor.

RS:X sailor, Kim Jiskoot of Tunbridge Wells struggled with the cold conditions that Wednesday had to offer. "I got a third, sixth and seventh today. I don't think I had the settings on my sail quite right. I really enjoy sailing and racing here; in the harbour the water is often flat - just how I like it."

Sailors jostled for position in the Hobie 16 fleet, but after three races, brothers Andrew and Richard Glover from Weymouth , came out on top. However they will have to sail fast to keep Cornwall 's Tom Phipps and Sam Newton out of pole position. Phipps and Newton were on top form today racking up three bullets.

"Today has definitely been the highlight of the event for us;" Tom explained. "Monday was a really tough day. The shifty conditions made my brain ache from concentrating so hard so it was nice to have some bigger breeze today and focus on getting the boat to move fast. Hopefully we can keep improving tomorrow."

The 29er fleet managed to get five races on the score sheet. Dylan Fletcher from Draycote and Rob Partridge from Waverham continue lead the fleet with a 12 point advantage. Anglesey 's Huw Humphries and Max Todd finish the day in second with the third place boat manned by Henry Maxfield or Farnham and Dicken Maclean of Sutton hot on their heels. Sarah Martin and Nicola Groves, from Buckinghamshire and Surrey respectively, remain in the lead in the girl's fleet.

It was a game of snakes and ladders for the 420's, as sailors shifted up and down the leader's board. Lymington's Sophie Weguelin and Leigh-on-Sea's Katrina Hughes took control and charged to the top of the fleet after consistently finishing in the top three. Richard Mason from Lymington and Daniel Schieber from Englefield moved from fourth to second following three bullets, while Poole's Stephen Tiernan and North Guildford's Jamie Crapnell dropped to third.

Plymouth sailors James and Dan Ellis jumped from eleventh into fourth after a string of good results. "We had a good day today and started to pull our way up through the fleet;" Dan commented. "The competition on the start line is incredible so we're pleased with how we've done so far."

Today's three races in the Radial fleet were of highest importance as on Thursday the Radials will be split into gold and silver fleets. Helensburgh's Anna Dobson continues to lead the girl's fleet with Guernsey 's Clare Chapple and Welsh competitor, Sarah Williams nipping at her heels.

David Jessop from Bedfordshire stays in pole position in the boy's fleet just ahead of Eifion Mon of Wales and Iain McKeeman of Kempsford.

Mudeford's Max Holloway sets the pace in the Laser fleet with a 10 point lead over second place boat Dyfrig Mon of Wales. Evan Scott from Cambridgeshire moves up the board from fourth to third.

Racing continues through to Friday 14 April. Further results and event information can be found on www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthnationals

Interviews with race organisers and competitors will be available on request.

For more media information or to register for a press pass to attend the event, please contact Myrrh Walker, RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile: +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

End

Notes for Editors

Ø Sailing is the most successful Olympic sport in this country and Great Britain is the world's top Olympic sailing nation. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing.

Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.

Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.

Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England's website at www.sportengland.org . The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.

Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk

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Competitors' spirits lifted by Royal Presence
11 April 2006
Day two of the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials brought strong gusty winds, abandoned racing and a visit from HRH The Princess Royal to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

As light rains swept in, HRH The Princess Royal joined competitors, coaches, volunteers, parents and event staff in the main hanger to speak about the Championships. After chatting about fitness, rig tuning and weather with coaches and sailors, HRH The Princess Royal met the 150 volunteers that help to run the event by donating their time.

The competitors from the front of each fleet also spoke with HRH The Princess Royal. The group discussed the challenges of competing at the Youth National Championships and about their dreams of representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics. If successful they will be competing on these same waters in six years time.

"It was fantastic the have HRH The Princess Royal with us today." Event organiser, Rob Andrews enthused. "It's wonderful to have such an enthusiastic patron and supporter of our sport."

While the Royal visit was a great success, squeezing in racing was proving to be more of a challenge. The Laser Radials were the first afloat in tough conditions, but subsequent squalls forced the race team to postpone and send the Radials back to the slipway.

With over 330 competitors entered in the event, WPNSA, the Olympic sailing venue for London 2012 and one of the only venues for the Games that is up and running, became a hub of activity. Sailors waited eagerly for the race committee to make the final call on racing.

