The registration procedure closed this morning and it was clearly outlined how many athletes will compete in the Mistral Class World Championships, a constant focus point for quality worldwide windsurfing.
There will be a total of 118 athletes participating, divided into 82 men and 36 women, representing 21 nations from all five continents.
The worldwide windsurf stars have come together in Mondello?s Gulf to battle for the precious title. In the male category 9 of the athletes were at the Olympic Games in Athens and more than 15 of the athletes are among 50 of the highest ranking world ISAF windsurfers.
A few names stand out such as the Ukranian Maxim Oberemko, graded as no.1 by ISAF, and the Frenchman Nicolas Huguet who was third last year in the world championships held in Turkey, Nicolas Beadou also French is another name to watch out for. The Brazilian Ricardo Santos better known as "Bimba" nearly had a gold last year in Athens, and the Spanish Ivan Pastor and Curro Manchon are all going to play an important role along with the Italians, a strong team who have been training on their waters and who are ready to battle.
Behind the leaders Riccardo Giordano and Paco Wirz, two of the Italian veterans, there are younger athletes such as Esposito, Belli dell Isca and Heideggar waiting to take their place as the head of the pack.
There are also a few possible queens this year at the starting line with Olga Maslivets, leader of the womans ISAF ranking category, Lee Korsitz from Israel winner of the Olympic Class World Championships in 2003 at Cadice, Amelie Lux silver medalist in the Austrailan Olympic Games, and the Spanish Blanca Manchon.
Tomorrow at 1.00pm the first trial out of the twelve programmed will undergo the race for the world title.
XX Edition World Festival On The Beach
Palermo Mondello 11-22 May 2005
WITH REGISTRATION CLOSED, THE RACES WILL BEGIN TOMORROW
Follow the action on the official event website