ISAF Sailing World Cup continues - Star Class preview

Ed Wright (GBR) going for gold in Medemblik
ISAF Sailing World Cup fifth regatta will be hosted in Medemblik, the Netherlands between 24th and 29th May 2011.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2010-2011 has seen some of the world's best fleet racing sailors, match racing sailors and paralympic sailors compete as they prepare for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition which will be held in Weymouth, England.

And the Star class is no exception and will feature another field full of Olympic medallists and world champions. World number one and current ISAF Sailing World Cup Star Standings leaders Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) will be looking to hit the sort of form that has seen them pick up the gold medal at US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR and the Semaine Olympique Française.

The pair, who won silver at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, will face stiff competition in Medemblik from Compatriots and 2004 Olympic gold medallists Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira. Grael and Ferreira are currently number ten in the world and find themselves ninth in the Star Standings. Also set to attend is 2008 Olympic gold medallists and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE winners Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) and last years Delta Lloyd Regatta winners and 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup Star Champions Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen.

Ed Wright (GBR) has finished at the top of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Finn Standings for two years in a row. But this year he looks like relinquishing his crown with Ben Ainslie (GBR) currently leading the 2010-2011 Standings on 60 points after three regatta victories compared to Wright's 46 points with a best place finish of second at Sail Melbourne.

Wright will have a chance to close the gap on Ainslie in Medemblik as the multiple Olympic gold medallist will not be attending. Nonetheless Wright will have his work cut out with World number one Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), World number 10 Dan Slater (NZL) and the Netherland's own Pieter-Jan Postma all registered to sail in the 74 boat fleet in Medemblik.

In the Men's RS:X Dorian Van rijsselberge (NED) has sailed at the Rolex Miami OCR and at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia Mapfre and convincingly won both regattas. But after missing out the Semaine Olympique Française he lost his spot at the top of the Men's RS:X Standings to Shahar Zubari (ISR) who has a three point lead having finished in the top ten in Miami, Palma and Hyères.

But of the top ten in the Men's RS:X Standings only Van Rijsselberge, Ricardo Santos (BRA) in seventh and Aichen Wang(CHN) in tenth will sail so all will have a chance to climb up the overall Standings.

In the Women's RS:X there are 42 sailors registered to compete with Australia's three time Olympian Jessica Crisp the highest placed sailor in the Standings set to attend. Crisp sits in eleventh just two points ahead of Patricia Freitas (BRA) in twelfth and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA), the bronze medallist in Medemblik in 2009 at 13. All three will be set to take their opportunity to claim a medal and move up the Standings.

The top five teams on the 49er Standings are not set to compete in Medemblik but this is still a high class field. The fleet includes World number five Stephen Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR), World number 10 Emil Toft nielsen and Simon Toft nielsen (DEN) and World number nine Nathan Outteridge, direct from the Zhik SB3 Worlds, and Iain Jensen (AUS).

Standings:
2.4 mR
Men 470
Women 470
49er
Finn
Laser
Laser Radial
Men RS:X
http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/standings/rsx-women.php
Women_RS:X
SKUD 18
Sonar
Star
Women Match Racing

Delta Lloyd Regatta website