Inaugural Olympic Qualification Event in Africa

 

470 African Qualifiers. pic by Trevor Wilkins

470 African Qualifiers.
pic by Trevor Wilkins

470 African Qualifiers. pic by Trevor Wilkins

470 African Qualifiers.
pic by Trevor Wilkins

South African Sailing (SAS) and the International 470 Class Association are proud to be hosting the first ever 470 Class Open African Championships to be held in Cape Town from 11 – 17 January 2016. The Championships will also mark the 470 Men’s African Continental Olympic Qualification Event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Western Cape Provincial Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport together with its MEC Mrs Anroux Marais, has been instrumental in bringing the event to Cape Town. In addition, the MEC has made a substantial financial grant available to South African Sailing to ensure the staging of an event of the highest international standards.

Our very own team of Olympians, Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim, have been campaigning long and hard for the Rio Olympics. While their main training base has been local, all Olympic qualifying 470 class regattas are held outside of Africa, until now!

There will be one qualification place awarded to an African nation, and with South Africa already qualified to Rio 2016, we look forward to welcoming a second African nation to the starting line at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 470 Class Open African Championships is open to African teams as well as beyond Africa, with both men and women teams invited to compete.

Part of raising the profile of sailing in Africa, and particularly South Africa, is to host an Olympic Qualifying regatta. The inaugural 470 Class Open African Championships and Rio 2016 Men’s African Continental Olympic Qualification event takes place in Cape Town from 11 – 17 January 2016 at Granger Bay, just outside the Waterfront, Cape Town. Racing commences in Table Bay on Wednesday 13th to Sunday 17th.

The 470 boat is a two-person boat, with skipper and crew, for highly competitive racing. The ten boat entries include two from Angola, one from Algeria and seven from South Africa, comprising some of the best men’s sailing talent on the continent, including the RaceAhead team of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson, who have already qualified themselves for Rio Olympics 2016.

Philip Baum, President of South African Sailing, has been a key proponent in enabling and supporting the holding of the first ever Olympic Continental Qualification Event in South Africa and first ever 470 African Championships. “This is the first time ever that a World Sailing event is being held in South Africa and only the second time such a regatta is being held in Africa. These are exciting times for the African continent!” said Baum. “Olympic competition requires representation on all six Continents. The allocation of a specific Olympic slot to each Continent to ensure as complete a global footprint as possible in Rio 2016 will be a significant spur to growing our sport in Africa. The special opportunity of hosting no fewer than five of the Olympic qualifiers on African waters is being capitalised on to highlight the sport to our government partners, national Olympic bodies, our sailors and hugely important to the people of our Continent. The support and understanding of all these stakeholders is vital for the growth, development and transformation of our sport.” – Baum

Pics by Trevor Wilkins HERE