Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague hailed as “inspirational and historic”
The Allianz Sailing World Championships has been described as “inspirational and historic” after two new Olympic classes and Para Sailing made their first appearance at the quadrennial event.
Over 1,100 athletes competed in sailing’s biggest championships, for world titles and Olympic qualification over 10 days in The Netherlands, with the event featuring the debut appearances of Formula Kite kiteboarding and iQFOiL windsurfing.
The two foiling events now look set to be the hits of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after their starring role just off the beautiful beaches of Scheveningen in The Hague. Meanwhile, the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships also saw Para Sailing integrated into the event for the first time with four events across three classes.
President Quanhai Li said: “This was a Sailing World Championships which was both inspirational and historic – I challenge anyone to watch our Para Sailors or any of our Olympic disciplines and not be inspired to embrace a life on water.
“The Formula Kite kiteboarders and iQFOiL windsurfers will be among the fastest Olympians in any sport at the Paris 2024 Olympics, and World Sailing was delighted to bring both these events to a global broadcast audience for the first time here in The Hague.
“The inclusion of Para Sailing in the Sailing World Championships is part of World Sailing’s commitment to making our sport more inclusive and welcoming to all. Returning to the Paralympics remains a priority for everyone in sailing and we were proud to crown four Para Sailing world champions in the Netherlands.
“The Hague has a been fantastic host to sailing’s biggest championships and I want to thank the people of the city, the Royal Netherlands Water Sports Federation, the athletes and – most importantly – the hundreds of volunteers who gave up their time for the benefit of sailing.”
World Sailing Chief Executive Officer David Graham paid tribute to the athletes and the volunteers as essential to the success of the event.
“I want to say a huge thank-you to all the athletes and your coaching teams,” Graham said.
“The standards you set on and off the water embody the spirit of sailing, friendship, fair play and respect. You are fantastic ambassadors of our sport. The success of the Allianz Sailing World Championships is also down to our volunteers, including our race management team – our sport wouldn’t work without them.
“I also want to pay a special thank-you to our hosts, the City of The Hague, and organisers TIG Sports, and the Royal Netherlands Watersports Federation for arranging a wonderful event.”
The Allianz Sailing World Championships closed yesterday with gold medals in the ILCA classes for Matt Wearn and Maria Erdi, while host nation The Netherlands won the IOC President’s Trophy for the most successful nation.
The event also saw 44 sailors in Olympic classes benefit from expert coaching as part of World Sailing’s Emerging Nations Program, while 23 Para Sailors received the same as part of World Sailing’s Para Development Program.