The BMW J/24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club in August is one of only two sailing events (the other is the Mirror Worlds at Lough Derg) to be included as one of 19 sporting events among the 82 ‘Flagship Events’ to receive funding under the €2M The Gathering Ireland Fund.
‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ initiative is designed to encourage the Irish and their friends abroad to visit Ireland this year and the sporting events’ funding is seen as a potentially significant tourism revenue-earning return for Irish economy.
Sport has long been recognised as a key contributor to domestic tourism and visiting sportspeople and supporters are acknowledged as considerably higher spenders than the average tourist while in Ireland.
Speaking about the financial windfall, J/24 Worlds Committee Chairman Derek Bothwell said that it was intended to put the funds towards creating a professional video record of the Championship which could be used subsequently to further promote Howth and Ireland as an international sailing venue.
“We already have a reputation for the quality of our racing waters, facilities and race management expertise,” he said, “and the video will further underline our status as a place to come to in the future for World-class sailing events.”