18 May 2010
2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships
From 9-18 July, the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships for men and women will take place on the waters in front of The Hague, The Netherlands. Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) will defend their men's 470 World title, whilst The Hague citizen Lisa Westerhof and Beijing 2008 Two Person Dinghy silver medalist Lobke Berkhout will defend their women's.
Racing starts on the 12 July, with the event concluding on the 18 July with the final medal races as close as possible to the popular Summer resort's beach and boulevard, visited daily by thousands of people.
About 360 athletes from over 40 nations representing 6 continents are expected to participate. With a global popularity and spread, there is a huge depth of talent in the 470 fleet who will be challenging for medals. At the 2009 470 World Championships, 10 nations from 4 continents were in the top ten of the men's fleet, with 9 nations and four continents in the top ten of the women's fleet.
The 470 is the equipment for the Men's Two Person Dinghy event and the Women's Two Person Dinghy event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Sailed in over 60 nations and with over 40,000 boats built, the 470 is one of the most widely spread two person dinghies in the world.
The 2010 Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships will attract the world's best sailors to the battle for World Championship glory, many of whom are campaigning for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. The men's and women's fleets include World and Continental Championship and Olympic medalists - with many having the potential to secure victory and represent their nation on the medal podium on 18 July 2010.
With two years to go until the Olympic Games, the 2010 470 World Championships is a critical event in preparation and performance evaluation. Sailors' results at this year's Worlds will also impact on the entry slots each nation is allocated at 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.'
Some of the world's most renowned coaches will be supporting their crews at the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships. USA coach Kevin Burnham won an Olympic Silver and Gold medal in his personal sailing career. Probably the most successful sailing coach in history, Victor Kovalenko. also known as 'The Medal Maker' will be supporting his crews on the water in front of The Hague. Kovalenko coached different crews to 5 Olympic Gold medals, 3 times Bronze and 12 World Championship Titles.
Hopes for Dutch glory
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 ' he said.
'Holland won two silver medals in the Olympic Sailing Competition of Beijing 2008' Bouscholte continued. ' 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.
Ambitious The Hague
The Hague, the international city by the sea, considers the sailing sport of paramount importance. The Hague is aiming to become the heartbeat of the Dutch coastal yachting and especially of the Delta Lloyd Olympic Sailing Team of the Netherlands. In May 2009, the International Top Sailing Centre The Hague opened its doors. Hosting the Delta Lloyd 470 World Championships 2010 is a major step in the ambition to become a leading national and international yachting venue.
About Delta Lloyd
Delta Lloyd Insurance sponsors sailing and water sports. In addition, Delta Lloyd is the official partner of the Dutch Water Sports Association and the title sponsor of the Delta Lloyd Olympic Squad: the elite sailors preparing for the Olympic Games. They sponsor the Delta Lloyd 24-hour Sailing Race, the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, the World Cup Delta Lloyd Regatta, the Delta Lloyd Sailing Proficiency Centre, the HISWA in-water boat show and the Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Championships, Olympic Classes. The company also competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 under the name of Team Delta Lloyd.
Image: © Thom Touw