The International Sailing Federation’s World Cup Final, the world’s pinnacle sailing regatta contested by the best Olympic-class competitors, is on its way to the United Arab Emirates.
Following a multi-stakeholder approach by Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club with the support of the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, ISAF has agreed to stage the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in the UAE capital for the next six years, starting this year.
“This is a major surge forward in Abu Dhabi’s campaign to be recognised as an international sailing hub and another fantastic opportunity for our youngsters to compete with and learn off the world’s best,” said Ahmed Thani Al Romaithi, chairman, ADSYC.
“It is somehow apt that the sailing world is convening in the Arabian Gulf which has such a long and rich maritime history and in Abu Dhabi which is bent on preserving its maritime heritage and traditions while building a destination attractive to sailors worldwide and nurturing young UAE sailors to take its ambitions forward.”
An associated deal sealed today between ISAF and TCA Abu Dhabi will also see the UAE capital host the 2016 ISAF Annual Conference when delegates, who include representatives of national governing bodies, class associations, leading industry personalities, manufacturers, sponsors and the media, discuss the hottest topics facing the sport.
The 2016 Conference, which is estimated will deliver 1,500 hotel room nights to Abu Dhabi, will also feature a Presidential election.
“We have found a highly committed partner in Abu Dhabi and look forward to helping move forward the sailing ambitions of the emirate and the Arabian Gulf. This is a great opportunity for sailing as a sport” said Carlo Croce, president, ISAF.
“We have struck a ground-breaking partnership with a world-class destination for a Tier-1 event.”
The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final will take place in Abu Dhabi from November 26th-30th.
Around 350 sailors from 20 countries are expected in Abu Dhabi to compete in all ten Olympic events and a kite-surfing event, in and around Lulu Island off the UAE capital’s stunning Corniche.
The athletes are expected to arrive early to train for the event and, in all, TCA Abu Dhabi estimates each Final will deliver around 7,500 hotel room nights to the UAE capital.
ADSYC is to increase its laser and 49er fleets to accommodate the Finals with the fleets later being available for sail training to its members, residents and visitors.
Meanwhile, the Asian Sailing Federation has welcomed the deal saying it would have a significant regional impact.
Abu Dhabi is recognised as the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination by the World Travel Awards.
For more information about the ISAF Sailing World Cup head over to the official website.