The announcement of the new European Sailing Cup for next year has lead to positive reactions from international sailors in Medemblik. On Friday Eurosaf, in association with organisers of Garda Olympic Week, Delta Lloyd Regatta Medemblik, Sail for Gold in Weymouth, Kieler Woche in Germany and Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle, signed a joint statement of intent to create a new series commencing in 2013, the EUROSAF European Sailing Cup. This series will be top class for Olympic sailors and will ensure an extra element of competition with at least two Paralympic Classes.
The new series woll start in May 2013 with the event on Lake Garda (Italy), continue with the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik (also May), Sail for Gold in Weymouth (June), Kieler Woche (mid June) and La Rochelle in the autumn. ,,Sailing needs more innovation, not only for the public but also for sailors. We need more competition at the highest level. Besides that it would be a good thing when some prize money is involved. New initiatives are good. I believe it is a good way to get the best sailors at the start’’, reacts Italian RS:X Flavia Tartaglini, presently leading in the World Cup. The five events will not be a part of the World Cup-series next year.
The European Sailing Cup will be open to sailors from all over the world. ,,World and European Championships remain important for the sailors. This initiative is good for the sport. It can be likened to the Champions League in Football. It can result in increased involment from media and companies, which means more money will be made more available to the sport’’, Dutch Laser sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg says, ,,I’m positive, but for us World Championship events as well as World Cup-races will be important.’’
Shahar Zubari, who, after the days sailing on Friday is assured overall victory in the RS:X Men, also thinks the new series will be important for the sailing world. ,,The event organisers try to make racing more interesting for everybody. You need to improve the quality of the races and this seems a good way. When more money is involved, the small sailing countries will follow’’, the Israelian windsurfer says.
Lobke Berkhout, 470-specialist and five-time world champion, thinks that a lot of sailors will support the new series. ,,Of course it’s a pity that the Delta Lloyd Regatta steps out of the World Cup, but the organisers are always looking for new ideas. When they can create a really professional circuit, that is good for the sport. But we are a global sport and have to develop sailing all over the world. So for us World Cup-races will be important.’’
Photo: Wessel de Heus