Britain to lose out on World Cup hosting

 

Britain and one of next year’s recently developed Olympic venues are in danger of being snubbed by the world’s governing body as a host for future Sailing World Cup series regattas, of which the UK is currently a leading host.

It would bad news for Britain even though it would be able to continue to stage its own international events. It is also just one part of a major re-think about the way top sailing events are structured and presented.

As the world championships of sailing wind up in Western Australia with four medals in the bag and the possibility at the finale tomorrow of up to three more for Britain from the 10 events, it has emerged that, as part of restructuring the annual world circuit, Britain's Weymouth, Holland's Medemblik, and Germany's Keil will be left out from 2013.

None are happy, including Britain's Royal Yachting Association, which also feels that the bidding process was unfairly altered.

The two European regattas so far agreed are Hyeres in France and Spain's Palma de Mallorca, but none in northern Europe, as the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) responds to International Olympic Committee guidelines wants all its sports to showcase major events all over the world.

That, in the case of sailing, would mean all the continents, including India or China, even though both those countries, especially India, are a long way off being major forces at international and Olympic level.

With the next Olympics being in Rio, many countries would like to see S. America as well as N. America, involved, though all would like to see what effect it would have on budgets to contest six events around the world every year.

Nor is this a case of the National Sailing Centre at Weymouth and Portland losing out on potential income. It costs about $400,000 to $500,000 to put on a world championship event, with entry fees and sponsorship making a contribution that so far leaves the organisers out of pocket. Britain benefits from financial services company Skandia supporting both the team and the event.

The moves come at an awkward transitional stage. There is a Games next year, after which there will be an election at the Dublin agm for a new president to replace Goran Petersson of Sweden. Front runner is Australian treasurer Dave Kellett, who would be left with the responsibility of not only implementing a strategy that has been developed over the last few years but includes the recommendations of the ISAF-sponsored Olympic Commission.

That was chaired by Phil Jones, who has been director of the national federation, Yachting Australia, for 14 years having moved from the UK, where he was both a director of his own sports marketing company and an Olympic sailing coach.

Put simply, it recognised that so-called “stadium sailing”, with the boats close to shore, spectators able to watch and, most importantly as far as the IOC is concerned, television being able to deliver a commercial return to sponsors, is vital if sailing is to remain in the Olympic Games, where it started in 1900 and has been uninterrupted since 1908. ISAF derives half of its revenue from Olympic Games sponsorship and television rights revenue. It wants to maintain sailing’s place.

At the same time, ISAF needs both to keep the integrity of the game instead of allowing it to be turned into some sort of cabaret act, and to recognise that the vast majority of competitive regattas will not switch to stadium sailing.

The Jones Report has been accepted by the ISAF council, which represents all the member countries, but there have been questions over the speed of implementation and the budget to fund it. The answer could be a small executive committee which can act quickly but at the same time protect the interests of the majority.

There has also been the little local difficulty of incidents like a television boat which became the object of heated remonstration by triple gold and silver Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie last weekend in Perth 2011 and which led to him being disqualified from the medal-deciding race when he was heading for a sixth Finn class world championship . There have been loud complaints from Britain’s Olympic manager, Stephen Park, that a world championship was not the time to trial new procedures.

The Ainslie altercation will rumble on with the RYA expected to call its own tribunal hearing when it has received the report of the jury which handed down the sanction, possibly before the end of next month.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy