The best sailing talent will be on show and as well as world titles being awarded across ten events.
50% of Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition places will be won based on results in Santander. The regatta format will feature an opening qualification series and a final series with the top ten in each event proceeding to the Medal Race where the final positions will be decided.
South Africa has 4 teams competing, are:
470 Men – The RaceAhead team of Asenathi Jim & Roger Hudson
49er – Graeme Willcox & Andrew Tarboton
Laser – Stefano Marcia
Racing starts on Friday, and with a powerful desire to qualify for the Rio Olympics at this event, Roger Hudson said “We are feeling very fit and ready for all conditions. We’ve had a really busy and good 2014 season so far and made a lot of progress in terms of both results and speed/skills. Our world ranking is currently 19th and we would love to out-perform that ranking at this event. This is the first of three opportunities to qualify the country for Rio 2016 and to do that here by achieving a top-13 country performance would be a dream, but would also require another significant breakthrough performance from us.”
Qualification is never easy as it takes it toll on both body and mind, and nothing less than a 100% performance is good enough. “We will give 100 per cent to that effort, and provided we do that, we will be satisfied whatever the outcome. Our preparation has been good and at this stage we just need to ensure we are well rested and in a good state of mind when we kick off here as it will be a mentally and possibly physically gruelling event, depending on the strength of the breeze” added Hudson.
Conditions for Hudson and Jim will be tough as the 470 race-course is truly offshore and conditions are extremely technical with big wind driven chop on top of a 1.5m cross-swell, and a strong tide of up to 2 knots.
When the breeze is up it is a bit similar to Simonstown, their SA training base (minus the tide). It is a fascinating and challenging venue and promises to be an interesting regatta.
Racing kicks off for the Lasers on Friday 12 September; Sunday 14 for the 470 men and Monday 15 for the 49ers.
Results will be available when racing commences on Friday 12 September here .