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12 February 2003, 03:25 pm
Venues and Organisation Praised By ISAF
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Paul Henderson greetsIker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP)©Modesto Sanchez

2003 ISAF World Championship

During their recent meeting in Jerez, Spain, the ISAF Executive Committee took the opportunity to view the three venues and hold meetings with the organising committee for the 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championship.
On Sunday 9 February 2003, the three-day meeting of the ISAF Executive Committee concluded with a tour of the three venues for the inaugural 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championship, Cadiz, an event set to become the World Cup of Sailing.

The waters of Cadiz will see the world's top sailors battling it out to secure Olympic Qualification for their countries and the largest number of Olympic class sailors ever before competing at one Championship.

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ISAF Vice-President Ken Ryan (IRL), President Paul Henderson
(CAN), Vice-President David Kellett (AUS) meet sailors at
Puerto Sherry

The site visits started with Rota, the most northern of the three venues, which will play host to the men's and women's 470 classes. No stranger to the 470, Rota hosted the 1992 470 World Championships and 1997 470 Master Worlds. Next stop was Puerto Sherry, the main venue, situated between Rota and Elcano. Puerto Sherry, will host the main Championship infrastructure, hotel and media centres. A massive venue with easy access by road and superb facilities, Puerto Sherry is already being used by many nations as their training base. The launching ramps provide more than enough access to the water, with superb preparation areas adjacent. All classes, except the 470 and Laser, will race from Puerto Sherry.

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ISAF Secretary General Arve Sundheim catches up with some
of the Finnish Sailing Team at Puerto Sherry © ISAF
The third venue, Elcano, the southern most venue which is situated adjacent to the main bridge into Cadiz, will host the Lasers, and is a purpose built training centre with excellent facilities. Currently in the yard at Elcano is the 1992 Spanish Challenge America's Cup yacht.

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Main marine at Puerto Sherry, with the lift-in facility in the foregound and Championship hotel in the background ©ISAF

Viewing the sites, Paul Henderson commented: "The venues and infrastructure for the ISAF World Sailing Championships are fantastic. The 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championship is the first time all the Olympic Classes have held their World Championships at the same time as an Olympic Qualifier, and with the world's best sailors in Cadiz, the Championship will generate huge focus and media attention and promotion for our sport. Mundo Vela and Cadiz are doing a great job. ISAF is confident of a superb Championship."

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Main launching area at Puerto Sherry ©ISAF

What do the sailors think? Speaking to some of the sailors on site at the time of the visit, including the Spanish 49er duo and reigning World Champions, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez, the ISAF President clearly got the thumbs up. Whilst the pair have already qualified Spain for a slot in Athens, they will be seeking to defend their World Championship title and secure their selection to represent Spain in Athens.

In conclusion, the ISAF President commented: "It is ISAF's firm opinion that the Cadiz Worlds will be to as high a standard as ever seen at an Olympic Class World Championships. ISAF is very excited about the inaugural holding of this quadrennial event. See you all in September."

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