Denmark’s bid for the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships was presented at the ISAF headquarters in Southampton, England, today, with a vision to expand the sport’s horizons and let the stars of sailing shine.
Aarhus 2018 - The right place at the right time: Artist’s impression of the Aarhus International Sailing Centre
One of four bidding for the Championships, Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, outlined a bid that promises to take sailing to the people.
'An ISAF Sailing World Championship is about the sailors,' Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, said. 'We see these great Championships as the perfect opportunity for sailing to grow beyond its boundaries and make our sailing stars household names. ISAF shares that vision with us and I think they appreciated our presentation.
'We’ll create a big bang for sailors, our vision for 2018 is to showcase the world’s star sailors, we’ll let them and the sport shine. Aarhus is ready for it – it’s the right place at the right time.'
The stunning new Aarhus International Sailing Centre, to be completed by mid-2016 as part of a huge harbour development, will add the most modern sailing facilities in the world and ensure the sailors have a home worthy of their talents. With the theatre-style racing in the Bay and its technological expertise Aarhus can deliver the most spectator-friendly World Championships ever.
'Sailing is in the DNA of the Danes, and Denmark is one of the greatest sailing nations in the world,' Jonas Høgh-Christensen, one of Denmark’s sailing stars and silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympics after his epic battle with Ben Ainslie, said. 'The fact that we have won more Olympic medals than any other sport in Denmark tells you what an honour we would consider it to host the Worlds.
'The Bay of Aarhus has already proved it is perfect for international championships. It has unique and challenging sailing conditions. Sailors love Aarhus. It’s great place for sailing and a great place to be.'
Lundov and Høgh-Christensen were part of a five-strong delegation including Jacob Bundsgaard, the mayor of Aarhus and former sailor - underlining the fact that Aarhus is a city of sailors; Hans Natorp, the president of the Danish Sailing Association and Thomas Capitani - CEO of Sailing Aarhus, who will be general manager of the 2018 organising committee.
Having staged such sailing events as the 2008 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, the 2010 505 World Championship, the 2011 A-Cat World Championship and the 2013 49er and 49erFX European Championship, Aarhus has proven world-class race conditions and regatta organisation skills.
'We’ll create action by bringing spectators so close to the sailors that they’ll feel the rush of the wind and water,' Capitani said. 'Seeing the action creates connection and that’s what we’ll do in Aarhus. We’ll create an experience never seen before with a state-of-the-art arena placed in a modern, young and fun city. Our passion for sailing will leave a legacy for sailing for many years to come.
'We want to share our knowledge as a leading sailing nation and give back to the sport. As hosts, we would be completely committed to the Emerging Nations Programme and we believe that Aarhus could become the next ISAF Regional Training Academy. Aarhus is ready for 2018 and beyond.'
Aarhus 2018 website