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16 February 2011, 04:00 pm
Spotlight On Iceland Ahead Of Executive Meeting
Iceland Sailing
Sailing In Iceland

ISAF Member National Authority
Iceland

The ISAF Executive Committee are meeting from 18 to 21 February in Reykjavik, Iceland.
With ISAF's eyes on Iceland the President of the Icelandic Sailing Association (SIL), Ulfur Hrobjartsson, took the time out to speak to ISAF about sailing in Iceland.

Iceland is volcanically and geologically active with many glacial rivers flowing to the sea through the lowlands allowing regular sailing opportunities.

Founded in 1973 in Reykjavik, SIL have spent the last two years focussing their work on progressing their youth sailing schemes.

"I think it is very important to educate the young people here in sailing," said Ulfer. "We have clubs in Reykjavik and others scattered across the country. We have been talking to schools and had classes coming in."

SIL have been active in getting 1,200 kids sailing throughout the summer months at holiday camps. And of these, 60-100 are now heavily involved and sail up to five times a week.

On the camps Ulfur said, "It is not like you have to travel long distances to the sea and most of them can cycle to the sailing club so accessibility is not an issue.

"At the camps they pay a small fee because the majority of it is paid for by the local council as a summer activity and that has generated a lot of interest in sailing and more people are going into it further and are doing more.

"All our activity and sailing camps are fully booked at the moment and we have been buying boats for use in these camps and also for racing."


Ulfur also commented that there has also been an increase in female participation throughout the country, "We are seeing more and more girls coming to our sailing camps and we have positive feedback from parents that they like to see everybody sailing together and working as equals on the water.

"We are really pleased that we are able to recruit from the holiday camps and are able to offer young sailors the opportunity to do something more.

"We are very busy in promoting the sport to young people and have been successful in getting the kids involved by creating a combination of competition and fun to make the experience enjoyable."


Iceland had a sailing representative compete at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics Games. And the Olympic Games is a definite goal for Icelandic sailors. Ulfur added, "We have a few that aspire to the Olympic Games and would like to train and go all the way."

Join us on Facebook to view some pictures of sailing in Iceland.

For more information about becoming an ISAF Member National Authority, please click here to contact the ISAF Secretariat.

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