Three Olympic class world championships coming to USA in 2016

Published on October 9th, 2014

In an unprecedented move, the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Olympic sailing classes have selected Clearwater, Florida (USA) as the location of concurrent world championship regattas to be held from February 7-14, 2016. Bringing together the world’s best athletes competing in the fastest two-person boats to be used at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships in Clearwater will showcase high-performance sailing at its best.

“The city of Clearwater is an exceptional sailing venue, and an ideal setting for the World Championships,” said Frank Chivas, President of Tampa Bay Charities, the event authority. “We could not be more excited to welcome many of the world’s best sailors to Clearwater.”

These will be the first Olympic-class sailing world championships held in the United States since 2010, and will be among the largest. Between the three competing classes, over 400 sailors are expected to compete for world titles in the pristine waters that Clearwater is known for.

“US Sailing is thrilled to have events of this magnitude come to Clearwater,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “Along with the annual ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2016 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships will be yet another example of why Florida is a preferred winter destination for Olympic sailors from around the world.”

Coming just six months before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2016 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships will feature Rio-bound sailors in the final stages of preparation for the Games. Spectators will be able to watch the event from the spectacular Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, as the racecourses will be set up close to shore. In addition, the format of racing will be consistent with what will be used in Rio 2016.

Competing boats will be stored and launched from the Clearwater Community Sailing Center and North Beach. CCSC currently serves as a training center for the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, the US national sailing team, and features ideal launching facilities. Clearwater Yacht Club, home club of US Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey (Finn class) and Laser Radial Class World Champion Paige Railey, will provide space for race management operations and social events.

Logistics for athletes and teams coming to compete in Clearwater will be simplified due to the close proximity of Tampa International Airport and container shipping facilities in Port Tampa and Port Everglades. Trucking services are also available between Clearwater and Miami for athletes competing at the 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (January 23-31, 2016), which will occur in advance of the Worlds and provide sailors with the ideal lead-in event.

In early 2015, Clearwater Community Sailing Center will also host the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX North American Championships, which will provide sailors with an opportunity to compete at the 2016 World Championship venue. Racing will occur from February 5-8, 2015.

For more information, or to enter the event, contact Leandro Spina (, Nacra 17) or Ben Remocker (, 49er and 49erFX).

Source: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing

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