French Awarded IOC President’s Trophy As Santander 2014 Closes
The Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships has been brought to a close with the French team picking up the IOC President’s Trophy.
Hundreds of thousands of sailing enthusiasts, local residents, friends and family have passed through the championship venue and the closing ceremony was no different with a packed crowd watching the conclusion of the event.
At the closing ceremony the French team received the IOC President’s Trophy which is presented to the best overall performing nation. Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Charline Picon (FRA) started the medal rush as they picked up men’s and women’s RS:X honours with Thomas Goyard taking men’s bronze. Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) gave the nation a further gold to celebrate, picking up Nacra 17 gold with a day to spare.
With 138 Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition places up for grabs across the ten Olympic events, thirty nine nations have secured at least one spot on the Rio start line.
ISAF Vice-Present W. Scott Perry brought the championship to close saying, “We have just concluded the most important sailing event between the Olympics. It is the time we classify 50% of those who will go to the Olympics.
“We had 1,200 sailors here, we had 81 nations represented, and we had 836 boats. It’s a record for us and we hope that one day it may be exceeded. Thirty medals were awarded and we have ten new World Champions and my sincerest congratulations to those medal winners and especially the gold medallists.
“I have no doubt that you have worked very hard and deserve it but without the other sailors you could have not become World Champion so our sincerest gratitude goes to all of them for their efforts. Don’t be discouraged. You are young and there are plenty of opportunities to reach the pinnacle of your sport.
“As a result of your efforts we now have 39 countries qualified for the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. 50% of places have been decided in Santander and the remaining 50% will be decided in the next 18 months.”
At the closing ceremony the Mayor of Santander, Iñigo de la Serna, handed the ISAF flag over to ISAF Vice-President W. Scott Perry who subsequently passed it on to Mayor of Sport, Culture and Citizens Services in the city of Aarhus, Mr Rabih Azad-Ahmad.
Aarhus, Denmark will host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships and for Azad-Ahmad the preparations are well underway, “The ISAF Worlds in 2014 have inspired us in Aarhus to work even harder to prepare for the 2018. In 2017 we will be the European Capital of Culture. The theme is ‘rethink’. I hope that we together can rethink the future of sailing. We are looking forward to welcoming you in our new and rethought part of the city with a new sailing centre.
“It is my hope that Aarhus in 2018 will have come from being the European Capital of Culture to being the world capital of sailing.”
The second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is situated on the eastern side of the peninsula of Jutland. With a history extending back to the Viking Age, Aarhus has sailing imprinted in its DNA.
The competition venue will be established at a new Aarhus International Sailing Centre in Aarhus Yachting Harbour. Easily accessible and within walking distance of downtown Aarhus, the area is a favourite destination for residents and tourists alike who enjoy the restaurants and shops as well as clean bathing waters, fishing and fresh air.
Aarhus has welcomed several world class sailing events in recent years including the 2008 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, 2010 505 World Championship, 2011 A-Cat World Championship and the 2013 49er and 49erFX European Championships.