The Hempel Sailing World Championships was always going to be a big deal, but it wasn’t just the silverware and the sailors that drew the crowds in Aarhus, Denmark.
With two years to go until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this was the first opportunity for nations to qualify for the Games and a key opportunity to start putting theory into practice for teams. Make no mistake, Aarhus was a big deal for all and the World Sailing Show was in the thick of it.
This month we also head to Portugal for the TP52 World Championships and an exclusive guided tour of the world’s most advanced keelboats, as well as checking in with the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff.
With 1,100 boats, 1,400 competitors representing 85 nations it was the world’s biggest sailing World Championships with 10 Olympic class world titles up for grabs. It was also the first time that the foiling kiteboards had brought their world championships to the World Sailing party.
Throughout the 11 day event there were some key stories, from the impressive rise of Japan in the 470 fleet, to the new wave of world class sailors and teams that made their way to the podium for the first time.
Meanwhile, in Cascais, Portugal there was another fiercely contested world championships taking place as the TP52s set out into the notoriously boisterous conditions on the Portuguese Riviera.
With big breeze, big waves and some of the most closely fought battles of the season, Cascais delivered everything that teams had hoped for.
But we didn’t just watch. With so much talent and technology at hand, we took the opportunity to climb aboard one of the latest TP52s for an exclusive guided tour to find out what makes the world’s most advanced racing monohulls tick.
The season’s biggest cat fight continues in the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series as the fleet rocked up in Cardiff for some punchy conditions. Once again, the racing was close with the final result going down to the wire.
They are the fastest, most advanced and without doubt the most difficult of the Olympic classes to sail, yet this has simply boosted the appeal of the Nacra 17. Since the fleet moved to hydrofoils last year the challenge and the spectacle has stepped up several notches. And while the fleet were denied their medal race when the weather refused to play ball, the action throughout the week was impressive.
Plus, when the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach turned up, all eyes and ears were on what he made of sailing’s biggest Olympic classes event. We were there to find out what he thought.