In ISAF's Centenary year, Portsmouth Olympic Harbour will host the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship from 12-21 July.
Before the Youth Worlds gets underway, an action-packed European summer of sailing is set to provide the perfect demonstration of the Championship's consistent ability to give the sailing world a first glance of its future stars. In Valencia, the Defender of the 32nd America's Cup Alinghi features former Youth Worlds medallists Jorge CALAFAT (ESP) and Murray JONES (NZL) amongst its ranks, whilst leading challengers Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW ORACLE Racing will both be skippered by former Youth World Champions Dean BARKER (NZL) and Chris DICKSON (NZL).
In Cascais, amongst the leading contenders at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships will be some of many Youth Worlds medallists who have gone on to stand on the Olympic podium. Just a selection of a few of the star names on this illustrious list include Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), Alessandra SENSINI (ITA), Siren SUNDBY (NOR) and Gal FRIDMAN (ISR).
It begs the question; who will go on to glory amongst the 223 competitors registered to compete at the 37th edition of the ISAF Youth Worlds?
Across the seven events to be contested in Canada, the boy's one person Laser event will have the largest fleet with 39 competitors, whilst the multihull open Hobie 16 fleet features its biggest-ever entry, with 15 crews registered to take part.
The 2007 ISAF Youth Worlds is set to be the biggest-ever in North America, with 50 nations coming from every continent far surpassing the previous record entry 41 nations at Newport, USA in 1996. There is a terrific turnout from nations across North, Central and South America, who will be looking to break the European and Oceania stranglehold of the Volvo Trophy, awarded to the best performing nation at the Championship. Also well represented are Asian nations, with entries coming from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
Through the funding support of the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP), 17 sailors from nine nations have been assisted to compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. St Lucia and Paraguay will be represented for the first time ever at the Youth Worlds thanks to the support of the programme, whilst Barbados make only their second ever appearance, and the British Virgin Islands and Colombia, only their third ever.
Fiona KIDD (CAN), chair of the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-Committee, said, 'Once again the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships has proven itself the premier event for youth sailing and it will take on a special significance in ISAF's Centenary year. I am thrilled to see St Lucia and Paraguay enter the event for the first time ever - it just goes to show that, with the help of the APP and our sponsors Volvo, the spread and appeal of the Championships continues to grow. Ever since the 1976 Olympic Regatta, Portsmouth Olympic Harbour has proven itself to be a fantastic sailing venue and I'm looking forward to the warm welcome which I know will greet the 37th ISAF Youth Worlds in Kingston.'
Speaking from China, which has just been announced as a stopover country for the up-coming Volvo Ocean Race, race CEO Glenn BOURKE, himself a former Laser Champion, said, 'We are proud to sponsor the ISAF Youth World Championship. We are sending our Volvo Ocean Race media team to Kingston to support the event and our commitment to developing the talents of today's young sailors.'
For all the latest news from the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship CLICK HERE.