The world's top ranked sailors have been invited to attend the penultimate and final events of the Sailing World Cup series in Qingdao, China and Melbourne, Australia.
The top 30 sailors in World Sailing's Fleet Racing Rankings on Monday 13 June have been invited to attend Sailing World Cup Qingdao with the top 20 racers receiving invitations to the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne.
Qingdao, China, venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, will host the fifth regatta of the 2016 Sailing World Cup series for the fourth consecutive year with 150,000 EUR in prize money for up grabs. In its history, Qingdao has welcomed sailors from more than 40 nations, seen sailors qualify for the Olympic Games and delivered some exciting competition for the finest athletes in the world.
Racing across the ten Olympic fleets will commence on Wednesday 21 September with the Medal Races drawing the event to a close on Sunday 25 September. After that, attention turns to Melbourne and the climax of the Sailing World Cup from 4-11 December.
The Sailing World Cup Final will be held in the aftermath of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sailors will race out of St Kilda's Sailing Precinct on Port Phillip in the ten Olympic fleets, Open Kiteboarding and the 2.4 Norlin One Design, a Paralympic event, in a bid to be crowned 2016 Sailing World Cup Champion.
Held in Australia's sporting capital, Melbourne, each Olympic and 2.4 Norlin OD Paralympic medallist at the Rio 2016 Games will receive a travel grant to attend as well as logistical support provided by World Sailing. The $200,000 AUD prize fund will be shared across the events, adding an extra spice to what already is set to be a highly charged competition.
The 2016 Sailing World Cup Final will be the climax of a yearlong series. The first event took place in Melbourne before a stop in Miami, USA at the end of January and Hyères, France in April. Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland followed at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing venue before the penultimate event, Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing