World Sailing has announced the creation of a brand new event, the U25 Para Sailing World Championship, as part of the governing body’s commitment to increase participation and inclusivity throughout the sport.
The inaugural edition will take place on the waters of Brassemermeer, halfway between The Hague and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 19 – 22 July, hosted by the WV Brassemermeer club.
Competing in the award-winning RS Venture Connect sailboat, an existing class of Para World Sailing equipment, 15 nations and a fleet of up to 30 Para Sailors are expected, with mixed male-female crews under the age of 25, who will race for four days to become the first ever U25 Para Sailing World Champions.
The Championship is a new avenue for the growth of the sport as World Sailing continues to build pathways for Para Sailors. World Sailing, along with national sailing federations, class associations and sailors across the globe, are campaigning to see sailing reinstated for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games. If successful, many of the talented young Para Sailors competing at Braassemermeer could be amongst the first fleet of competitors at LA28.
David Graham, World Sailing CEO, highlighted the importance of the U25 Para Sailing World Championship as a driving force behind the global growth and development of the sport.
“World Sailing is fully committed to driving the growth and development of Para Sailing and the U25 Para Sailing World Championship is an exciting step forward. As part of our growth strategy, we will raise the number of people under 30 who take part in Para Sailing to 20 per cent of our total athletes, as well as grow the number of female sailors. This event, which is targeted at under 25s and with a 50:50 gender split, will help us to achieve these goals. If we are successful in our reinstatement bid for LA28, the sailors competing here may well be the Paralympic stars on the water in Los Angeles and beyond and we look forward to following them in action.”
Dan Jaspers, Head of International Sales and Business Development for RS Sailing and the Manufacturer’s Representative for the RS Venture Connect Class, said: “This really is exciting news for all of us that have not only been supporting the campaign to reinstate sailing in the Paralympic Games but also to grow Para Sailing globally. The concept of delivering an international Youth Para Sailing event has long been discussed and we are delighted to be supporting the inaugural event.”
Prior to the event, World Sailing will be conducting a Paralympic Development Programme session over the weekend of 16 – 17 July. The PDP will include workshops on boat handling and racing skills, rules and regatta management, as well as the opportunity for coaches to gain experience and develop high-performance expertise.
Sailing at LA28 Paralympic Games – #BacktheBid
World Sailing officially launched its reinstatement bid for the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games last October, outlining strategic priorities to support the growth of the sport by 2023, which includes increasing worldwide participation to 45 nations on 6 continents.
World Sailing’s reinstatement bid is promoted through the #BacktheBid #SailtoLA campaign, which has gained a huge amount of international support from renowned global sailors, leading figures in the sport and the world’s Para Sailors.
Massimo Dighe, Para Sailing Manager at World Sailing said: “As seen in regattas around the world, Para Sailing is one of the most inclusive in terms of age, gender and disability. This U25 Para Sailing World Championship is another step in ensuring there is a pathway for the next generation of Para Sailors from grassroots to elite level, providing a means to compete on the global stage – inside and outside of the Paralympic programme.”