The Hague is a hive of activity as around 1200 of the world’s best sailors get ready to take to the water for the first race at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships.
Over the next 10 days, sailors from around the world will push themselves to the limit and compete for the prize of world champion. All 10 Olympic events are being sailed, and – for the first time in Sailing World Championship history – three Para Sailing classes are also featured.
Quanhai Li, President of World Sailing, said, “Over the 10 days of the event, we can expect some thrilling competition as the world’s best sailors take to the waters for the opportunity to be crowned world champion.
“Following in the footsteps of some of the most famous names in our sport, the Allianz Sailing World Championships also offers the chance to secure their place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“But I am particularly proud that this event also marks an important milestone in the history of sailing as the first edition Sailing World Championships to include Para Sailing events.
“As World Sailing continues to promote greater participation, accessibility and equality, it is absolutely vital that the sport is inclusive of all and the world’s best Para Sailors in Hansa 303, 2.4mR and RS Venture classes will all compete for the world title here.”
The Sailing World Championships are typically held every four years and serve as the primary qualification event for the upcoming Olympic Games.
There are 107 spots on offer across all events with many sailors looking to secure their place at Paris 2024 at the first opportunity. Further qualification events will be held around the world in the run up to the Games to ensure sailors from every region have the chance to make it to the Olympics.
While Para Sailing is not currently on the Paralympic program, the 2.4mR, RS Venture, and both Men’s and Women’s Hansa 303 competitions will all crown world champions.
The City of The Hague will also see important work to support World Sailing’s priorities for greater sustainability in the sport and the global growth of participation.
A new Equipment Recycling Hub for common but difficult to recycle sailing equipment will make its debut at the event. Five large recycling containers will be placed in the busy South Beach Boat Park in Scheveningen. Competitors in the Olympic Events will be able to bring their end-of-life carbon fibre, glass fibre, blocks and other fittings, rope and clothing at the EC Hub for onward recycling.
World Sailing has also organised a Para Sailing Development Program (PDP) to support the growth of the sport by assisting coaches and Para Sailors. A total of 23 athletes from eight countries are expected, and the program will be led by World Sailing’s Para Sailing Manager Hannah Stodel, alongside Matt Grier, Project Director at the Andrew Cassell Foundation, and RS Venture Connect Class Manager, Christoffel van Hees.
The global governing body for the sport of sailing will also be supporting the participation of 44 athletes from 27 nations as part of its Emerging Nations Program (ENP). The ENP offers sailors from countries where the sport is not as easily accessible to have the chance to compete at the highest level. A coaching workshop in the build up to the start of racing will give these sailors a chance to learn new skills and practice under the supervision of experienced coaches, and they will also receive mentorship throughout the Championships as part of World Sailing’s commitment to helping the sport to grow.
Audiences around the world can follow the action on the World Sailing YouTube Channel, the Olympic Channel, and broadcasters on every continent. Check local listings for more information. Race tracking will also be provided by SAP Sailing Analytics.