Cascais to stage world sailing championship

news: Cascais to stage world sailing championship

In what has been described as a massive boost to the region, the International Sailing Federation has announced that Cascais will host its next Olympic class world event – the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championship. The news was announced at a press conference held at the Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre during the 2004 Olympic sailing competition in Athens, Greece over last weekend. A spokesman from the government, the Minister to the Prime Minister, Henrique Chaves, reacted immediately commenting: “This proves once more the excellent sailing conditions in the Cascais Bay, and is a demonstration of Portugal’s renowned capacity for organising great sporting events.

This event will be a major opportunity to project Portugal as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, and at the same time, will encourage our sailors to strive for good results, and will promote sailing among our youth.”

The Portuguese bid to stage the event was organised by Captain Patrick Monteiro de Barros from the Clube Naval, with the help of the Cascais Câmara, the Estoril Coast Tourist Board (Junta de Turismo da Costa do Estoril), the government, Cascais Marina and the Portuguese Sailing Federation (Federação Portuguesa da Vela). De Barros commented,“I think that for both Cascais and for Portugal to be able to host the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championship makes us very proud. At the same time, we have to measure up to this difficult task. We have to deliver the best Championship in history, for competitors, participants and the public at large.”

The bid team fended off competition from Nova Scotia in Canada, Keil and Rostock in Germany, Busan in South Korea and Cadiz in Spain. Each bid was assessed in terms of weather, sailing conditions, accessibility to the racecourse and onshore venue facilities and infrastructure. ISAF President Paul Henderson said: “It is essential that the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championship is a total success, across all elements of the event. The most important elements are the wind and the weather and the ISAF is confident that the wind conditions in Cascais are very, very good for what we want to do. The wind is very reliable, very steady and the sun will be shining. Add to this the many years experience of the Club Naval Cascais in hosting large international events, an excellent infrastructure, a compact single event site and the spectacular backdrop of Cascais – the venue will provide a fantastic stage for our sport.”

The event, which is held every four years in the year preceding the Olympic Games, will involve around 1,000 boats. The dates are to be finalised, but are likely to be in late July or early August to co-ordinate with the 2007 Olympic Test Event in Quingdao, China. More than 1,500 sailors from 70 countries will compete in 11 classes. The Naval Clube spokesman explained how the Cascais team intended to organise the event. “More than 500 technical staff – judges, security, administration, media co-ordinators and so on – will be involved, as well as plenty of local volunteers. We will need 200 of our own boats and will need to use all the facilities of the marina and the naval club, as well as the area from Cidadela de Cascais to Praia dos Pescadores. The races will take place across the entire Cascais Bay, from Cabo Raso to Julião da Barra.