The 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup continues to grow after a successful third year which saw 74 nations and over 2,000 sailors compete at seven destinations in three continents.
Speaking at Kieler-Woche, the final ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta in Kiel, Germany, ISAF President Göran Petersson said, 'The Olympic part of sailing is extremely important. We must show to the International Olympic Committee that sailing is a global sport and we do this through the ISAF Sailing World Cup.'
The competition throughout the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup has been exceptional with all of the world's best sailors using the series to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition which will be held at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain.
But with the close proximity of some of the European events and the Olympic Test Event the ISAF Sailing World Cup has come under some criticism after some sailors opted out of sailing in Kiel.
Sailors have become more professional in their approach in recent years with the balance between training, competition and rest time becoming more considered than ever before Petersson admitted that, 'It is unfortunate that sailors haven't arrived. I think there needs to be more cooperation and communication in future years. The sailors decide for themselves with their coaches and sponsors on their season and the way they go about it.'
Under current plans, from 2013 the ISAF Sailing World Cup will take a new format with six regattas taking place. The World Cup will start in Asia/Middle East before moving to Oceania, the Americas and Africa/Middle East culminating in two regattas held in Europe.
On the criteria ISAF will be looking for Petersson said, 'Many things will influence the choice. First we will look at the sailing conditions, and then we will look at venue facilities. And of course marketing and media appeal is an important factor that we will take into consideration.
'We have a strategic plan but it is a very fine balance between countries who are at the forefront of the development and developing countries, but they are all members of ISAF.
'We have 41 European nations and that will certainly come into consideration for the ISAF Sailing World Cup in years to come.'
After the Olympic test event in August all eyes will turn to Australia for the first regatta of the 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne, which runs from 6-12 November 2011 before the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, Australia from 3-18 December.
International Sailing Federation website
Kieler Woche website