Dempsey eyes up RS:X European title
After a lucrative start to the 2006 season, Olympic bronze medal-winning windsurfer Nick Dempsey will be firmly in the hunt for his first ever European title when racing gets underway at the RS:X European Championships (10-16 June) in Alacati, Turkey, on Saturday.
On the former Olympic Mistral board, World and European Championship medals eluded the Norwich-born, Weymouth-based windsurfer, but Dempsey is in good form ahead of the week-long Europeans, enjoying a string of successes this season on the NeilPryde RS:X - the new Olympic equipment brought in for the Beijing Games in 2008.
The world number three Dempsey has already bagged four medals - three golds and a silver - for Skandia Team GBR on the RS:X at the major Olympic Classes events this year in Miami, Palma, Hyeres and most recently at the Holland Regatta, and is confident for his first podium finish at a European Championship.
"Basically, I want to win everything!" Dempsey explained.
"The win in Holland was important psychologically for me ahead of the Europeans, and to get three firsts and a second in the first major regattas of the season can't be bad preparation!"
Development squad sailors Leo McCallin and Hugh Sims Williams will also fly the Skandia Team GBR flag in the men's fleet at Alacati, while Weymouth's Bryony Shaw and Brighton's Christine Johnston will campaign in the women's fleet. Lucy Horwood has been forced withdraw through injury.
Like Dempsey, Shaw has already enjoyed a successful transition to the new Olympic board - as the highest placed RS:X sailor at the 2005 Raceboard Worlds she was dubbed unofficial RS:X World Champion, and also clinched gold at the Miami and Palma regattas earlier this year.
Some 125 competitors from 25 nations will contest the 2006 RS:X Europeans. Racing starts from Saturday 10 June, with the final medal race scheduled for Friday 16 June.
For more news and information on the team, visit www.skandiateamgbr.com