In August, 1400 of the world’s best sailors will gather in The Hague for the Allianz Sailing World Championships. They will compete in all ten Olympic sailing events and four Para Sailing events, with the Championships doubling as a qualification event for the Olympic Games in Paris next year. The regatta will be held in The Hague - Netherlands’ famous ‘City by the Sea’ - and it promises to be fascinating for a number of reasons. For the first time, elite Para Sailing races will be held during the Championships. The City will welcome many new countries via the Emerging Nations Program, while new sustainability protocols have been laid out to ensure that this is event is in keeping with the city’s Sustainable Developments Goals.
‘There is definitely a feeling that these Championships present a wonderful opportunity to connect sailors, fans, media, sponsors, and many other stakeholders from all over the world. This is the first time we have been able to organize a World Championship in all ten Olympic disciplines in the Netherlands at the same time. And with the inclusion of four world class Para Sailing events as well, it promises to be a fantastic celebration of sailing in a beautiful setting.’ Tournament director Dorian van Rijsselberghe
Emerging Nations Program
Another feature of this new drive towards accessibility is the Emerging Nations Program (ENP), which was started in 2015 by the Sailing World Championships. The ENP is designed to provide opportunities for those countries that do not yet have an established presence on the global sailing scene. 44 Athletes from 27 Nations will participate in the ENP at the Championships this summer, and they will receive guidance and tools to further develop the sport in their countries.
A green regatta beside the North Sea
The Hague is one of the few cities in Northern Europe that can truly claim to be a ‘City by the Sea’, with beautiful beaches stretching along 11 kilometres of coastline and a proud sailing heritage. The Hague can also claim to be one of the greenest cities in Europe. Its 885 hectares of parkland create a pleasingly leafy urban environment, while the city is a proud SDG City committed to realizing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
And that commitment is shared by World Sailing. The sport’s governing body has laid on its own Sustainability Agenda 2030 looking to drive substantial change within the sport which can contribute actively to global sustainability.
The organizers of this year’s Allianz World Sailing Championships have devised a boldly ambitious plan to keep the event’s carbon footprint as low as possible. The Championships will integrate with The Hague’s existing infrastructure, using local buildings, caterers, and waste providers. Officials and supporters will have access to 350 bikes, while international teams will work together to minimize transport movements.
This plan is greatly boosted by the fact that the city is located right on the water, meaning competitors, officials, and fans will have much less distance to travel. The Municipality of The Hague sees this event as a fantastic opportunity to showcase its potential as a host city for elite international sport.