Record breaking fleet for Para Worlds
Published on May 4th, 2017
A record 39 nations will sail at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships in Kiel, Germany on June 19-25 2017. Ahead of the early entry fee deadline on May 1, a huge uptake of entries was received as nations and sailors pledge their support.
“The Para World Sailing Championships is a key step on the road to reinstatement back into the Paralympic Games for sailing,” noted Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager and London 2012 Paralympian. “I am delighted that the hard work put in by World Sailing and its stakeholders is paying off.”
Since the International Paralympic Committee removed Sailing as a sport from the 2020 Paralympic Games, it was required that the 2017 Para Worlds have a minimum of 32 countries from three IPC regions to be considered for reinstatement.
The average participation at previous Para Worlds has been around 28 nations, with the effort to increase numbers challenged by the loss of national funding for sailors due to the removal of the event from the 2020 Games.
“The entries feature many new nations and sailors,” observed Dighe. “Competitors from non-traditional Para World Sailing countries such as Chile, Indonesia, Latvia, Macau, Namibia, South Africa, Turkey, Tunisia and Uruguay have got behind the cause and I’m excited to see the competition on the water this coming June.
“While it is encouraging to see so many new nations competing, it is important that we don’t lose focus and we continue to move Para World Sailing forward. Hopefully this is just the start of new countries and sailors getting involved and joining us in a sport we love.”
The Para World Sailing Championships is a crucial event for World Sailing to demonstrate to the International Paralympic Committee the positive steps the sport has taken as it seeks re-introduction into the Paralympic Sports Programme for 2024.
Sailing was removed from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Sports Programme in January 2015. The Para World Sailing Strategic Plan released at the end of 2016 identified four main goals to ensure World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions in the Spring of 2018:
• Increase worldwide participation to 40 nations on 4 continents by the end of 2020
• Expand competition, female and youth participation
• Deliver effective marketing & communications to increase engagement with Para World Sailors and sailing fans
• Ensure that there is a sound governance framework
The 2017 Para World Sailing Championships will present World Sailing with an opportunity to test boats for the different disciplines as well as making any adjustments to the classification systems to refine the proposal for Paralympic sailing. The 2017 Worlds will have the following classes:
2.4 Norlin OD – Open Gender One Person Keelboat – Minimum Disability
Hansa 303 – One Person Keelboat Male – Minimum Disability
Hansa 303 – One Person Keelboat Female – Minimum Disability
Weta Trimaran – Open Gender Two Person Multihull – Minimum Disability
Skud18 – Open Gender Two Person Keelboat – Minimum Disability
Ahead of the championships, World Sailing will be hosting a Paralympic Development Program clinic, providing sailors with expert coaching and guidance from leading experts. Two clinics were held earlier this year in Argentina and Hong Kong with further clinics, after Kiel, in Poland and France.
Source: World Sailing