Countdown to Para World Sailing Championships in Germany
Published on June 16th, 2017
Kiel, Germany will host 88 sailors from 41 nations from June 19-25 for the Para World Sailing Championships. The renowned sailing venue will see the sailors race across three classes during the world-famous Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival.
Entrants will head to Kiel, competing across 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.
There will be some familiar faces racing in Kiel, including two-time Paralympic gold medallist Damien Seguin (FRA), local favourite and Sydney 2000 Paralympic gold medallist Heiko Kroeger (GER) and Jingkun Xu (CHN) who is making the switch from solo offshore sailing to Para World Sailing fleet racing.
Previewing the competition, Para World Sailing Manager Massimo Dighe said, “We have some great sailors registered to compete in Kiel and I’m excited to see how the week will play out.
“There is some highly-experienced talent in all of the fleets. Sailors such as Damien Seguin, Bjornar Erikstad, Jackie Gay, Piotr Cichocki, Qian Yin Yap and Matt Bugg all have in-depth knowledge of sailing and Paralympic experience.
“There is a healthy blend of these experienced athletes and new, upcoming competitors.
“Fia Fjelddahl from Sweden was one of the youngest Paralympians at Rio at just 17-years-old and I’m delighted to see her continue her sailing ambitions in Kiel. It is also pleasing to see sailors from Chile, China, Latvia, Macau, Namibia, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay represent their country for the first time at the Para World Sailing Championships.”
Registration and classification on 19 and 20 June will lead into the first warning signal at 12:00 local time on Wednesday 21 June before racing concludes on Sunday 25 June.
In advance of the competition, World Sailing is hosting a Paralympic Development Program (PDP) running from 17 – 19 June 2017.
Sailors from nations including, Turkey, Namibia, South Africa, Chile, Portugal and the Philippines have all received funding to attend the specialised pre-event clinic, enabling them to be fully prepared for the worlds and inspiring them to continue their participation and success.
Attending sailors will receive specialist coaching and guidance from leading experts. Two clinics were held earlier this year in Hong Kong and Argentina with further clinics, later this year, in Poland and France. Attendees from Hong Kong and Argentina will compete at the 2017 Para Worlds with future attendees aiming for future championships.
The Para World Sailing Championships is a crucial event for World Sailing to demonstrate to the IPC 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.
Source: World Sailing