Amanda Clark in England for racing at site of Olympics this summer

TEAM GO SAIL PHOTO | Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan on Biscayne Bay in January for the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Race, one of five world events that lead to the 2012 Summer Olympics in Weymouth, England.

The US Sailing Team including Shelter Islander Amanda Clark is in Weymouth and Portland, England, preparing for Sail for Gold, the next event on the European sailing calendar.

Held June 4-9 at the same place the 2012 Olympic sailing competition will be held, the annual regatta is a milestone for athletes preparing for the Games. This will be the last time that athletes will have a chance to compete at the venue before the Olympics, which will tale place July 29-August 11.

Organizers expect over 700 athletes from 60-plus nations to compete in the event, which is the fifth stop on the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Cup circuit.

“US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is fully represented at our team training camp this week, including all 22 Olympic and Paralympic team members, our coaching staff, plus we have a good contingent from our US Sailing Development Team,” said US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen. “Training and competing at the Olympic Sailing venue will allow us to gather more valuable information on conditions as well as test performance against our foreign competition.”

“We’re closing in on 50 days until the start of the Games,” said Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner. “In addition to this being our last chance at competition on the Olympic course area, this regatta will also serve as a dry run for the Games in a number of ways. Our athletes and coaches will continue to keep ticking things off the to-do list. For example, Olympic equipment has been chosen, final sail selections have been made, and with our support staff and performance enhancement team on site we are making sure everyone stays focused and healthy.”

Racing starts Monday, June 4 in all classes and concludes on Friday for the Paralympic classes and on Saturday, June 9 with the medal race for Olympic classes. Women’s Match Racing consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series, with the final matches scheduled on Saturday, June 9.

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