Christmas is coming early for Kiwi sailing fans with the news that Sky Sport will broadcast live all six days of December’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
In what is believed to be a world first for an Olympic class sailing world championships, Sky Sport will screen live all six days of racing – six races a day – and also produce a daily highlights package, which will also be shown on free-to-air partner Prime TV.
Hopefully this early good cheer will spread further as negotiations are also progressing to distribute the feed internationally.
On-the-water gyroscopic cameras will capture all the racing action, including state-of-the-art drones, and there will be comprehensive analysis and interviews from the boat park before and after the racing presented by a team of sailing experts.
Tracking and animation will also be provided by Animation Research Ltd, who are world leaders in graphics visualisation.
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 president Marcus Spillane commented.
“The 2019 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 world championships are likely to be the most competitive regatta in all of sailing this year. To have a passionate New Zealand audience and our global fanbase be able to watch the whole thing is wonderful for the sport.”
As many as 400 of the world’s best sailors, including New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, are expected to compete.
The world championships is in partnership with Hyundai New Zealand hosted by the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from 3 to 8 December.
Not only will world titles be on the line, but many countries will be using it as an Olympic selection event so the stakes will be high.
It is not known if the RYA Olympic Selection Committee is using the December world championships as part of their Team GB selection process.
To date the top British 49er teams have not entered, while top GBR 49erFX and Nacra17 are entered for the championships, but this will become clearer after the British Olympic Association announce the first sailing competitors for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday 1 October.