ISAF Sailing World Cup Series 2015 – Weymouth and Portland
The ISAF Sailing World Cup series travels around the world showcasing the best talent in Olympic and Paralympic sailing. The circuit of events has previously visited Melbourne Australia, Miami USA and Heyres in France, with the UK stopover in Weymouth, home of the 2012 Olympic sailing regatta. The World Cup Series follows a new format that features reduced entries and a qualification process for sailors, the entrants in each class are the best of the best from around the world. Hosting 10 Olympic classes, three Paralympic Classes the series also invited Kiteboard racing to Weymouth.
Experience in Weymouth is something the staff at sportscotland’s National Centre Cumbrae, The Scottish Sailing Institute (SSI) and Largs Sailing Club’s volunteers are not short of. Cumbrae’s Chief Instructor, David Frame appointed as the World Cup Event Safety Officer travelled to Weymouth earlier than most to deliver the RYA 2 day National Mark Laying Seminar ahead of the main event. Attending the National seminar were Cumbrae’s Tom Thurlow, the SSI’s Stuart White and Largs Sailing Club’s Andrew Corlett amongst others. Up skilling prior to an event of this level always useful and all of the seminar candidates stayed on to work at the World Cup.
When the regatta began in earnest a large contingent of Scottish expertise in sailing race management and safety was in place to help make the event run smoothly – the full team can be seen in the attached photograph.
From National Centre Cumbrae, Andy Gibb picked up his previous Olympic roving role as Deputy Safety Officer, RYA Scotland’s Matt Toynbee moved up to Senior Mark layer on the Finn and Nacra course and promoted to the same senior role on the Paralympic course was Largs Sailing Club’s Alastair Leicester.
With just over 500 sailors and 160 race management officials on the water at peak times it was always going to be busy keeping the event running smoothly. But the South coast weather played its part, co-operating for the first few days and providing some excellent racing in both breeze and sunshine out on the race areas.
The 2012 Olympic Race Officers, now mentoring the next generation of Race Officers, took a back seat to allow new UK talent to be brought forward. In at the deep end, six National Race Officers stepped onto the International stage including the SSI’s David Kent, who was the Course Race Officer for the 470 fleet. David had recruited a large part of his team from the members of Largs Sailing Club and the combined efforts of the team allowed some truly world class racing to take place across the five separate race areas.
The Beach Master is a crucial role at any event, providing the interface between the on-water and off-water teams, controlling the launch procedure and logging competitors on and off the water. Facing the challenge of 500 sailors accessing the waters off Weymouth was SSI/LSC/RYA Scotland’s Ewan Macpherson. Experienced in dealing with big fleets at Largs, Ewan definitely experienced a different level of event coordinating 500 sailors over 11 different classes, all launching from three separate slips, not to mention controlling the vast expanse of the dinghy park in Weymouth.
As the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing (WPNSA) celebrated its 10th Birthday at the end of the week with a party there were a lot of familiar Scottish faces in to be seen, including Race Officers (David Kent), Assistant Race Officers (Kate Bird, Iain Airlie), Safety Boat Drivers (Joe Gibson) and Crew, Senior Mark Layers (Alastair Leicester, Matt Toynbee) and Mark Layers (Stuart White, Tom Thurlow, Andy Corlett) , Committee Boat team members (Chris Nichol, Dawn Macrae) , Bridge Radio Operators (George McCree) and Event Safety/Medical personnel (Andy Gibb) - all pictured above.
It is very positive and encouraging that Scotland has the ability to offer this amount of expertise and make a significant contribution to a global sailing event of the highest standard. At a more personal level many individuals created opportunities to stretch themselves and broaden their experiences which hopefully they will bring back home and apply in Scotland which can only be to the benefit of Scottish sailing as a whole.
After Weymouth the event moves in September to Quingdao, the 2008 Olympic waters in China before the November final in Abu Dhabi, UAE. All these venues combine to ensure this World Cup Series is a truly global regatta.