TWO local men are heading to the Olympics - to help set up race courses for the world's top sailors.

Alastair Leicester from Skelmorlie and Dean Gillespie from Gourock will assist with the race management of the Olympic sailing event at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset.

Alastair, who is a human rights lawyer and has been involved in sailing for 15 years, said: "It will be two weeks at the Olympics and back and a week at the Paralympics. It should be quite exciting to be involved in the atmosphere and to see the quality of the sailing." Alastair and Dean will be kept busy in their roles as technical mark layers as there will be around 20 races at the Olympics and a further 10 at the Paralympics.

Setting the perfect course for the competitors will require a great deal of skill and precision as the race track has to be very accurately positioned in relation to the wind and tidal stream to ensure fair sailing.

During the last few years Alastair and Dean have been invited to be national technical officers on the water at Weymouth and Portland which led to them being asked to take part in the Olympic Regatta.

They will be joined by colleagues from sportscotland National Centre Cumbrae and the Scottish Sailing Institute for the Olympic event that runs between Thursday July 26 and Saturday 11 August.

Alastair and Dean, who is currently offshore with the Merchant Navy, are both members of Largs Sailing Club and involved in sail training and powerboating. Their roles include training junior and youth members, adult training, race training and supporting major international events coordinated by the Scottish Sailing Institute.

The team's talents in race course setting has received national recognition. Now sportscotland's National Centre Cumbrae is seeking to create a recognised training course and race management qualification and Alastair and Dean are involved in the preparations.