Dorset Echo: Sailing news, events and ticket information from the Dorset Echo for Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, the official venue for sailing events for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The former naval base at Osprey Quay has been transformed into a world class sports destination that will host the top water sports athletes from across the globe next summer.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

Through the development of this award winning Dorset venue and the Games being hosted on United Kingdom waters there is already a tangible rise in the numbers of young people inspired to try marine based sports.

The academy aims to provide as many children as possible with the opportunity to experience water sports be this through taster sessions, training as part of a team or competing seriously.

The borough’s sailing academy annually hosts local schools events, national selections and championships as well as international youth regattas.

The SailLaser School on site is constantly busy teaching youths from across Britain and PGL as well as the Official Test Centre regularly run general watersports courses and windsurfer training / tuition during the warmer months.

The academy in association with the Chesil Trust has also incorporated the successful ‘Sail for a Fiver’ into their core programme of events, which to date has helped over 6,000 children try sailing for just £5 and is set to deliver a strong legacy with 1,600 children benefiting per year.

Dorset Echo: Sail Fiver

Ben Ainslie, WPNSA Director and triple gold Olympic medalist, who grew up sailing on Dorset waters, is a supporter of legacy post the Games.

He said: "A Sail for a Fiver child today may be a medal winner by 2016 and it is our job at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to ensure this opportunity is given to young people."

The sheltered aspect of Portland Harbour is the ideal platform in which to develop water based skills within an area that is recognised as having some of the best boating waters on the planet.

Children come to the venue in order to enjoy their chosen sport including; sailing, windsurfing, dragon boating, raft building and windsurfing, or to watch their parents train and compete or work on site as well as through organised school visits and local community events.

It is the overall aim of the WPNSA to cultivate this welcoming atmosphere for young people in order that they can savour the taste of fun in sport for years to come.

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