The International Sailing Federation World Sailing has assigned the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championship to The Hague. The Youth World Cup will be the official test event for the 2022 Sailing World Cup, which will also be organized in The Hague.
For both events, the organizing parties (the Watersportverbond, TIG Sports and the Municipality of The Hague) have appointed a special tournament director: none other than two-time Olympic windsurfing champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe will take on this role.Director of the Watersportverbond, Arno van Gerven, says that he is proud that another World Championship has been assigned to his own country: “It’s fantastic and a unique opportunity that we can let our talents sail in the same setting as the top athletes do a year later. It is a compliment and a reward to our cooperation with The Hague, where our facilities for the talents and top sailors are also located. What we do there every day behind the scenes: train hard together, live, study and work on their health, we can now show to the whole country. They can shine in their own home, on familiar territory. And of course we are going to make it a unique experience for them as well. Sailing a Youth World Cup is probably a once in a lifetime experience. And that in their own country! We’re going to make a big party out of that.”
Besides the great opportunities it offers for the athletes, Van Gerven also sees added value in the combination of the Youth World Cup Sailing in 2021 and the World Cup Sailing in 2022: “It increases the value of the World Cup by not only having 2 weeks of the top athletes, but also by seeing the next generation at work. This makes the events even more meaningful for our sport and for our associations.”
Richard de Mos, Alderman for Sport of the Municipality of The Hague reacts with delight to the arrival of the Youth Sailing World Cup in The Hague. “We are still in the middle of Sail at Scheveningen, but another beautiful top sporting event is coming to the sailing Mecca of North-West Europe. Events like Sail, the Ocean Race, the Sailing World Cup in 2022 and the fact that we have a unique Sailing Innovation Centre at Scheveningen prove that we are. I’m not a sailor myself, but this makes me really enthusiastic. And all of this in the seaside city of the Netherlands.”
Tournament Director Dorian van Rijsselberghe is also happy with his new role: “The Hague, the Watersports Association and TIG Sports showed last year during the finish of the Ocean Race what a wonderful international sailing event we can organize in the Netherlands. Therefore I am very honored that they have asked me to be the tournament director of both World Cups. I hope in this role I can contribute a little to the success of the events and make the connection to the athletes. Something that will not be a problem in Scheveningen, of course. For years, our talents have been working right there, in the National Top Sailing Center, day in day out to be among the best in the world. Whether Van Rijsselberghe himself will still be in action at the World Championships in 2022 is not yet certain: “I’ll be sailing two more World Championships: this year in September in Italy and next February in New Zealand. World Cups in which I will do my very best to reach the Games in Tokyo but then it’s done, although a World Cup in my own country … I exclude nothing.”
The Youth Sailing World Cup is held every four years and, next to the Olympic Games, is the most important youth sailing championship for Olympic sailing disciplines.