by Cailah Leask
London Olympic Games sailing events, hosted by Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), are to be held on the waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour during Sunday 29 July to Saturday 11 August.
The WPNSA is enjoying a landmark year for 2012 at the award winning multi sports venue. Olympic camps have already been in full swing at the premier sailing and windsurfing destination as well as youth winter training. Already capable of hosting over 1,000 competitors at a time and providing concurrent racing for a range of different disciplines the WPNSA has proven itself as the ultimate sporting venue.
World renowned Sunsail Racing will be activating their ‘Chase the Gold Regatta’ on site in March involving a fleet of Sunsail F40 yachts offering a big boat yacht racing experience for amateur sailors. Sunsail will be running the race programme during two phases in 2012, initially from March to June and then later in the year from September to October.
BBC Sport Relief events in collaboration with SailLaser then return to WPNSA’s shores later in March raising money for the established charity. The inaugural WPNSA Outdoor Show opens on March 31st bringing together a diverse range of outdoor and adventure activity companies, with taster sessions available for energetic visitors.
April then starts the spring season with the WPNSA Wedding Fayre. The venue has already proved to be a very attractive venue for wedding receptions and this event will demonstrate how that special day can be made even more memorable. The sailing season kicks off for May with match racing first on the agenda inviting entrants from the USA. The highly successful ‘Sail for a Fiver’ legacy programme which has already introduced over 9,000 children to the sport of sailing starts again in April and runs throughout the summer.
June will be a particularly busy month for the Academy; the Sail for Gold Regatta initiates a month that will see globally high profile sailing and windsurfing stars start to base themselves from the WPNSA. The hugely popular Laser SB3 Class will be running their National Championships from the Academy this year with Weymouth Bay promising some excellent conditions for the fast sports boat style racing.
This traditional marine focus continues later into the month when on 11th June the ‘Small Ships Race’ will start in London and a number of traditional and more modern vessels will race to Portland. The race is expected to finish in Portland on 15th June and on Saturday, 16th June, there will be a ‘race round the bay’ in Weymouth Bay for these vessels. The race will be started by the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, firing cannons from the ramparts of the Nothe Fort in Weymouth and should prove a tremendous spectacle. Shortly afterwards on 21st June the Academy launches into a cross power, sail and air event with the start of ‘Round Britain 2012’ guaranteeing adrenaline fuelled excitement and a unique spectating experience. The finish will take place on 30th June coinciding with the start of the ever popular ‘Spirit of the Sea Festival’. The Musto Skiff World Championships will then be run on site with a cosmopolitan influx of nationalities using the first class launching facilities at the Academy for skiff style dinghies.
Early July is a chance for a wealth of young hot shots to enjoy the Olympic waters prior to the Games, taking part in the ‘National Schools Sailing Regatta’ that incorporates a week long competition with many sailors spending their first time racing away from parental care.
The Academy then heats up for the Games with the Olympic Torch visiting in July as part of a carefully planned relay around the Dorset region. This marks the start of the greatest sporting event on the planet, ‘the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ for which the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy will be home for all sailing and windsurfing competitions running throughout July, August and September.
October hosts the ‘DaKine Weymouth Speed Week’ where World Speeding Records could be broken and December takes the Academy into Christmas festivities with plans shaping up for a ‘Winter Wonderland’ incorporating an indoor ice rink and Santa’s Grotto.
All in all, 2012 is going to be a very memorable year for the Academy as well as Weymouth and Portland and will build a firm foundation for an on-going legacy from the investment in the WPNSA and Osprey Quay.
Please find event listing below:
|March ||1 to 4||Sunsail Chase the Gold Regatta|
| ||25||BBC Sport Relief - SailLaser Portland Mile|
| ||31||WPNSA Outdoor Sports Show|
|May||1 to 6||USA Match Racing Event|
| ||1 to 4||Sail for a Fiver|
| ||28 May to 1 June||Sail for a Fiver|
|June||1 to 9||Sail for Gold|
| ||14 to 17||SB3 National Championships|
| ||11 to 15||London to Portland Race|
| ||11 to 15||Sail for a Fiver|
| ||15 to 17||Small Tall Ships Event|
| ||16||Tall Ships Race|
| ||18 to 19||Start of Round Britain 2012|
| ||23 to 29||Musto Skiff World Championships|
| ||30||Finish of Round Britain 2012|
|July||9 to 13||National Schools Sailing Regatta|
| ||12||Torch Relay|
| ||13||LOCOG Lockdown|
| ||27||Olympic Opening Ceremony|
|August||12||Olympic Closing Ceremony|
| ||28||Paralympics Start|
|October||13 to 14||DaKine Weymouth Speed Week|
|December||date tbc||Winter Wonderland|