With the 2008 Olympics well under way and GB sailors already wining three Gold medals in Qingdao, this autumn will see the world reflecting on the racing in Qingdao and looking forward to the 2012 Games on home waters. The big question is will the Weymouth and Portland location be more suited to hosting sailing than Qingdao?
As covered extensively in the media there are a number of drawbacks to the Chinese venue including poor visibility, a lack of wind which means that the qualifying races have had to be reduced in number, strong tides and a carpet of green weed that seems to engulf all course areas if left to mother nature.
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) has very different natural assets for the International sailing and windsurfing world to enjoy in 2012. The venue was originally selected to be the heart of UK sailing due to the excellent prevailing winds and ample unobstructed course area with room for development of a dinghy park.
The course area boasts a sheltered flat water area in Portland Harbour with more challenging conditions out in Weymouth Bay, all with the back drop of the stunning Jurassic coastline. WPNSA also has a strong commitment to maintaining the local natural environment demonstrated by winning a 2008 Sport Industry Award for Environmental Concern in Sport.
With final construction work due for completion in November 2008, WPNSA will be to date the first 2012 site completed three years ahead of schedule, an incredible success for the Olympic Development Authority.
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy wish the whole of Skandia Team GBR the best of luck in their final medal races and the Parylmpic sailors who will start their events shortly.