A Korean island has been named Topaz Island in recognition of the role the British-manufactured Topaz dinghy has played in the development of sailing in Korea.
On Tuesday 9 November 2009, Mayor Jeong Hyun Tae, announced that his Government had decided to re-name the island formerly called Treasure Island. The Namhae County in the southern part of Kyung-Nam Province have big plans to develop Topaz Island into a Mecca for sailing and tourism in the region. The infrastructure has already been set in place to attract marine industries with state of the art Marinas. And sailing clubs on the island are already kitted out with hundreds of Topaz dinghy manufactured by Topper International Ltd, one of the Partners in ISAF's Connect to Sailing
Click here for more details on Connect to Sailing Partner, Topper International
The island, which is slightly larger than the Isle of Wight in Great Britain, is looking forward to a busy schedule of high-profile sailing regattas and events through 2010. In fact, the Isle of Wight, which the Koreans call Cowes Island has more in common with Topaz Island than you might think. Both islands, as well as being prestigious sailing venues, are also apparently known as famous regions for growing garlic.
In November, Robert White and Rick Reading from Topper International, as ISAF Connect to Sailing Partners, visited the ISAF Annual Conference
being held in Busan and presented at the Connect to Sailing Seminar.
After visiting and pre-inspecting the Topaz Island as invited guests of Namhae County officials, they agreed to host a large Topaz Dinghy Championship in 2012 and tentatively hosting the Topper World Championship at the same time. The Topper Sailing Dinghy Class is one of the most renowned as a pathway for youth sailors into future British Olympic sailing squads.
"We would expect around 350 visitors to attend this event from around the world," says Jason Fry of Topper International. "These Championship events will accelerate the growth of the Korean sailing and tourist industry in the region and it might not be too long before we see a Korean sailor who was introduced to the sport on Topaz Island picking up an Olympic sailing gold," concluded Fry.
For more information on all Connect to Sailing Initiatives and future developments go visit www.sailing.org/connecttosailing
or contact Dan Jaspers, Training and Development Manager at ISAF.
Click here to contact Dan.