Danish Olympic Spring Regatta cancelled

Sian Cowen reports as the Danish criticise ISAF over an over-packed Olympic racing calendar

Saturday April 7th 2001, Author: Hansen Peer Bent Nielsen, Location: United Kingdom
The Danish Spring Cup for Olympic classes has been cancelled. The annual event, which was scheduled for 31 May - 3 June, is one of the biggest dinghy regattas in Denmark.2001 the decision has full approval from the Danish Sailing Association.

Chairman of the Danish Sailing Association, HC Hansen Peer Bent Nielsen was clearly unhappy about having to call the event off, and voiced his dissatisfaction with the organisers of a clashing German event and also with ISAF itself. He said: "There were several reasons for this decision, the most significant being is that in 2001 - and again in 2003 - the regatta will collide with the Goldener Pfingstbusch that is held by Kieler Yacht Club (KDY).
"Since the autumn, the Royal Danish Yacht Club has been aware of this collision of dates and has currently asked Kieler Yacht Club to move its regatta or make an arrangement with KDY, so that the Olympic classes concerned would be able to visit the Spring Cup in Rungsted. In February,KDY contacted the Danish Sailing Association and the Eurolymp Secretary so that they could influence KYC through their political bodies.

"As an important national and to some extent international regatta, the Goldener Pfingstbusch has been held for many years, but in recent years it has become increasingly international. This year KYC has even renamed the regatta the 'European Youth Sailing' on the ISAF site of international regattas. In other words, KYC has become increasingly active in its efforts to attract many foreign competitors to the regatta. Obviously, this will considerably and adversely affect the number of participants in the Spring Cup in Rungsted and thereby the sporting value of these races.

"In addition, KDY experienced (especially in 2000) that a number of competitors who would normally sail in the Spring Cup did not show up simply because they were tired of racing. Last year, their fatigue was due among other things to a fairly pressed international racing calendar in the early season because of the Olympic Games.

"Another reason is that there are already far too many international regattas held in May and June. With the Goldener Pfingstbusch on the calendar as yet another important international regatta, in addition to the well-known Eurolymp regattas are Spa in Medemblik, Danish Olympic spring regatta and the Kieler Woche - this would amount to four regattas for certain Olympic classes in a month if we were to carry on with the Spring Cup and that would simply be too many.

"The Royal Danish Yacht Club of course truly regrets that our cooperation with the other clubs in particular and with Danish and Scandinavian yachting in general in 2001 will have to abandon a big international regatta at a highly competitive level, but unfortunately those are the terms when a big yacht club like Kieler Yacht Club and its superior authority are not interested in cooperating. As a matter of curiosity it should be noted that as early as two weeks after the Goldener Pfingstbusch, KYC will again host a major regatta, the Kieler Woche - which like the Danish Olympic Spring Regatta is part of Eurolymp.

"Discussions will be initiated concerning the future and to ensure the implementation of an Olympic regatta in Denmark as part of Eurolymp or a European ranking event, possibly by finding a different term which can be coordinated with the remaining regatta programme in Europe.

"This situation - and also previous coincidence's between international regattas for Olympic classes in various countries - clearly proves that yachting has a very large and acute need for prioritising and coordinating a regatta calendar for Europe for the benefit of yachtsmen, classes, organisers and sailing associations and should rank high on the future agenda of the European Sailing Federation."

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