Stephen Park's Olympic update


Richard Langdon / www.oceanimages.co.uk
RYA Olympic Manager on Perth 2011, the three unselected Team GBR slots and equipment for Rio 2016
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships for the Olympic classes kicks off tomorrow with two days of Women’s Match Racing. The regatta is taking place in Fremantle and anyone old enough to remember the 1987 America’s Cup held there, it is likely to be a big wind and large waves affair. With the temperature forecast to soar to 36°C this weekend, there is the opportunity for the famous Fremantle Doctor sea breeze to blow strongly, but this week there has also been a significant gradient breeze. Typically the Doctor is up to around 15 knots by noon and has built further to 25 by the late afternoon, but due to the strong gradient this week it has been 1400 before the Doctor has fully developed. With the first flights of the Women’s Match Racing this weekend, so on Monday they are joined out on the water by the RS Women, Finn, 470 Men and Laser Radials, which race throughout next week with their medal races taking place on Sunday, 10 December, before competition gets underway for the remaining classes the week after, with their medal races on Sunday, 18 December. Conditions are expected to be ‘interesting’ for the Women’s Match Racing which is taking place on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour on the Swan River, on an Extreme Sailing Series-style race course around 200m in width. While the Inner Harbour is orientated so that the Fremantle Doctor blows straight down it, in order to get through all the flights, the Women’s Match Racing is scheduled to start each day at 1000 before the sea breeze has developed. In addition to the ‘Harbour’ course, there are five more out in the open sea. Next week the RS:X Women are on the spectator-friendly Centre Course (which will also be used for the medal races) while the Radials

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