470 sailors head for their World Championships
From 9-18 July, the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships for men and women will take place off The Hague, in the Netherlands Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) will defend their men's 470 World title, while local favourites Lisa Westerhof and Beijing 2008 470 silver medalist Lobke Berkhout will defend their women's title.
Racing starts on 12 July and will conclude on 18 July with the final medal races off the Hague's beach and boulevard, visited daily by thousands of people.
About 360 sailors from over 40 nations and six continents are expected to take part in this World Championship.
With two years to go until the Olympic Games, the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships are critical in the preparation and performance evaluation. Sailors' results at this year's Worlds will also impact on country qualifying for next year's 470 World Championships being held in Perth, Australia as part of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. The 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships is the primary qualification event for the Olympics, and so many nations will be aiming to secure the maximum number of athletes in each event.
With two months to go until the 2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships start, Stanislav Kassarov (BUL) President of the 470 Class commented: "The 470 Class and sailors are really looking forward to the 470 World Championships in The Hague. We are set for great sailing conditions, fantastic weather, a wonderful natural arena for spectators to watch the racing and the world's best sailors - we can't ask for more. The world's top names will race alongside those making their debut at World Championship level; which always provides a unique opportunity for sports development and motivation to all the sailors. There is a great event management team and we are ready to run a memorable 470 World Championships."
Hans Bouscholte, Technical Director and head coach of the Dutch Olympic sailing squad is enthusiastic about the event taking place in The Hague: 'For all athletes, a World Championship in an Olympic class is an important preparation for the Olympic Sailing Competition, the only higher graded event available. Holland is proud to host the 470 Class World Championships. It perfectly fits into our lines of ambition and development. Holland not only has the ambition to win medals, but also to play an important role in establishing outstanding facilities to host sailing events in 'Olympic sailing venue like' circumstances. We want to improve our own structure, but by doing this, also contribute to bring the sailing sport to a higher and more professional level, and increase the public interest in the sailing sport in general. The Hague has high ambitions to become an international top sports capital, and is a valuable partner.
"Holland won two silver medals in the Olympic Sailing Competition of Beijing 2008. Our ambitions to do better in numbers and colour in 2012 are high. Sven and Kalle Coster have been taking the top spot on the men's 470 ISAF World Rankings for a long time, and Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout will be defending their women's 470 World title in two months. Like every nation, the 470 Worlds in July will be an important measurement point. Not only for 2012, but for 2016 as well. We also have high hopes for good results of the younger crews of our Dutch squad: Steven Lefevre and Steven Krol and Margriet Fokkema and Marieke Jongens."
The event is organized by the Royal Netherlands Yachting Union, in co-operation with the Yacht Club of Scheveningen, the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia, the Dutch 470 Class Association and the International 470 Class Association.