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200 windsurfers from 48 countries

Despite being on the other side of the world for many competitors the 2008 RS:X World Championships at Takapuna Boating Club has attracted maximum entries including the best of the best. This is an Olympic year and consequently this World Championships is a ‘don’t miss’ regatta.

48 countries are represented at the event which starts on Sunday 13th January and runs through until Saturday 19th January.

France, China and Poland are the nations which have the largest teams competing here in New Zealand outside the 22-strong local kiwi team. France has 15 sailors, China 13 and Poland 12.

Current Olympic Champions…

Faustine Merret won gold in the women’s windsurfing at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and has been selected to represent her country in Qingdao. Merret has a number seven current world ranking and highlights in 2007 include a fourth place at the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao in August, and a third place at the grade one Breitling Regatta in May.

Both Faustine Merret in the women’s fleet and Julien Bontemps in the men’s, along with others on the French windsurfing team such as Charline Picon and Nicholas Huguet will be strong contenders at this event.

Current men’s Olympic windsurfing champion Gal Fridman of Israel is also in Auckland and will line up in the men’s division.

Current World Champions…

Current world champions Zofia Klepacka of Poland and Ricardo Santos of Brazil are both in New Zealand to defend their world titles.

The young Klepacka from Poland had an impressive year in 2007 with a string of top five results at major regattas and topping it off with a win at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal in June. She has a current number two world ranking.

Ricardo Santos also performed well in 2007, not finishing outside the top ten in all the year’s major events, Santos won not only the ISAF Sailing World Championships but also the ISAF grade one Breitling Regatta. The Brazilian’s current world ranking is at number seven.

Country Men Women Total
New Zealand 13 9 22
France 8 7 15
China 6 7 13
Poland 6 6 12
Australia 6 3 9
Italy 6 3 9
Japan 4 4 8
Canada 3 4 7
Greece 4 3 7
Korea 7 0 7
Great Britain 4 2 6
Israel 4 2 6
Germany 3 2 5
Hong Kong 4 1 5
Russia 4 1 5
Bulgaria 3 1 4
Denmark 2 2 4
USA 0 3 3
Croatia 2 1 3
Czech Republic 3 0 3
Estonia 2 1 3
Hungary 1 2 3
Spain 1 2 3
Thailand 2 1 3
Argentina 0 2 2
Brazil 1 1 2
Colombia 2 0 2
Cyprus 1 1 2
Latvia 1 1 2
Mexico 1 1 2
Netherlands 2 0 2
Norway 1 1 2
Turkey 1 1 2
Ukraine 1 1 2
Venezuela 1 0 1
Armenia 0 1 1
Belgium 0 1 1
Chinese Taipei 1 0 1
Finland 0 1 1
India 1 0 1
Indonesia 1 0 1
Ireland 1 0 1
Lithuania 1 0 1
Slovakia 1 0 1
Slovenia 1 0 1
Sweden 1 0 1
Switzerland 1 0 1
Uruguay 0 1 1

About the Neil Pryde RS:X Board

The RS:X is a tightly controlled One-Design class selected by ISAF for use at the 2008 Olympic Regatta and probably also for 2012. Racers therefore all use the same equipment. In Qingdao, China where the board is being sailed in the Olympics for the very first time, Neil Pryde, the manufacturer, will supply the equipment.

Previous World Championships have been held in Lake Garda, Italy (September 2006) and Cascais, Portugal (July 2007 – part of the ISAF World Championships for Olympic Classes) Takapuna, North Shore City is therefore the third ever worlds for the RS:X and the first time that any Olympic windsurfing Worlds has ever been held in New Zealand.

Further information is available from:
2008 RS:X World Championship website: http://www.rsxclass.com/worlds2008.html
International RS:X Class Association Rory Ramsden Mail: rory.ramsden@btopenworld.com
Takapuna Boating Club Denise Parris Tel: 021 026 76499
Mail: mediatakapuna@gmail.com
Yachting New Zealand Jodie Bakewell-White Tel : 0292 008 492
Mail : jodie@yachtingnz.org.nz

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