As the 49er and Laser divide to form Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, 43 of the 79 nations competing have qualified to sail at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Add Great Britain, who qualify automatically as host nation, into the equation and there will be 44 nations all vying for Olympic glory. Fourteen London 2012 49er spots were available at Perth 2011 and after eight races the 14 places have been decided. Australia, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the USA will all be on the starting line at Weymouth next year. Croatia’s Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac made the gold fleet by six points ahead of Steve Thomas and Jaspar Warren (AUS). They take the last qualification spot and if selected will compete at their second Olympic Sailing Competition after their 17th place finish at Beijing 2008.
Five more 49er spots will be available at the 2012 World Championship in Zadar, Croatia from 4-13 May 2012. The Laser fleet at London 2012 will be the largest and will feature 48 nations. Twenty four nations guaranteed one of those spots after six Laser races at Perth 2011, they are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden and the USA.
Eleven more places are up for grabs at Perth 2011 and it will be interesting racing in the four remaining races in the Silver fleet. In the Men’s RS:X, 30 nations have qualified for the Gold fleet and with just 28 places on offer for London 2012 at Perth 2011 anything can happen. As it stands, Russia’s Dmitrii Polishchuk holds the final spot on 77 points but David Teran (MEX) on 81 points and Santiago Grillo (COL), on 82 points, are still in contention to steal the final place.
With just one fleet in the Women’s 470 and Star qualification will not be guaranteed until the end of fleet racing. Fourteen places are available in the Women’s 470 at Perth 2011 and 11 of the 16 London 2012 Star places can be taken at Perth 2011.