More Weather

Class
Match 16 Races More...
49er 16 Races More...
RSXM 11 Races More...
RSXW 11 Races More...
Finn 11 Races More...
Radial 11 Races More...
Laser 11 Races More...
470M 11 Races More...
470W 11 Races More...
Star 11 Races More...
2.4m 10 Races More...
Skud 10 Races More...
Sonar 10 Races More...

10 minutes with RYA Competitions Manager Tim Hall

Tim Hall is the RYA Competitions Manager, having stepped into the role earlier this year. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on what makes Skandia Sail for Gold such an important event on the international sailing calendar, and how people can get involved.

What differentiates Skandia Sail for Gold from other ISAF World Cup Events?
The obvious thing at the moment is that Skandia Sail for Gold (SSFG) takes place at the Olympic venue, so that is very attractive for sailors from all over the world, who understandably want to take the opportunity to sail at the Olympic venue. But leading on from that, we feel that SSFG is recognised in its own right as a great regatta, we want sailors to enjoy our event so that they will want to come back in the future and beyond the Olympics.

What do you think attracted sailors to SSFG?
I think Weymouth and Portland offers great sailing waters. Sailors have the use of Portland Harbour as well as Weymouth Bay so geographically speaking it is a great sailing area.

I also think the shore side facilities are excellent, which has obviously been helped by the Olympic legacy. The Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy which hosts SSFG was the first Olympic venue to be completed for 2012 and we have been taking advantage of that over the last couple of years and will continue to after the Games

I also think what the Royal Yachting Association and UK Sport bring to the table, in terms of expertise and funding, makes a huge difference to SSFG. We work really hard to ensure we have an experienced shore support team, with the structure of our management, from the volunteers to the registration team, and that we have good links with the race management team. It is a huge job to find all the right people for those jobs so that we can be sure we are going to deliver good racing. SSFG can provide a good experience on the shore, good sailing and really good race management, and we aim to do all those things for the sailors

How do you think SSFG is perceived within the sailing community?

I think Britain has a reputation as a world leading sailing nation, and I think other nations want to sail with Skandia Team GBR and so I think they expect the same level of professionalism from the events we deliver in the UK, which includes SSFG. My role in delivering SSFG is to ensure I deliver in an unbiased way to all sailors from all nations, and I hope that is what they get when they come to Britain and sail in our world class event.

Are there any classes you will be watching with particular interest at this year?s SSFG?
I think every class will be exciting in its own way. The 49ers are always exciting to watch, and on a windy day the RS:X?s can be really great to watch! The Lasers are such a big fleet; we have put a quota on it this year at 150, and the standard it going to be really high. There will be 75 boats sailing at a time and I would bet the whole fleet will still be rounding the mark within a minute or two, so it is going to be tight racing! The Paralympic classes are going to be good to watch too, the IFDS Worlds are a few weeks after SSFG so those sailors will be working towards that and trying to make a mark on these waters

How significant is SSFG this year, one year out from the Olympics?
I think most teams will be using SSFG as part of their selection process for 2012. It is going to be a tough event, and we expect standards to be high. We will be on top of our race management to ensure we deliver a great event for the sailors ? we want to ensure we make their lives as easy as we can and delivery them a great event so they can get their best out of the event and concentrate on their results.

All the teams have been building over the last few years and using every opportunity to show what they are about - it will still be a case of when the crunch comes, who can deal under the pressure

What are the main event aims?
Our primary aim is to delivery a great sailing regatta, but second to that, we want to make sure the event is sustainable long term, and ensure people see SSFG as the UK?s annual Olympic classes? regatta.

We want to make sure people locally know about it and get involved, and also to make sure the tourists who come to Weymouth know what is going on. We are using Sail for Gold Radio and anyone can tune in and listen to what is going on and hopefully people within the Town of Weymouth and Portland will really engage with the event and feel part of it.

How can people get involved?
I think it is important that the public know they can come along and see the event first hand. People can register on the website for tickets, although there is no charge, and we would love it if people wanted to come along and be involved and get a feel for the event and what is going on. We are also aiming to engage with a global audience so those that cant make it to the event can still follow what is happening We are going to have live tracking of the boats form the water and people can also follow our live blog, so even if your not in the area you can still be part of the event.

In 2010 Bournemouth University produced a Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta event report. They spoke to people on site from competitors to coaches, volunteers to officials, and spectators to media. We will shortly be releasing some of the results from this report which demonstrates the impact of the event on the local Weymouh and Portland community.

Article Author OnEdition 6/5/2011 10:49

Photo OnEdition

Enter Now

Newsletter

For all the latest news sign up here with your email address:

If you already have entered you can login to retrieve your details and manage your entry, using details emailed when you entered.