Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Creates Five London 2012 Olympic Qualifiers
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships today welcomed the announcement that five sailors who participated in the Championships' Emerging Nations Programme have each qualified to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Santiago Grillo (COL), Andrey Quintero (COL), Andrew Lewis (TRI), Hao Chang (TPE) and Andrea Aldana (GUA) all qualified their country in their respective 2012 World Championships and will now sail alongside the world's best sailors at the very pinnacle of the sport.
The Emerging Nations Programme was a world first sailing initiative hatched in July 2007 and was integral to Perth's winning bid to host the ISAF Sailing World Championships which took place in December 2011. The initiative was geared to develop the sport of sailing internationally by giving direct support to nations who are keen to nurture sailing talent but lack the necessary funding, world class coaching and equipment to do so.
An initial group of 32 athletes from 23 nations was selected to follow the Emerging Nations Programme's rigorous two year training plan. A series of official Camps where qualified Olympic coaches mixed on-the-water training with fitness work and lectures on sports psychology, nutrition, weather and tactics, culminated in the best 12 sailors being selected to compete in the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
After impressive performances in Perth across three classes - Laser, Laser radial and RS:X wind surfers, five of the group will now test their abilities and represent their countries at the Olympics in just over seven weeks' time.
Speaking in Perth, the Hon. Ian Campbell, Chairman of Perth 2011, said, "This is fantastic news and follows the extremely positive economic impact figures that were released by the Western Australian government as a result of hosting the World Championships.
"Australia is world renowned for its ability to produce sporting champions and I would like to thank the Australian and Western Australian governments for putting their significant support behind what has proved to be a remarkable sporting programme - a world first for the sport of sailing. We hope that these results will inspire other countries and sports to develop similar initiatives."