Meeting that challenge is the organizing committee of the 37th ISAF Youth Worlds, World Youth Sailing Inc, working in close cooperation with the Canadian Yachting Association and ISAF.
Tim IRWIN, chair of World Youth Sailing Inc, explained that, after over 15 months of careful planning and preparation, he is now eagerly anticipating the start of the Championship, 'It is hard to believe how quickly time has flown by since Kingston was selected as host for the 37th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship,' he said. 'The World Youth Sailing Inc team, comprising of over 200 volunteers, staff and sponsors is very busy making this regatta one of the best ever!'
He added, 'We have enjoyed working with ISAF to date, and are most excited for the racing to begin!'
World Youth Sailing Inc is a project of CORK/Sail Kingston, organizers of the annual CORK Regatta, which brings over 1,500 sailors to Lake Ontario every August. This gives IRWIN and his team plenty of experience to draw on, although he says that the Youth Worlds presents a special challenge, 'Certainly, hosting such a prestigious international youth competition involves many intricacies and challenges not common to the typical regatta. The partnerships we have in Kingston, in Canada and around the world are allowing us to more easily facilitate the event's co-ordination.'
Clearly a crucial part of the Championship is the boats the competitors will be sailing. All 170 of the boats at this year's Youth Worlds will be supplied so the racing out on the water is a pure battle of sailing skill.
According to Fiona KIDD, chair of the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-Committee, 'The provision of boats for this prestigious international youth championship truly allows a fair playing field for the athletes representing countries from around the world. We are grateful to the boat manufacturers for allowing this to happen.' PS2000 supply the 29ers, Vanguard the Laser and Laser Radials, Neil Pryde the RS:X windsurfers and Hobie Cat North America the Hobie 16s.
As one of ISAF's principal events, the Youth Worlds benefits from a world class line up of race officials to ensure fair play out on the water. Ralph ROBERTS (NZL) heads up the six-strong International Jury, whilst International Race Officers David CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR), Ilker BAYINDIR (TUR) and Thomas JORGENSEN (DEN) are on hand to give their expert instruction and advice to the 105 course officials. IRWIN described how World Youth Sailing Inc is very pleased to have these experts onboard for the event as they will play an important mentorship role for Canada's up and coming race officials, which will ensure an extensive legacy for years to come.
An integral part of the ongoing success of the Youth Worlds has been the support of title sponsor Volvo Ocean Race. In 2007 the Volvo Ocean Race will sponsor the Championship for the eighth time. The first Youth Worlds supported by the Volvo Ocean Race took place in Finland in 1999, with 38 nations taking part. Since then the Championship has gone from strength-to-strength, with a record 48 nations entering in 2001. In 2004 over 50 nations participated in the Youth Worlds in Poland, whilst two years later a new record of 62 nations was set in Great Britain.
Sandwiched between those two Championship, the 2005 Youth Worlds demonstrated the growing popularity of sailing in Asia, with 46 nations competing in Korea. Given the Youth Worlds' renowned ability to give the sailing world its first glimpse of its future stars, it would be no surprise to see some of the same faces from Korea come to prominence, as the 2008-09 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race visits ports in Asia for the first time.
With 92 races scheduled over seven days and a record North American entry of 226 competitors from 51 nations, the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship presents a formidable organizational challenge. But with meticulous preparations and top-level support, the team behind the 37th edition of the Youth Worlds look set to make this year's Championship another runaway success.
The ISAF Youth World Championship is ISAF's longest running event, having taken place every year since the first Youth Worlds hosted by Sweden in 1971. The 37th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship takes place from 12-21 July, sailed out of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
2007 will be the eighth ISAF Youth Worlds to be sponsored by Volvo. Italy are the current holders of the Volvo Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds.
Past notable winners include American's Cup skippers, Chris DICKSON (NZL) and Russell COUTTS (NZL), Volvo Ocean Race sailor Stuart BANNATYNE (NZL) and many Olympic Champions including Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Siren SUNDBY (NOR).
For the fifth year in a row the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP) will assist young athletes from developing sailing nations attend the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. Since its launch the APP has helped over 100 sailors attend the Championships, further spreading the appeal of youth sailing's premier event.
For all the latest news from the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship CLICK HERE.