by Mark Angell
London 2012 Olympic Games Sailing. Are you thinking of attending the Sailing events at Weymouth? If so, read on as Rodd Carr explains ....
Latest aerial pictures of the first venue for the 2012 London Olympic games to be finished, The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
It is certainly not first come, first served in UK. There are only five days of the application process left.
In all there will be 26 sports, 34 competition venues, 645 sessions, and two-thirds of tickets which are priced £50 or less with an additional 2.5 million tickets at £20 or less.
Will people with boats, RIBs, be able to anchor off Weymouth to get a sneaky free view of the sailing?
In general terms no. Only visitors with pre-booked berths/anchoring spots will be able to use the Harbour(s).
RIBs etc coming to the venue from seaward will be turned away unless they have a pre-booked place. If you do have the necessary permissions you’ll only get a view of the Weymouth Bay West or Portland Harbour courses. If you do not have a pre-booked anchoring spot you will have to keep moving and won’t be able to linger in the dark blue areas on the chart to watch the racing.
Will people be able to launch their boats in Weymouth and Portland?
Not unless they have a pre-assigned spot/berth.
How far off Weymouth will the clear zone be?
The area is defined by an exclusion zone, between Portland and Weymouth all the way to east to Lulworth Cove and then four miles offshore. Through this there has been a passageway created for regular users of Weymouth and Portland Harbour. The harbour won’t be closed off, but you won’t be able to dawdle.
Is this going to be heavily policed?
Yes! There is no chance of any boat slipping under 'the radar'.
What are the best viewing areas for ticket holders?
Probably the middle of the Nothe gardens spectator area, however this is all dependent upon how the course is orientated and that is determined by the wind direction.
Planning permission has not yet been granted for the ticketed area at Nothe Gardens by Weymouth and Portland Council for the Olympic sailing. When will this be approved?
Following consultation with local residents and businesses in March, we will be submitting a planning application to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council at the end of April. We would expect a decision in July.
All of the planning is so up in the air how can you guarantee the spectator area when planning has not been finalized?
We can’t …..that's the democratic process in the UK which even as Olympic organizers we have to stick to.
What happens if people buy tickets and the permission is not granted?
If we happen to get to that point then of course people will get their money back, however with all the planning and effort that has gone in, it would be a great shame for that to happen.
What will you get for your ticket in the spectator area?
An unrivalled view of the North course area that qualification races and all medal races will take place. A distant view of the other course areas. A large screen with information from the races, along with a commentary of what’s going on in front of you and food/drinks, toilet facilities and a safe no traffic environment!
Will there be other screens and viewing areas in Weymouth?
There may be another screen but this may not be sailing specific.
What has LOCOG done to help Weymouth cope with the mass influx of people for the Olympics?
A comprehensive traffic management system will be put in place aimed at keeping traffic moving and ensuring pedestrian safety as well as protecting local people and businesses from casual parking. A key element of the system will be a substantial temporary park and ride scheme, provision for accessible transport, extra buses and trains, secure cycle parking and other transport facilities.
Will racing so close to the shore not ruin the conditions for the sailors?
We are determined to provide a spectator experience for the Nothe Course area. From time to time the extremities of the laylines may be compromised by being close the land. This is already accepted practice in Match Racing and 49ers. On the other course areas the race course footprint, will not be affected by land.
How will Weymouth be different to any other Olympic venue?
The Olympic spectator area will be unique to Weymouth and London 2012, offering unrivalled views of qualification and all medal races from a purpose laid out spectator area.