Observation trip to 2014 ISAF Worlds in Santander

Posted on september 5, 2014 in News by admin

Aarhus2018 artikel

There has been nothing but a positive buzz since Aarhus was selected to host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championship. The city and the organisers are eager to get started, but a World Championship calls for thorough preparations. To gather knowledge of the coming event in Aarhus the organisers are paying a visit to the present host city of the 2014 Sailing World Championship; Santander, Spain.

The competition will take place from the 8th – 21st of September in the port of Santander and will represent the 5th edition of the ISAF World Championship for all Olympic yachting disciplines. The Championship is held every fourth year, and last year’s host was the Australian city Perth. In 2018 Aarhus falls the honour of the skilled sailors from all over the world.

To visit and be a part of the ISAF World Championship in Santander is important in the preparations towards hosting the Championship in Aarhus in 2018. The Danish attendance is a clear priority of the organisers in the city of Aarhus. The purpose of the visit in Santander is to observe how the Spanish organisers manage to resolve the logistic challenges when accommodating approximately 960 boats, up to 1.400 participants, establish meeting facilities for the many officials, create press facilities for the hundreds of press people and last but not the least make room for facilities and fan zones for thousands of spectators etc.

These logistic and sporting observations are important or Sailing Aarhus and the other organisers, who contribute with essential resources such as space on land, sea and other facilities. “It is one of the worlds most important Olympic sporting events and by far the biggest sailing event ever held in Denmark” says CEO of Sailing Aarhus, Thomas Capitani and adds: “the whole sailing community of Denmark will be involved in the execution of this event, and I am sure, that it will set new and higher standards of how we organise and execute sailing races and improve the competences and the equipment of the sailing clubs in general”.

Besides studying logistics and sporting facilities, focus on how the city of Santander manages to exploit the event for other purposes is also an area of great interest.

According to the city of Aarhus the aim is to gain an impression of how the organisers and the city in general manage to exploit the great potential of this event. This both in regards to the branding of the city as an experience for the citizens in the city and the surrounding areas, as well as to the possibilities of making long-term effects in the development of the port of Santander. “We hope to get some good ideas of how we, as a city, should activate and benefit from the World Championship in 2018. Both in order to secure spectacular experiences, while the event is happening, but also to strengthen the long-term effects of hosting a Championship. For example in relation to developing the new waterfront in Aarhus, in making yachting even more popular and in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in yachting” states CEO of events, Finn Lyck.  

Sport Event Denmark also points out the importance of a thorough process of preparation as a foundation of a successful event. The visit to Santander is therefore essential. “ISAF Worlds 2014 in Santander is the last World Championship for Olympic sailing classes before Denmark is hosting the Championship in Aarhus in 2018. For this reasonit is of course important that we get the opportunity to observe how the Championship is executed this year and chance to meet up with the organisers and the International Sailing Association” says CEO of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Lundov. Sport Event Denmark, who is an important partner and has been a part of the project from the initial bidding process,  will also be a part of the preparations towards 2018. Furthermore, Sport Event Denmark will be playing an important role in the execution of the event as in the following evaluation.

The most important Olympic qualifying championship

ISAF Sailing World Championship is the most important qualifying championship, where most of the nation spots for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 are distributed. The Danish national team is turning out in strength to secure the desired nation spots. Jonas Warrer (Olympic Gold winner 2008), Allan Nørregaard (Olympic bronze winner 2012) and Jonas Høegh-Christiansen (Olympic silver winner 2012) are participating in Santander, just to name a few.

The two sailing stars from Aarhus Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen are also participating. The two-time European and ruling Youth Worlds champions, are participating in the women’s 49erFX class. With success in Santander the girls have the opportunity to secure Denmark nation spots for the Olympic Games in 2016, where the 49erFX class is accepted as an Olympic discipline for the first time. So it is with great excitement and a lot at stake, the girls are sailing at the ISAF Worlds in Santander.

The 2018 ISAF World Championship will also act as qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Up to 960 boats and 1.400 sailors from maybe 100 nations are expected to visit Aarhus and fight for the World Championship title but also for the spots to the Olympic Games. The sailors are competing in all of the ten Olympic classes and the two new ones: Kite surfing Men and Kite surfing Women. The two new disciplines will be at the Olympic Games in 2020 as test disciplines.

ISAF 2018 World Championship in Aarhus will be held in August at Aarhus Ø and is arranged by Sailing Aarhus in corporation with the city of Aarhus, Sport Event Denmark, The Danish Sailing Association and Region Midtjylland.

ISAF World Championships 1999-2018



Number of sailors

Number of nations


Melbourne, Australien


Cadiz, Spanien




Cascais, Portugal




Perth, Australien




Santander, Spanien




Aarhus, Danmark



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