A RECORD-BREAKING 500 boats and more than 650 competitors from across the country are racing this week on Weymouth and Portland’s Olympic Sailing waters.

Five days of action-packed days of youth dinghy racing began at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) on Monday and is set to continue until Sunday .

Among the competitors taking part in the National School Sailing Association’s (NSSA) Golden Jubilee Regatta in the Dorset Schools Team is rising star Ross McFarlane.

Last weekend, the Sherborne teenager, who is a member of Weymouth’s Castle Cove Sailing Club, won the Topper National Series Event on his home waters.

Mum Cordelia said: “It was Ross’ first National Series win, and he was very proud to achieve that at WPNSA. He is competing this week at the NSSA Regatta, which is reputed to be the biggest youth regatta ever, along with the Dorset Schools Team.”

The annual NSSA regatta is the last event being held at the borough’s sailing academy before the London Olympic Games organisers take over and it becomes the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.

Paul Goodison, ex-NSSA sailor and 2008 Beijing Olympics Gold medallist in the Laser class, said: “I want to wish all the sailors who are competing at the NSSA Youth Nationals in Weymouth and Portland the best of luck.

“This is such a great location, the sailing is awesome and I have no doubt the regatta will be a huge success.

“The National School Sailing Association was a good stepping stone and preparation for my progression into Olympic sailing with great sailing events and great fun too.”

On Monday, Princess Anne was special guest at the regatta and NSSA sailors also took part in the final leg of the School to School Torch Relay, when they were presented with the Chesil Education Partnership torch and a book of friendship messages.

Yesterday the Olympic Torch Relay visited the site and passed through an avenue of sail before sailing out across Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay accompanied by two young NSSA competitors.

Visit nssa.org.uk to find out more.