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RS:X windsurfing - racing set to start at Pre-Olympics

Racing kicks off today in China at the Qingdao International Regatta known as the Pre-Olympics. The regatta which runs over nine days is an Olympic test event one year out from the 2008 Olympics Games. New Zealand is represented by nine sailors in seven of the Olympic classes. The kiwi team includes…

Barbara Kendall – RS:X Women’s windsurfer
Tom Ashley – RS:X Men’s windsurfer

Jo Aleh – Laser Radial, Women’s one-person dinghy
Andrew Murdoch – Laser, Men’s one-person dinghy
Dan Slater – Finn, Heavy-weight dinghy
Hamish Pepper & Carl Williams – Star, Men’s Keelboat
Carl Evans & Peter Burling – 470 Men’s two-person dinghy

All the kiwi sailors have been in China for around a week in preparation for the start of competition today.

“In the ten days that I've spent here so far conditions have been more or less as expected, with mostly light wind and very hot, humid weather,” says board-sailor Tom Ashley. “I've been taking in pretty easy in my training since I arrived here, just fitting in a few short high intensity workouts to bring myself up to my aerobic peak.”

“Acclimatisation is a very important factor here as the heat and humidity take a big toll on energy levels, so I've been very careful to keep most of my training easier than normal in order to regulate my fatigue levels.”

Racing will take place on five course areas off the coast of Qingdao. Eleven Olympic classes will be competing in total; all of which are scheduled to start racing either today or tomorrow. Medal races are planned for Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 August.

Majority of the New Zealand team get underway today, with the boardsailing, Star, Finn and 470 Men classes awaiting a start gun expected at around 1pm in China. Jo Aleh and Andrew Murdoch in the women’s and men’s single-handed classes will start racing tomorrow.

Visit the regatta website through the link below for results as they come to hand and more information.

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