Grand final venue announced
ISAF have announced the selection of Sheboygan, in Wisconsin, USA as host venue for the Grand Final of the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup.
The US Saling Center Sheboygan will host the Grand Final of the sixth ISAF Nations Cup from 13-18 September 2011. Competition will be held on Lake Michigan in the Sonar (with a crew of three) for the men's event and the Elliott 6m (with a crew of three) for the women's event. The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final is the culmination of an 18-month competition staged over a series of Regional Finals held across the globe to find the world's top match racing nation in both men's and women's events. The venues, dates and country allocations for the Regional Finals of the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup will be announced later this month.
Busan, Korea; Chicago, USA; Gdynia, Poland; and Sheboygan, USA all submitted bids to host the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, with the final decision made by the ISAF Match Racing Committee based upon the recommendation of the Nations Cup Working Party.
Liz Baylis, chair of the Working Party responsible for evaluating bids for the ISAF Nations Cup, said Sheboygan will provide a fantastic platform for the event, "Sheboygan offers an impressive combination of sailing conditions, facilities and experienced Race Officials, media and organizing teams which will make for a fantastic finale for the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup. I am looking forward to working closely with the organizers to continue to build on the success of the Nations Cup since its re-launch in 2005.
"The Working Party would also like to thank and commend the other three bidding cities which each would have made excellent venues in their own right."
Sheboygan, situated on the western shoreline of Lake Michigan, 150 miles north of Chicago, is the second US venue to host the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, following on from San Francisco in 1995. Previous Grand Finals have been held in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2009); Crosshaven, Ireland (2006); Hoorn, The Netherlands (1993); and Barcelona, Spain (1991). The selection of Sheboygan as the Grand Final venue it another major boost for match racing in the USA, with the country also hosting the 2010 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship at the world-famous New York Yacht Club in Newport, Rhode Island from 20-25 September.
Since the formation of Sail Sheboygan in 2004, Sheboygan has rapidly become a key centre for match racing in the USA. It has hosted the Lake Michigan Match Racing Championships for the past three years and in 2008 became a US Sailing certified center for the advancement and promotion of training in the sport of sailing. Since then the US SAILING Center Sheboygan hosted the first Buddy Melges Challenge, an ISAF Grade 2 women's match racing event, in 2009 and this year Sheboygan will also host the US Women's Match Racing Championship. With its fleet of Elliott 6m keelboats, the equipment selected for the Women's Match Racing event making its debut at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the US SAILING Center Sheboygan has become a popular base for members of the U.S. Sailing Team Alphagraphics (USSTAG) preparing their Olympic campaigns and this January hosted the USSTAG qualifier for the ISAF Sailing World Cup squad.
Conditions on Lake Michigan during September are ideal for match racing, with steady breezes and warm weather. The cool water temperatures of Lake Michigan and the warm September days make for reliable and predictable thermal breezes with average wind speeds in the 5-17 knot range with temperatures around 24°C.
France is the current holder of the ISAF Nations Cup Trophy in both open and women's events.