EXCITING TIMES FOR SAILING IN AFRICA12 Jan 2016
South African Sailing and the International 470 Class Association are proud to be hosting the first ever 470 Class Open African Championship in Cape Town, 11-17 January 2016.
The 470 African Championship will also mark the first 470 Men’s African Continental Olympic Qualification Event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Western Cape Provincial Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, together with its MEC Mrs Anroux Marais, has been instrumental in bringing the event to Cape Town. In addition, the MEC has made a substantial financial grant available to South African Sailing to ensure the staging of an event of the highest international standards.
South Africa’s very own team of Olympians, Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim, have been campaigning long and hard for the Rio Olympics. While their main training base has been local, all Olympic Qualification Events and 470 Class regattas have been held outside of Africa, until now!
There will be one qualification place awarded to an African nation, and with South Africa already qualified to Rio 2016 from their result at the 2015 470 World Championships, up for grabs is a second spot for an African nation on the starting line at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is up for grabs. There are a total of 26 entry slots for the 470 Men at Rio.
Teams from Algeria, Angola and South Africa are competing, with racing kicking off on Wednesday 13 January, culminating in the Medal Race on Sunday 17 January.
The Championship marks a significant step in raising the profile of sailing in Africa, and particularly South Africa. Teams will race against the iconic backdrop of Table Mountain, with course areas on Granger Bay, located just off the waterfront in Cape Town.
Philip Baum, President of South African Sailing, has been a key proponent in enabling and supporting the holding of the first ever Olympic Continental Qualification Event in South Africa and first ever 470 African Championships. “This is the first time ever that a World Sailing event is being held in South Africa and only the second time such a regatta is being held in Africa. These are exciting times for the African continent!” said Baum. “Olympic competition requires representation on all six Continents. The allocation of a specific Olympic slot to each Continent to ensure as complete a global footprint as possible in Rio 2016 will be a significant spur to growing our sport in Africa. The special opportunity of hosting no fewer than five of the Olympic qualifiers on African waters is being capitalised on to highlight the sport to our government partners, national Olympic bodies, our sailors and hugely important to the people of our Continent. The support and understanding of all these stakeholders is vital for the growth, development and transformation of our sport.”
As part of the focus on sailing in Africa in the build-up to the 470 African Championships, an ISAF Measurers’ Clinic was held in Cape Town on 9-10 January 2016. Led by Clinic Instructor and 470 Class Measurer, Jurgen Cluytmans (BEL), the clinic focused on sharing best practice, along with a mix of theory and practical sessions. The objective of the clinic was to train local measurers, so as to have local officials taking care of measurement issues during the Championship, under the guidance of Cluytmans, and identify candidates who can become ISAF International Measurers for classes sailed in the continent, such as Optimist, Laser, 420 and 470 as well as other classes.
Championship website: http://2016africans.470.org
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