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