World Sailing has sent a shout out to its member countries to take part in the 2020 Offshore World Championships, to be held in association with the Middle Sea Race in October 2020. The prospect of the new Olympic class has already developed a pool of Irish interest.
Most sailing developed nations will regard this event as the opening of their 2024 Olympic Offshore campaigns. The event will be a mixed two-handed offshore race, of approximately 4 days/3 nights duration. (same as that proposed for the 2024 Olympic Games)
Entering nations will have to qualify for the limited fleet event. 20 L30 yachts will be supplied to competitors, but the organisers have not yet determined the event(s) that will qualify for the championships.
Ireland has a burgeoning interest in this offshore scene with forays on the international offshore circuit already carried out by a crop of talent such as David Kenefick, Tom Dolan and Joan Mulloy in Le Figaro Race. More recently, in June 2019, there were 2024 declarations made by Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny.
World Sailing is awaiting to determine the interest level before finalising the qualification events, but they have determined the principles on which they will be based. They say:
“The intention is to hold all Qualification Events in Europe for 2020. By hosting the 2020 Qualification Events in one European venue and with one fleet of boats World Sailing believes that sailors and MNAs will have a unique opportunity to fast track their knowledge of this exciting new event.”
World Sailing believe that it will be possible to develop Qualification Events for the Offshore World Championships in all continents from 2021 onwards.
Countries can express their interest by submitting the pre-entry fee of €2,500 to World Sailing no later than 20 December 2019.