The Netherlands will become the international sailing capital in 2023 following a joint decision by World Sailing, the Royal Netherlands Watersport Association, the municipality of The Hague and TIG Sports to move the 2022 Sailing World Championships to the summer of 2023.
The next edition of the Sailing World Championships will be held from Thursday 10 to Sunday 20 August 2023 and will turn Scheveningen into the capital of competitive sailing with The Ocean Race also set to take over the Dutch shores.
In addition to the new dates for the Sailing World Championships, the Youth Sailing World Championships, that was due to be held The Hague in July 2021, has also been rescheduled for 2022.
The move to rearrange the Sailing World Championships and Youth Sailing World Championships comes following the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rearrangement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021.
On the announcement, Kim Andersen, World Sailing President, said, “The Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships are two of the most important sailing events an athlete can aspire to participate in.
“World Sailing, the municipality of The Hague, the Royal Netherlands Watersport Association and TIG Sports have an ambitious vision for the events that put the sailors, spectators and world-leading organisation at the heart of the project.
“The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has meant sailors and our MNAs have had to reorganise their priorities for 2021. Moving the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships to a new venue towards the end of the year will ensure maximum effort is put in to delivering a successful event.
“The 2022 Youth Worlds will be the first touch point for the Dutch population and will provide the organisers with key opportunities to test operations ahead of the 2023 World Championships.
“The 2023 Sailing World Championships is the primary qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Allowing our teams and sailors more time to prepare following Tokyo 2020 in 2021, will ensure the best sailing talent is displaying to a global audience.
“We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with The Hague and their established partners in delivering two Championships that raise the bar even higher.”
Yann Rocherieux, Chair of World Sailing’s Athletes’ Commission and World Sailing Board Member, said, “The Sailing World Championships is an Olympic class sailor’s key performance indicator on the road to the Olympic Games. It is a spectacle where the best sailors target World Championship glory and an Olympic qualification place. Tokyo 2020’s postponement has meant sailors have had to reset and adjust their campaigns. By hosting the Sailing World Championships in 2023, the sailors will have a longer period to focus on the event when Tokyo 2020 concludes next summer.
“The Hague is a fantastic sailing venue that test the all-round abilities of every sailor. The competition will be wide open at the Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships and I’m excited to see it unfold in 2022 and 2023.”
Alastair Fox, Director of Events at World Sailing commented, “The Sailing World Championships and Youth World Championships are World Sailing’s flagship events and put the leading youth and senior sailors in the international spotlight. Up to 100 nations are expected to participate in the Championships’ and the move to postpone both events by one year will allow sailors, coaches, officials and organisers to prepare properly and deliver an outstanding competition.”
The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a population of 525,000. The authentic yet modern seaport, and the natural environment of The Hague Beach, will offer the perfect base for both events.
Competition for the world's best Olympic class sailors will be held on the North Sea and will provide a stern test for the athletes. Conditions vary within a short period of time ensuring competitors will encounter a true test on the water with varied wind conditions and challenging tidal patterns.
World Sailing is now seeking a venue to host the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships in December 2021.