ISAF to stage Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, July 17, 2014
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has signed a deal to stage its World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi for the next six years, starting this year.
The multi-stakeholder approach by Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club (ADSYC) was signed with the support of the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation (UAE SARF) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
The final this year will take place from November 26 to 30, where more than 350 sailors from 20 countries are expected in Abu Dhabi to compete in all 10 Olympic events and a kite-surfing event, in and around Lulu Island off Abu Dhabi’s Corniche.
The events will be covered by the international sailing media and an ISAF television audience in over 100 countries.
Ahmed Thani Al Romaithi, chairman – ADSYC and vice-president – UAE SARF, said: “This is a major surge forward in Abu Dhabi’s campaign to be recognised as an international sailing hub and another fantastic opportunity for our youngsters to compete with and learn off the world’s best.
“It is somehow apt that the sailing world is convening in the Arabian Gulf which has such a long and rich maritime history and in Abu Dhabi which is bent on preserving its maritime heritage and traditions while building a destination attractive to sailors worldwide and nurturing young UAE sailors to take its ambitions forward.”
An associated deal sealed between ISAF and TCA Abu Dhabi will also see the UAE capital host the 2016 ISAF Annual Conference where delegates including representatives of national governing bodies, class associations, leading industry personalities, manufacturers, sponsors and the media, discuss the topics facing the sport.
The 2016 conference, which is estimated will deliver 1,500 hotel room nights to Abu Dhabi, will also feature a presidential election.
Carlo Croce, president, ISAF, said: “We have found a highly committed partner in Abu Dhabi and look forward to helping move forward the sailing ambitions of the emirate and the Arabian Gulf. This is a great opportunity for sailing as a sport.
“We have struck a ground-breaking partnership with a world-class destination for a Tier-1 event.”
Sheikh Khaled Zayed Saqr Al Nahyan, chair, UAE SARF, said: “This year’s Final is only three weeks before Abu Dhabi hosts a Volvo Ocean Race stopover when again, the city will be alive with all things maritime, sailing and entertainment.
The 2014 Final will comes on the heels of two other key international events being staged in the emirate this November.
Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director – Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “November is shaping up to be an action-packed month in Abu Dhabi, with Abu Dhabi Art and thousands of international motorsport fans once again arriving in the emirate for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I hope our international guests will be persuaded to extend their stay to witness the Final.”
“It promises to be a superb sight with hundreds of competing boats and the world’s best sailors out on the water at any given time during this five-day period and Abu Dhabi Corniche will be a signature backdrop.”
ADSYC is to increase its laser and 49er fleets to accommodate the finals with the fleets later being available for sail training to its members, residents and visitors. - TradeArabia News Service