#ifdsworlds– Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) in County Cork has launched the first major Paralympic event following London 2012 with 120 disabled sailors from 20 countries expected to attend the International Federation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) World Championships for 2013 in the south coast town this Summer.
The August event will see three paralympic classes take to the waters of Kinsale harbour; the Sonar three person keelboat, the Scud 18 two person keelboat and the 2.4mR single person keelboat.
Teams from China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Austria, Poland, Norway, Israel, Holland, Portugal and Ireland are expected to attend.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Kinsale Yacht Club member John Twomey, a paralympic competitor, is the driving force behind the event.
"I have received so much support from Kinsale and the sailing community over my years of Paralympic competition. It gives me great pleasure to host this event as IFDS President in my home waters".
Twomey has participated in 10 Paralympic Games, more than any other Olympic or Paralympic athlete, was elected President of the International Federation of Disabled Sailors at the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) conference in November 2012. Twomey may still yet campaign for the Rio paralympics in 2016.
Kinsale bid for the event in 2010 against stiff competition from Perth in Australia and Qingdao in China. This is the first time that the IFDS Worlds are being hosted in Ireland. The organising committee, under the direction of Regatta Director John Stallard, has been developing plans since they were awarded the event in 2010.
Launching today's IFDS World Championships in Kinsale, County Cork were back row (left to right) Ger Power, Cork County Council; Matthias Hellstern, Kinsale YC; Billy Lynch, Mayor of Kinsale; Cameron Good, Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club; Barbara Murray, Mayor of Cork County; Janice Twomey (John's daughter); John Stallard, KYC. Front row John Twomey, Kinsale Paralympian and Sam McCarthy, Irish Access Sailing Group. Photo: Bob Bateman
Cork County Council is supporting the Worlds which is one of only three World Championships leading up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Speaking at today's launch Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Barbara Murray stated "Cork County Council is delighted to support this major international event in 2013. As part of Cork County Council IFDS Worlds, Kinsale is being marketed internationally as a major tourism and sailing centre of excellence and we look forward to welcoming all the sailors and support teams to a fantastic 10 day event in August".
In addition to the sailors, Kinsale also expects to welcome 300 support staff and family to Kinsale and a full social calendar including a parade and civic reception has been planned.
Kinsale is no stranger to major international events including the Dragon Gold Cup, the biennial Sovereigns Cup, the Figaro single handed race and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Kinsale Yacht Club is currently undergoing major refurbishments in preparation for this year's season.