Aussie Olympians to get their first look at Weymouth venue

The Australian Sailing Team is preparing for a first look at the 2012 London Olympic Games sailing venue with the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta beginning in Weymouth, England, on Monday.

With less than three years until the 2012 Games the final round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup will provide an ideal opportunity to spend time on the waters of Weymouth and Portland.

Australia's male and female 470 crews of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson arrived in England after the 470 World Championship in Denmark where both crews finished fifth.

Beijing Olympic Games Gold medallists Rechichi and Parkinson have run a limited program in 2009 and will be keen to spend time racing amongst a strong women's 470 fleet.

In the 49er fleet current World Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen will be competing in just their third regatta together with the pair having a 100 per cent win rate after victories at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland and on Lake Garda in Italy.

The Australian Sailing Development Squad crew of Euan McNicol and Robert Bell will join them in the 49er fleet.

Jessica Crisp is fresh off her seventh placing at the RS:X World Championship which finished at the same venue last week and will continue to gain experience on the English waters.

In the Laser class dual World Champion Tom Slingsby will be out to hit back after a 17th place finish at the recent Laser World Championship in Halifax Canada.

There will be two ASDS crews competing in the Women's Match Racing competing with Katie Spithill and Lucinda Whitty the skippers. Spithill will be sailing alongside Nina Curtis and Jess Eastwell while Whitty has Olivia Price and Stacey Jackson as crew.

ASDS athlete James Paterson will be taking part in his first international regatta aboard a Finn after recovering from a shoulder injury that has hampered much of his year.

Australia will also be represented in the two Paralympic classes with Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Barry Astwood racing in the sonar class while Beijing Skud Silver medallist Rachael Cox will be competing aboard a 2.4m.

Duncan Macgregor will also be contesting a 2.4m alongside Cox.

Racing starts at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta on Monday, 14 September and concludes on Saturday, 19 September.

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