SAILING: Olympic waters' World Cup boost

LEGACY: Sir Ben Ainslie flies the flag on Weymouth and Portland waters at London 2012

LEGACY: Sir Ben Ainslie flies the flag on Weymouth and Portland waters at London 2012

First published in Sport

WEYMOUTH and Portland National Sailing Academy has been named as one of two European venues for the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series, which will form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series.

Returning to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic waters, ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland will be the fourth stage of the six-leg revamped elite series and will take place from June 8-19 next year, with the racing conducted over five days.

Bids to host the two European regattas of the ISAF Sailing World Cup were carefully considered by the International Sailing Federation with key criteria including a compact venue, and first class sailing areas and facilities.

Weymouth and Portland will join Hyeres, France, as the other European venue to host a World Cup event.

The first World Cup stage takes place in Melbourne this December before moving on to Miami next January.

The best Olympic class sailors will be competing for a place at the final in Abu Dhabi 10 months later.

John Derbyshire, Royal Yachting Association racing manager and performance director, said: “It’s great news that Weymouth and Portland has been confirmed as one of two European venues for the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

“Not only a great boost for the sport of sailing in the UK, the Weymouth and Portland venue and the area, it is a fantastic opportunity for the country’s race officials and volunteers, as well as British Sailing Team members, to be involved in a world class event on home waters.”

Simon Morton, UK Sport’s director of major events, added: “Weymouth proved to be a successful and popular venue during London 2012, and it is testament to the enduring impact of the Games that some of the biggest sailing events are returning to British shores.

“Some of the world’s best sailors will be competing at this event, and it will provide a seriously competitive environment for our top athletes as they prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup schedule: Melbourne, December 7-14, 2014; Miami, January 25-31, 2015; Hyeres, April; Weymouth, June 8-19; Asian round (TBC), Abu Dhabi (final), November.

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