Dun Laoghaire Hosts Official Launch Of 2012 ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship
Irish Minister Mary Hanafin and Irish Sailing Association President Peter Crowley joined other dignitaries at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire to officially launch the preparations for the 2012 ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship.
Ireland will play host to the 42nd edition of the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Dublin Bay from 12-21 July 2012. Three hundred sailors from 70 nations accompanied by 50 national coaches are expected compete over the seven days of competitive racing on Dublin Bay.
At a briefing session held in Dun Laoghaire, Minister for Family And Social Affairs Mary Hanafin TD stated that, "The hosting of the ISAF Youth Worlds not only gives Dun Laoghaire and the sport of sailing a boost. It also gives Ireland an opportunity to showcase itself as a tourist destination to a global audience. Businesses, the sailing community and the people of Dun Laoghaire should pull together to make this event a huge success."
The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship is viewed as one of the sport's most important events after the Olympic Games and is the pinnacle of youth sailing. Many of sailors who compete in the Olympics have previously competed in the Youth Worlds and many of the greatest stars in the sailing world such as Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Russell Coutts (NZL) first came to attention at the Youth Worlds.
The hosting of this event will give impetus to youth watersports programmes nationwide. Racing will be in four different dinghy classes (Lasers, 420s, 29ers and the Sirena SL16 multihull) and in addition windsurfing on the RS:X board is also included in the championships. With four years to go young sailors worldwide, who will need to be under 19 years in 2012 in order to be eligible to compete, will have time to prepare and train to participate in qualification programmes in the run up to the event.
"The hosting of this event offers sailing the opportunity to harness youth potential in the country and help develop a racing and coaching programme that will lead to success in 2012 which then becomes a stepping stone to the Olympics in future years," said Irish Sports Council CEO, John Treacy.
The granting of this prestigious sailing event to Ireland is a major boost to the sport and secures Ireland's position as a prime location for hosting world-class sailing events. It also establishes Dublin Bay as one of the prime major racing locations in the world, capable of running multiple classes and courses to the highest international standard.