Canada and GBR to field largest squads
Places are rapidly filling for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December, with 798 of the 850 expected boats now confirmed as MNA entries.
Five of the 10 sailing events at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships are now at capacity, with good entry numbers in most of the remaining five classes.
Women’s RS:X, Laser, Finn and Star classes are at capacity and the Women’s Match Racing competition has 32 out of a possible 32 teams entered, meaning the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships will provide perhaps the largest ever Women's Match Racing regatta.
In regards to MNA representation, Australia will be sending the biggest team to Perth 2011 with 47 entries confirmed and New Zealand will be the next largest squad with 39 entries.
Canada and Great Britain will also have big squads at the World Championships in Perth in December, with each MNA confirming 36 entries. Team USA has been confirmed with 30 entries, while other MNAs to be well represented will be Netherlands (27 entries), France (26), Germany (26), Italy (26), China (25), Brazil (24), Poland (24) and Japan (23).
Perth 2011 Competition Manager Skip Lissiman said the numbers are pleasing: “We’re delighted with the level of interest from competitors from the 77 countries coming to Perth for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. With five of the 10 events having reached their quota, or very close to it, and teams now starting to arrive on a regular basis, the level of excitement in Perth has increased a few notches.
“With the spring and summer weather upon us providing regular sea breezes, the athletes who have arrived early will now get a taste of what to expect in December."
The calibre of the individuals so far confirmed is anything but minor. Great Britain has selected athletes for each of its confirmed entries at Perth 2011 and the list, as expected, reads like an honour role for Olympic class sailing.
Nominee for the 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Ben Ainslie, heads the team, along with Beijing 2008 Olympic champion in the Laser class Paul Goodison. Nick Thompson, ranked three in the world, will be joining Goodison in the Laser class. Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson will be sailing in the Star class.
Of the nominees for the 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the year, Ainslie is the only one so far selected by his MNA, although four other nominees are expected to represent their nation at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Brazil has selected Robert Scheidt to race the Star in December and has also selected world number five in the Laser class Bruno Fontes.
The Netherlands has only confirmed a representative for one entry, with Marit Bouwmeester being named to fill one of its three current entries in the Laser Radial fleet.
Kyrgyzstan, as previously suggested by Kyrgyzstan sailing, will send a representative to the ISAF Sailing World Championships for the first time, with Laser sailor Ignatev Ilia confirmed by his nation.
Japan has also confirmed many of its representatives, including two 470 crews that were the first international sailors to arrive in Perth to commence training ahead of the World Championships in December.