By the afternoon wit the wind steadily in excess of 25 knots, the race committee reluctantly had to call off the day's competition.

Radial sailor, Elliot Banks, from Buxton, Derbyshire commented "It's really disappointing that they cancelled the racing but I think they probably made the right decision. When we launched it didn't seem that windy but there are several sailors new to the class and with less experience, so for safety reasons they called it off. Hopefully we will be back out there tomorrow."

Simon Wergan, RYA Youth Racing Manager explained. "We really wanted to get some racing in today and held off as long as we could, but the wind just never dropped off long enough for us to safely get the boats out there. The race and safety teams went out there several times but unfortunately we never got enough of a window to go ahead with racing."

Racing continues through to Friday 14 April. Further event information and final results can be found on www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthnationals

Interviews with race organisers and competitors will be available on request.

For more media information or to register for a press pass to attend the event, please contact Myrrh Walker, RYA Racing Communications Assistant, Tel: +44 (0)23 80 604 219 Mobile: +44 (0) 7769 505 203 Fax: +44 (0)23 80 604 293 Email: myrrh.walker@rya.org.uk

End
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Racing gets underway at the Youth National Championships & Trials
8-14 April 2006

The RYA Youth National Championships kicked off this morning, Monday 10 April, with over 330 aspiring young Olympians taking to what will become Olympic waters.

Racing at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the sailing venue for the London 2012 Games, Britain's best youth talent are competing for the Youth National Championship title and for selection to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006.

Up to 25 knots greeted competitors as they prepared for a day of racing. By the afternoon the breeze died down creating shifty and challenging conditions.

Stephen Tiernan from Poole and Jamie Crapnell from North Guildford take the lead in the 420 after the first day of racing. Hot on their heels are the Tim Saxton/ Jamie Hare pair from Baldock, Hertfordshire and Maldon, Essex respectively, while Sophie Weguelin of Lymington, Hampshire and Katrina Hughes of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, take the lead in the girls fleet.

Cheshire sailors Dylan Fletcher of Draycote and Rob Partridge of Waverham got off to a rocketing start in the 29er. After two first place finishes, the pair have taken the lead and will hope to continue their run of good form throughout the week. However, they will be strongly challenged by Henry Maxfield and Dicken Maclean from Farnham and Sutton, Surrey, who follow in second. Paul Turnill from Maidstone and Preston Taylor from Brighton ended the day in third.

Mudeford sailor Max Holloway proved a forced to be reckoned with as he took a first and second place finish. Competing under the Welsh banner, Dyfrig Mon from Ynys Mon, currently rests in second place with hopes of moving up the ladder into first before the week is over.

The Radial fleet sees the biggest number of entries with over 100 boats registered to take part in the event. David Jessop of Bedfordshire, Cameron Steele of Glasgow and Tom Hayes of Staffordshire are at the top of the leader's board with first, second and third respectively. In the girls fleet Anna Dobson from Helensburgh, Rhu leads, with Birmingham's Kelsey Suggitt and Clare Chapple from Guernsey following closely behind.

In the Hobie 16 catamaran, Hannah Rowles and Stephanie Wall from Weymouth put their local knowledge to the test and came up strong, finishing the day in first ahead of Luke Butler from Christchurch and Sam Rowles from Weymouth who took second. Cornwall's Tom Phipps was placed third after having to change his regular crew, Jon Cook, who broke his collarbone just days before the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials. Sam Newton gets on board with Tom to see if they have the skill to be crowned National Champions.

The RS:X windsurfing fleet showcased some close racing. In the boys RS:X fleet, Richard Hamilton from Barrow Upon Humber won the first two races followed by Brighton's Kim Jiskoot who earned two second place finishes. The pair will continue to battle it out over the rest of the week.

Racing on the same course as the boys, the girl's RS:X fleet saw Beth Williamson from West Kirby take a strong lead finishing in fourth overall with a 12 point advantage over her nearest female competitor.

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, will attend the event on Tuesday 11 April to watch competitors battle it out on the race course.

Racing continues through to Friday 14 April.

Results will be posted on the RYA website.

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