A brand-new event, the Under-25 Para Sailing World Championship, was announced earlier this year, as part of World Sailing’s commitment to increase participation and inclusivity throughout the sport.
The inaugural edition which was originally planned to take place from 19-22 July 2022 on the waters of the Brassemermeer in The Netherlands, will now take place in the summer of 2023 at the same venue, as the organising parties look to ensure the best possible conditions for competing nations to perform and the best athlete experience.
The new event date will precede the Allianz Sailing World Championships (10-20 August), maximising opportunities for sailors to compete at both and creating a real celebration of sailing at the Braassemermeer. Precise event dates will be confirmed with the release of the updated Notice of Race.
A Para Sailing Development Programme (PDP) Coaching Clinic will also be held around the event, giving sailors and coaches access to vital training and the opportunity to learn from others, through a programme focused on competition preparation that will include workshops on boat handling and racing skills, rules and regatta management. Since 2017, 44 nations have been represented at Para Sailing Development Programmes around the world, with further PDP’s planned in Italy, Singapore, Japan, Oman and Africa in 2022.
The postponement of the event will also allow teams to benefit from additional training in the award-winning RS Venture Connect, the choice of boat for the event, and an existing class of Para World Sailing equipment. Charter boats will be available for use by the teams ahead of the U25 Para Sailing World Championship, as well as access to an RS Venture Connect class coach at the venue.
It is expected this additional training time will facilitate the participation of even more nations, allowing Member National Authorities (MNAs) to focus on an annual programme for their youth athletes, of which the U25 Para Sailing World Championship is the ultimate goal. The launch of the event has stimulated huge interest - and in turn investment - from MNAs in the class, with the opportunity to now have a hugely competitive and successful U25 Para Sailing World Championship in 2023.
Working together, RS Sailing and World Sailing will also look to bring in commercial backing for the event, with numerous ongoing conversations already in motion.
Contested by mixed male-female crews under the age of 25, the Championship is a new avenue for the growth of the sport as World Sailing continues to build pathways for Para sailors and the organisers look forward to welcoming the talented young Para sailors to the Braassemermeer in 2023.