The Olympic regatta will be held at the National Sailing Academy and Marina in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, Dorset, which provide some of the best sailing waters anywhere in the U.K. It consists of ten events in which over 350 athletes will compete. Different disciplines will be represented from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing, with six events for men and four for women. In competitive sailing athletes complete courses in the shortest possible time using the wind in their sails for maximum speed. Ten classes of boats will compete over three different disciplines, match racing, when competitors race one against one, fleet racing which has a mass start and windsurfing. The size of the crew varies from one to three, competitors contest ten races [15 for the 49er class], points are awarded depending on finishing positions in each race, 1 for 1st position, 49 for 49th etc. After discarding their worst score, the ten boats with the lowest accumulated scores qualify for the Medal race. The points scored in this race are doubled and added to the opening series scores to decide the top ten positions. Competing against each other teams take part in a series of round robin matches, the top teams progress to the final knockout stages. Team events, where two or three boats from the same nation are competing, are extremely tactical due to the need to score the lowest points possible. Operating within the Racing Rules of Sailing, boats can position themselves to hinder their opponents, allowing team mates to progress through the field.
The London 2012 games will be the first in Olympic history to charge spectators for watching sailing races. Organisers of the Olympics have been criticised for failing to consult the public over plans to turn a well used local park into a ticketed venue. Spectators will pay up to £55 to watch the sailing events in Nothe Gardens, which overlook Newton’s Cove, a Weymouth beauty spot popular with local people. The locals are unhappy as they will be denied use of the Gardens for up to three weeks while the racing events take place. The good news is there will still be a couple of Free vantage points near Newton’s Cove, plus a free site with giant screen and stage on Weymouth Beach, for those unwilling or unable to obtain tickets. Since 2000, Great Britain has won more Olympic medals than any other country in the Sailing events and will be hoping to match this in 2012.
Ben Ainslie, Britains most successful ever Olympic sailor, he already holds 3 Gold and 1 Silver Olympic medals. Ben had the honour of being the first athlete officially named for Team GB and will compete in the Finn class.
Nick Thompson, he won the European Championship in Athens in 1999 becoming the first Brit to do so. Will be competing in the Laser class and is capable of winning.
Saskia Clark, finished in 6th place in Beijing in 2008 and with her new partner Hannah Mills the pair are confident of success in London.
Lucy Macgregor, with sister Kate and Annie Lush they form one of the top International Match Racing Teams. Younger sister Kate won Gold at the 2007 Olympic Youth Festival in Australia, they have a great chance of thrilling the home crowd with a medal.