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Sailing World Cup Finals go to Spain and Germany

The Sailing World Cup Final, the climax of the international series of Olympic & Paralympic class racing, has been awarded to Santander, Spain in 2017 and to Kiel, Germany in 2018.

Kiel Week - Click image for a larger image

This decision by World Sailing rules out any Sailing World Cup events for the UK over at least the next two years.

it is not a big surprise, given the popularity of Santander and Kiel as venues, compared to Weymouth.

World Sailing has finally realised that the SWC events need to raise their game and move from a dedicated, exclusive regatta, to involve themselves with venues that offer more than just a sailing event, to attract competitors and spectators.

Internet media is all important, not just the big TV and press outlets. Internet coverage on a professional level is essential to raise sailing's profile and reach sailing enthusiasts.

Spain's Santander is a favourite venue for championship events, with good sailing conditions and attracted big numbers of spectators for the World Sailing Championships in 2014.

Santander - Click image for a larger image

For 2018 the Sailing World Cup Final will be part of Kiel Week, just about the biggest sailing regatta in the world, which already incorporates the Olympic classes.

The German regatta is already plugged into a massive media effort due to its long-time development as a national cultural event, which will raise the profile of the World Cup event.

As to where this leaves the annual Weymouth Olympic classes regatta, it basically looks like becoming even more of a backwater.

No doubt the dreaded "Brexit" angle will be played, but the Weymouth event has never developed.

Built as a base for the British Olympic team and a venue for London 2012, the UK event there has never expanded beyond a dedicated regatta for the Olympic classes.

Without the pull of a Sailing World Cup event it will struggle to attract "foreign" entries.

Other national venues, in or out of the World Cup circuit, have involved other dinghy classes to maintain a critical mass and provide a more enjoyable event.

Weymouth has remained an exclusive Olympic classes event and is paying the price.

With the 2017 and 2018 events now decided, the next SWC events available will be in 2019 - the Europe event and the Finals.

2017 – 2020 Sailing World Cup series of events

After the shortened 2017 series, the Sailing World Cup series will run from October to July every year, incorporating three Rounds and the Final at the end of June / early July.

Japan will host a Sailing World Cup Round each October from 2017 through to 2019 before holding the Final in July 2020, just weeks before the Olympic Games.

2017/18: Gamagori, Japan (October 2017), Miami (January 2018), Hyeres (May 2018) + Kiel Final (June/July 2018)

2018/19: Enoshima, Japan (October 2018), Miami (January 2019), Europe Round (May-June) + TBC Final (June/July 2019)

2019/20: Enoshima, Japan (October 2019), Miami, (January 2020) Europe Round (May-June) + Enoshima, Japan Final (July 2020).

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Gerald New - Sailweb
10 November 2016 11:16 GMT


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