As entry numbers plunged following the 2012 London Games, the RYA realised that the ailing Sail for Gold regatta could not live off the Olympic Games venue tag-line alone.
They had to be part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit to attract the top names – the revamped Sailing World Cup circuit is really the only thing that counts in the fledgling world of professional Olympic dinghy racing outside of the Games themselves. So they put some money where their ailing tag-line had been, and made a successsful bid for one of the two European event slots.
It might be too early to claim “and the rest is history” but after a couple of lack-luster years, the old Sail for Gold regatta, now renamed ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, is pulling out all the stops to get the public on-side or at least the dinghy sailing enthusiasts.
In contrast to the locked-down 2012 Games, the RYA is promising a wide open access event, with spectators invited to come into the WPNSA venue throughout the competition days (10-14 June) and experience the event from the inside. With opportunities to rub shoulders with British Sailing Team stars and their international rivals.
Live TV will only be available on the medal race day and you will have to register and get a free-of-charge ticket for the Medal Day racing at WPNSA on Sunday 14 June. By registering for a ticket, you will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win the chance for two people to watch the final day’s action up close with a member of the British Sailing Team, or for two tickets for the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth (23-26 July).
The final day also promises sailing, windsurfing and SUP sessions available through the OTC and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, plus bouncy castles, food and beverage outlets and much more. It’s not exactly Kieler Woche – the gold standard of dinghy events – but its 100% better than what we have had before.
And talking of Kieler Woche, the German Olympic event, part of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup circuit, has announced that they will be awarding cash prizemoney for the first three places of the Olympic classes: 3,000 EUR for first place, 2,000 EUR for second place and 1,000 EUR for third place. This means a maximum sum of 60,000 EUR for Kieler Woche 2015, as was awarded at the recent Hyeres Sailing World Cup and presumably will be on offer at Weymouth.
Stephen Park, British Sailing Team Manager explains:“We’re delighted to welcome the world’s best sailors back to our home in Weymouth and Portland for what I’m sure will be high quality event with hopefully lots of home support for our British Sailing Team stars. The new World Cup format complete with live medal race TV coverage, plus the RYA’s plans for a World Cup Race Village in the venue will provide a fantastic showcase for our sport and our Rio 2016 medal hopefuls. We hope to see you there!”
Weymouth race entries are not yet full, but spaces will be filled by qualifiers (ten per event) from the official qualification Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands, which takes place at the end of May.
In addition to the normal Olympic and Paralympic events there will also be an invitational kiteboard event.
To apply for an admission ticket for the Medal Race Day 14 June 2015 Click here”