The Hague will become the international sailing capital in 2023
Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:35 AM
The next edition of the Sailing World Championships will be held from Thursday 10 to Sunday 20 August 2023 and will turn Scheveningen into the capital of competitive sailing with The Ocean Race also set to take over the Dutch shores.
In addition to the new dates for the Sailing World Championships, the Youth Sailing World Championships, that was due to be held The Hague in July 2021, has also been rescheduled for 2022.
The move to rearrange the Sailing World Championships and Youth Sailing World Championships comes following the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rearrangement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021.
On the announcement, Kim Andersen, World Sailing President, said, "The Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships are two of the most important sailing events an athlete can aspire to participate in.
"World Sailing, the municipality of The Hague, the Royal Netherlands Watersport Association and TIG Sports have an ambitious vision for the events that put the sailors, spectators and world-leading organisation at the heart of the project.
"The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has meant sailors and our MNAs have had to reorganise their priorities for 2021. Moving the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships to a new venue towards the end of the year will ensure maximum effort is put in to delivering a successful event.
"The 2022 Youth Worlds will be the first touch point for the Dutch population and will provide the organisers with key opportunities to test operations ahead of the 2023 World Championships.
"The 2023 Sailing World Championships is the primary qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Allowing our teams and sailors more time to prepare following Tokyo 2020 in 2021, will ensure the best sailing talent is displaying to a global audience.
"We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with The Hague and their established partners in delivering two Championships that raise the bar even higher."
Yann Rocherieux, Chair of World Sailing's Athletes' Commission and World Sailing Board Member, said, "The Sailing World Championships is an Olympic class sailor's key performance indicator on the road to the Olympic Games. It is a spectacle where the best sailors target World Championship glory and an Olympic qualification place. Tokyo 2020's postponement has meant sailors have had to reset and adjust their campaigns. By hosting the Sailing World Championships in 2023, the sailors will have a longer period to focus on the event when Tokyo 2020 concludes next summer.
"The Hague is a fantastic sailing venue that test the all-round abilities of every sailor. The competition will be wide open at the Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships and I'm excited to see it unfold in 2022 and 2023."
Alastair Fox, Director of Events at World Sailing commented, "The Sailing World Championships and Youth World Championships are World Sailing's flagship events and put the leading youth and senior sailors in the international spotlight. Up to 100 nations are expected to participate in the Championships' and the move to postpone both events by one year will allow sailors, coaches, officials and organisers to prepare properly and deliver an outstanding competition."
The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a population of 525,000. The authentic yet modern seaport, and the natural environment of The Hague Beach, will offer the perfect base for both events.
Competition for the world's best Olympic class sailors will be held on the North Sea and will provide a stern test for the athletes. Conditions vary within a short period of time ensuring competitors will encounter a true test on the water with varied wind conditions and challenging tidal patterns.
World Sailing is now seeking a venue to host the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships in December 2021. MNAs and Host Cities interested in hosting the event should contact the World Sailing Events team here.
About the Sailing World Championships
The Sailing World Championships is the principal qualification event for the Olympic Sailing Competition. Only the events and equipment included in the next Olympic Sailing Competition are included in the programme of the Championships.
Cadiz, Spain hosted the inaugural World Championships in 2003 before Cascais, Portugal built on its success to welcome 1,350 sailors and 900 boats from 76 nations in 2007.
Perth, Australia hosted the third Worlds in December 2011. 1,200 sailors from 79 nations took part, racing for world championship glory and Olympic qualification.
The event moved back to Spain in 2014 and to the city of Santander where more than 1,100 sailors in 700 boats raced over a two-week period. The event saw 50% of Rio 2016 Olympic Games places snapped up.
The Hempel Sailing World Championships, held at the Aarhus International Sailing Centre at the edge of the Bay of Aarhus from 31 July to 12 August 2018, was the most recent event and saw 40% of Tokyo 2020 Olympic places awarded.
The 2022 edition will include the Olympic Events and Para World Sailing Classes.
About the Youth Sailing World Championships
The Youth Sailing World Championships was first held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971 where 16 nations competed for the inaugural titles in the two-person dinghies, 420 and Flipper.
As the regatta evolved further classes were added to bring the best young sailing talent across the world together in one place and in 1984 the Mistral windsurfer was added to the list of events with Knut Budig (GER) taking the first gold medal in San Diego, California.
Open to sailors aged 19 and under the 49th version of the Youth Worlds heads to the Gdynia, Poland from 13-20 July 2019 as the stars of the future are born once again.
Past notable winners include American's Cup skippers, Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL); Olympic medallists, Ben Ainslie (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Iain Percy (GBR) and Elise Rechichi (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN).
USA is the current holder of the Nations Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds. The Nations Trophy was first introduced in 1991 and in 1999 became the Volvo Trophy until 2010.