Almost 100 sailors from 28 nations are set to compete at the 2019 Para World Sailing Championships in Puerto Sherry in Spanish city Cádiz, where racing is due to start tomorrow.
Puerto Sherry, which recently hosted the 52 Super Series Royal Cup, will provide a picturesque setting for a scheduled 60 races to take place over four classes through to Sunday (July 7).
All returning for 2019 are the 2.4mR, men's and women's Hansa 303 and RS Venture Connect, which was first seen at last year’s Para World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan in Wisconsin.
And three out of the four sets of 2018 gold medallists are back to defend their titles, while 16 Paralympians across all fleets will, it is claimed, make the event even more competitive.
The men's Hansa 303 fleet is the biggest in the competition, with 37 sailors involved - three more than last year.
They will race in a split fleet and 10 boats will progress to the medal race.
Australian Chris Symonds clinched the 2018 title after winning the final race.
Having also won the silver medal in 2017, he will be eyeing another podium finish and is expected to prove tough to beat this week.
The final day last year saw a fascinating duel between compatriots Wademar Wozniak and Piotr Cichocki of Poland, with the former just pipping the latter, the 2017 gold medallist and Paralympian, to second place.
They are set to revisit their rivalry this week.
Brazilian trio Herivelton Ferreira, José Matias Gonçalves De Abreu and Antonio Marcos do Carmo all competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and, along with fellow Paralympian Sergio Roig of Spain, make up a strong fleet.
There will be 12 sailors racing in the women's Hansa 303 class, with all three of the 2018 medallists back seeking more glory.
Last year's final race saw a straight battle between Spain’s Violeta del Reino, Brazil’s Ana Paula Marques and Australia’s Genevieve Wickham.
Marques won the race to seal the gold medal, as Paralympian del Reino, who topped the fleet in 2017, had to settle for bronze behind Wickham.
In an increased fleet size from 2018, other returnees include Olga Górnas-Grudzien of Poland, Miray Ulaş of Turkey and Jana Mestre of Spain.
The top six will qualify for the medal race at the end of the week.
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After a successful first year at the 2018 Para World Sailing Championships, the RS Venture Connect fleet will see 10 teams battling it out, with only four of them returning from last year.
Great Britain’s Will Street and Jonny Currell, gold medallists in Sheboygan, are back to see if they can clinch consecutive world titles.
Last year’s winner-takes-all format in the final race, which will also feature this year, saw Street and Currell triumph in the final showdown to take to the top of the podium, making a dramatic comeback from an early penalty for hitting the first mark.
Sailing on home waters this year, Spaniards Gabriel Barroso de Maria and Enrique Vives will be aiming for another top-three finish after they won the silver medal in 2018.
The 2.4mR is the only class which does not feature the 2018 champion, as last year’s gold medallist Matthew Bugg of Australia and bronze medallist Dee Smith of the United States are not returning.
The 22-strong contingent contains numerous Paralympians, most notably the most successful in Paralympic history, Damien Seguin of France.
Having won Para World Sailing Championships bronze in 2017 and silver in 2018, Seguin, who took gold at the Athens 2004 and Rio 2016 Paralympics and silver at Beijing 2008 in the same class, will be keen to top the fleet this time around.
As with the men's Hansa 303 fleet, the 2.4mR will hold a final medal race for the top-10 competitors.
Sailing had made its debut on the Paralympic Games programme at Sydney 2000 and appeared in every edition until Rio 2016.
But it has been dropped for Tokyo 2020 and failed in a bid to get back on the programme for Paris 2024.