Skandia Team GBR squad prepare in Medemblik
Britain’s Paul Goodison, Ed Wright and Lucy Macgregor among are a strong British squad preparing for action at the 2010 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, the Netherlands, which gets underway tomorrow.
Laser star Goodison, Finn European silver medallist Wright and the world number one match racing helm Macgregor all claimed gold for Skandia Team GBR at the 2009 edition of the event, and are gunning for more glory at this fifth leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series, held on the waters of the IJsselmeer.
All three can be confident heading into the event thanks to recent medal-winning performances – Goodison claimed gold at his first Laser event of the year at the fourth leg of the World Cup series in Hyeres, France, last month, while Wright and Macgregor claimed silver medals at their respective Finn and match racing European Championships earlier in May.
Macgregor will race with a slightly different crew in Medemblik, with Nicky Muller standing in for Annie Lush, who is assisting the umpiring team at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Sardinia.
Joining regular campaigners Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe in the 2.4mR class, is Paralympian John Robertson, also going solo for this regatta. Usually accompanied by teammates Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas in the three-person Sonar keelboat, Robertson will be racing on his own in the one-person 2.4mR class in Medemblik.
“I’m here for a bit of match race practice, plus our Worlds are here in July so it’s a really good opportunity to get out and have a go on the racecourse and see what the conditions are like,” Robertson explained.
“Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll come away with lots of experience of the conditions, getting used to the wave conditions and the chop which is quite unique for this venue I think.”
“Sailing a 2.4mR is very different, my hands hurt and I’ve swallowed quite a bit of the Ijsselmeer! It’s really different sailing on your own, having to make all the calls, pull all the strings and everything but it’s really good.”
In the windsurfing events, Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw will be looking to make it three straight podium finishes in Holland, to add to her bronze at the Palma World Cup event, and gold last month in Hyeres, France, while Nick Dempsey will look to improve on his previous two World Cup outings, where he missed out on the 10-boat medal races.
As well as Goodison, Miami World Cup winner Nick Thompson will look to challenge in the Laser event, while Giles Scott, Andrew Mills and Mark Andrews will look for a strong Skandia Team GBR challenge alongside Wright in the Finn class.
The 470 women’s event will see Sarah Ayton-Saskia Clark in their second event since officially announcing their campaign, while Penny Clark-Katrina Hughes and Hannah Mills-Claire Cumming will also look to challenge. Skandia Team GBR’s 470 men’s teams will look to make up for a disappointing outing in Hyeres, where all three top boats – Nick Rogers-Pom Green, Nic Asher-Elliot Willis and Luke Patience-Stuart Bithell – missed out on the final day’s medal race action.
Beijing Olympians Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes will look to add to their World Cup medal tally in Holland, following on from their bronze in Palma, with fellow performance squad sailors John Pink-Rick Peacock and Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign also looking to make an impact.
With Olympic and World Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson on TEAMORIGIN duty, John Gimson and Ed Greig will be the sole Skandia Team GBR contenders in the Star class.
Racing at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik (NED) will get start on Wednesday 26 May. The final medal races for the 470 class are scheduled for the evening of Saturday 29 May, with medal races for all other classes on Sunday 30 May.