Ahead of the early entry fee deadline on 1 May, a huge uptake of entries was received as nations and sailors pledge their support.
Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager and London 2012 Paralympian said, “The Para World Sailing Championships is a key step on the road to reinstatement back into the Paralympic Games for sailing and I am delighted that the hard work put in by World Sailing and its stakeholders is paying off.
“The entries feature many new nations and sailors. Competitors from non-traditional Para World Sailing countries such as Chile, Indonesia, Latvia, Macau, Namibia, South Africa, Turkey, Tunisia and Uruguay have got behind the cause and I’m excited to see the competition on the water this coming June.
“While it is encouraging to see so many new nations competing, it is important that we don’t lose focus and we continue to move Para World Sailing forward. Hopefully this is just the start of new countries and sailors getting involved and joining us in a sport we love.”
Familiar faces and new entrants will gather in Kiel, competing across the following classes:
- 2.4 Norlin OD – Open Gender One Person Keelboat – Minimum Disability
- Hansa 303 – One Person Keelboat Male – Minimum Disability
- Hansa 303 – One Person Keelboat Female – Minimum Disability
- Weta Trimaran – Open Gender Two Person Multihull – Minimum Disability
- Skud18 – Open Gender Two Person Keelboat – Minimum Disability
Twelve sailors recently warmed up for the Para World Sailing Championships, sailing in the 2.4 Norlin OD at the World Cup Series event in Hyères, France. Damien Seguin conquered on the French waters for a sixth time and will head to Germany as the favourite in the one-person keelboat.
Ahead of the championships, World Sailing will be hosting a Paralympic Development Program clinic, providing sailors with expert coaching and guidance from leading experts. Two clinics were held earlier this year in Argentina and Hong Kong with further clinics, after Kiel, in Poland and France.
The Para World Sailing Championships is a crucial event for World Sailing to demonstrate to the International Paralympic Committee the positive steps the sport has taken as it seeks re-introduction into the Paralympic Sports Programme for 2024.
Sailing was removed from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Sports Programme in January 2015. The Para World Sailing Strategic Plan released at the end of 2016 identified four main goals to ensure World Sailing presents a strong bid to the International Paralympic Committee for re-introduction into the 2024 Paralympic Games and future editions in the Spring of 2018:
- Increase worldwide participation to 40 nations on 4 continents by the end of 2020
- Expand competition, female and youth participation
- Deliver effective marketing & communications to increase engagement with Para World Sailors and sailing fans
- Ensure that there is a sound governance framework
The 2017 Para World Sailing Championships will present World Sailing with an opportunity to test boats for the different disciplines as well as making any adjustments to the classification systems to refine the proposal for Paralympic sailing.