Aarhus has received a series of welcome boosts ahead of the decision on who will host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships that is expected on Saturday, May 10, after ISAF’s Mid-Year Meeting in Southampton, England.
• Shortlisted as new ISAF Training Centre
• Awarded 2015 Nacra 17 World Championships
• Aarhus partner A.P.Moller-Maersk confirms strong commitment to sailing as new Volvo Ocean Race sponsor
'We believe we have a unique proposition for the 2018 Worlds - Aarhus is the right place at the right time for sailing and the city,' Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, said. 'Denmark is a sailing nation and we have the popular and government support, the sponsors and the experience to do this great event justice.'
In the last month, Aarhus has been shortlisted to become the next ISAF Training Centre, awarded the 2015 Nacra 17 World Championships, and watched its home stars shine on the world cup circuit. This is on top of Aarhus already being awarded the 2015 470 and Laser European Championships.
Aarhus 2018 - The right place at the right time - Martin Fruergaard
'Becoming the next ISAF Training Centre is one of our dreams, so it is great to be shortlisted,' Thomas Capitani - CEO of Sailing Aarhus, who will be general manager of the 2018 organising committee, said. 'We are also thrilled that the new and exciting Nacra 17s decided to have their Worlds here. With the 470s and Lasers also here in 2015 there is going to be huge excitement and responsibility with so many qualification places for the Rio 2016 Olympics being decided. It is great for the city and we will make sure that like the other classes they’ll want to come back.
'This is all recognition of Aarhus’s long sailing history; our record for delivering great modern regattas on and off the water; and the future, with our fantastic new sailing centre opening in two years. We are building something special in Aarhus and the Worlds would both drive and benefit from the huge development of the harbour.'
Aarhus 2018 - The right place at the right time Artist’s impression of the Aarhus International Sailing Centre - Sailing Aarhus
As well as guaranteed government support on a local, regional and national level, Aarhus has shown it has a highly-developed commercial partner programme. The Aarhus International Sailing Centre will be completed by mid-2016 and one of the key partners, the A.P. Møller Foundation, owner of the A.P.Moller-Maersk group, who underlined their commitment to sailing when they were announced as a new Volvo Ocean Race sponsor last month.
Denmark’s organisational prowess has been demonstrated in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, the 2011 UCI World Road Cycling Championship and in Aarhus specifically in 2013 with the 49er and 49erFX European Championships and Tall Ships Race, the second time the city has hosted the event, with 500,000 people visiting last year. Aarhus will become the European Capital of Culture in 2017, which would provide a great focus for the World Championships test event in 2017 and allow momentum to build.
Jonas Høgh-Christensen, 2012 Olympic silver medallist and part of the Aarhus 2018 bid presentation team for the ISAF World Championships - Sailing Aarhus
Aarhus’s reputation as the city of sailors has been underlined by the continuing success of three of their homegrown stars: Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen, who finished on the podium on the last two rounds of the women’s 49erFX in Mallorca and Hyeres and are ranked second in the world. In the men’s 49er, Jonas Warrer is ranked number one in the world (with his crew Peter Lang).
'Since launching our bid for the 2018 ISAF Worlds, our vision has been complimented by sailors, officials and other sailing friends around the world,' Hans Natorp, the president of the Danish Sailing Association, said. 'The heart of our bid is about making household names of the best sailors in the world. Denmark understands that, Aarhus understands that, our results show that we know how to nurture them. I very much look forward to going to ISAF’s Mid-Year meeting in Southampton to meet with the international sailing community and to continue the positive dialogue.'