The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced today that the Women's Match Racing events and new Elliott 6m equipment have been confirmed for the final events of the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Women's Match Racing will make its debut on the Olympic programme at the London 2012 Games as one of 10 events in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition held at Weymouth and Portland. The Elliott 6m, a high-performance keelboat which has been redesigned by Elliott Marine to specifically suit three women sailing, has been chosen as equipment for the event at the 2012 Games.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is an annual series open to the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic sailing events. Women's Match Racing made its debut at the World Cup in January this year at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and is also now confirmed for the final three events of the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup in The Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain.
Alastair Fox, ISAF Events Manager, said: "ISAF is delighted to announce Women's Match Racing events will be going ahead at the final three events of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, along with the debut of the new Elliott 6m equipment. Thanks to great co-operation between the ISAF Sailing World Cup event organizers and ISAF's Member National Authorities, we will be able to introduce the Elliott 6m at the earliest possible opportunity, using literally the first eight boats in production. It is a great opportunity to showcase both the new equipment and the new discipline which will add an extra dimension to the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition."
The Elliott 6m will make its debut on the world stage this June during event six of the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup at Kieler Woche in Germany. For its selection as equipment for the Olympic Games, the boat has undergone modifications to the original design of the sails, rig and keel to specifically suit a crew of three women. The first eight Elliott 6m built under this new design will be shipped directly from the McConaghy factory in China to Hamburg. A charter arrangement at Kieler Woche will allow all women's match race competitors an equal chance to sail the new Olympic equipment for the first time.
The Elliott 6m will also be used for the final event of the 2008-2009 World Cup, the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta held at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition venue in Weymouth and Portland. The Delta Lloyd Regatta, held during May in The Netherlands, will use Yngling keelboat as match racing equipment this year, switching to the Elliott 6m from 2010.
ISAF and the Kieler Woche event organizers have been working with Elliott Marine, the Deutscher Segler Verband, Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond, the Finnish Sailing Federation and the Helsinki Match Racing Centre to make this early introduction of the Elliott 6m at Kieler Woche possible. The Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond and the Royal Yachting Association are working together to supply the Elliott 6m for this year's Skandia Sail for Regatta and the Delta Lloyd Regatta in 2010.
The 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup incorporates the seven leading Olympic sailing events, across Oceania, North America and Europe. It concludes at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. Points towards the World Cup Standings are awarded to the top 20 competitors at each event.
Following the debut of Women's Match Racing on the World Cup at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, the Danish team of Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, Trine Palludan and Tina Schmidt currently lead the World Cup Standings. Giulia Conti, Alessandra Marenzi and Alessandra Angelini of Italy are in second position, with Great Britain's Lucy Macgregor, Ally Martin and Annie Lush in third. A maximum of 20 points is up for grabs at each World Cup event and with match racing on the programme for the Delta Lloyd Regatta, Kieler Woche and Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, there is still a long way to go in deciding the Women's Match Racing champion of the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:
16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain