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Poole is set to welcome the world's top sailors when it hosts the International 2.4 Metre class Open World Championships.
The International 2.4mR is the only class where able-bodied and disabled sailors, male and female, compete in the same boats on a level playing field.
Around 100 sailors are anticipated at the event, being staged by The Poole Yacht Club from 6 - 14 September 2013.
Steve Bullmore, International 2.4mR Class Association secretary, explains: “We are delighted to be bringing the 2013 Worlds to Poole. This event always captures the imagination wherever it’s staged because the racing is so unique. You have Paralympic and disabled Worlds medallists going head-to-head with top able-bodied athletes in unbelievably tight, tactical and strategic racing.
“The 2.4mR is a keelboat but has the fingertip feel of a dinghy. The sailor sits facing forwards in the ‘cockpit’ of the boat with all controls within arms’ reach, so the sailing isn’t physically demanding. Also the boat is insensitive to different sailor sizes, as body weight is always close to its centre of gravity. This is why we get such equal and intriguing competition.”
Sweden’s Peter Andersson won the 2012 International 2.4mR Open Worlds title in Italy last September, where Skandia Team GBR sailor and Rio 2016 Paralympic hopeful, Megan Pascoe, took bronze. Southampton’s Helena Lucas, the only female in the London 2012 2.4mR Paralympic fleet, had made history as she won Paralympic 2.4mR gold at Weymouth and Portland earlier that month.
All racing will take place in Poole Harbour.