Inclusive is Sailing’s middle name
Published on August 24th, 2022
A total of 27 teams from Austria, Colombia, Czechia, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, and Thailand will compete in the 2022 Inclusion World Championship for Sailing in which sailors with disabilities partner with able-bodied partners on August 24-28 in Rostock, Germany.
“Everyone can sail, regardless of any physical limitations we experience on land – by pairing teams this way, we are highlighting that sailing is one of the most inclusive sports on the planet,” explained Heiko Kröger, two-time Paralympic medalist and 12-time world champion
Kröger, born without a left forearm, won the first Inclusion World Championship for Sailing in 2020 with partner Clemens Kraus, one of Germany’s most well-known Para Sailing campaigners. The pair will be competing once again to re-claim the Championship podium after finishing second last year.
“Many of us win open regattas competing against able bodied athletes – this is sailing, and this is why this sport is so unique in the world of para sports,” continued Kröger, who as member of the World Sailing Athletes’ Commission has been taking every opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of para sailing.
“The message we are sending to everyone watching this year’s Championship in Rostock is also the central message of World Sailing’s bid to reinstate sailing into the Paralympic Games for LA28 – no matter what your physical constraint may be on land, on the water you can do much, much more and this is why we see such a wide range of disabilities in sailing.”
The Inclusion World Championship for Sailing will be sailed in the provided SV/14 class boat, a doublehander with main, jib, and spinnaker specially developed for inclusive sailing.
“Every year, the event has grown – now in 2022, we have athletes from five European countries and two teams representing Asia and South America. This is all testament to the fact that Para Sailing is growing around the world,” explained organizer Sven Jürgensen.
“We are using this momentum to get more people of all ages, with all kinds of disabilities, on the water. We will also be raising awareness of World Sailing’s #BacktheBid campaign to reinstate sailing in the Paralympic Games for LA28 at this Championship.”