Skandia Sail for Gold opens its doors - with free entry - at Weymouth and Portland next month

Weymouth and Portland’s sailing centre, the venue for the sailing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will open its doors with free entry to the public on 19 September – the day the medals will be decided at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.

More than 500 boats competing in all 10 Olympic Classes – including the new women’s match racing class and the three Paralympic Classes, are expected to compete across the week of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (14-19 September), which this year doubles up as the seventh and final round of the 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors from Weymouth and Portland, Dorset, the South West and beyond, and giving them the chance to find out what an international Olympic Classes regatta is all about,” explained the RYA’s Event Director David Campbell-James.

“In addition to the sailing action there will be a host of interesting stands and displays on show at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the Open Day. Visitors will be able to watch the heroes and heroines of Beijing and Athens, and potentially of London 2012, as well as enjoying a big day out.”

Mega screens at WPNSA will bring all the action as events unfold on the race track straight to the shore-based spectators, the footage will be accompanied by live tracking and expert analysis from top names, including the BBC’s Beijing Olympic sailing commentary team of Richard Simmonds and double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson.

SailLaser will be offering taster sessions priced at £10 per person per hour or £20 per family (up to four) per hour. All sessions will be supervised by RYA-qualified staff and will offer the chance to both crew and helm a top class dinghy. Early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment!

Meanwhile, the RYA OnBoard team will be on hand to give advice on how to get started in the sport, and will be running an OnBoard Festival for 40 kids from Dorset clubs as well as giving 40 more local Weymouth and Portland schoolchildren the chance to hone their skills out on the water.

Regular sailors and enthusiasts can tour the stands and look at all the new season’s gear and equipment from top brands such as Harken, Holt, and Marlow, as well as checking out the general fitness products offered by Science in Sport, providers of sports drinks and nutrition products to the British team, Skandia Team GBR.

Weymouth and Portland’s regatta ‘village’ will include food and refreshment outlets and a diverse host of other stalls including Musto, the clothing manufacturer and retailer, who will be showing off all the year’s new fashions and technical clothing – as worn by Skandia Team GBR sailors.

To book your free tickets log on to: .