World Sailing will be providing $200,000 AUD in prize money, together with travel grants for the world's best sailors at the Sailing World Cup Final, which will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 4-11 December 2016.
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.
Andy Hunt, Chief Executive Officer at World Sailing commented, “The Sailing World Cup Final will be a celebration of success following Rio 2016. The Melbourne public love their sport and they will be able to see their heroes up close and personal in St Kilda's Sailing Precinct.
“There are a few Australians touted for glory at Rio 2016 and I expect them and many of the other legends of sailing to be on the start line this December. It's going to be an event to remember.”
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 follows at the start of June before the penultimate event, Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
In addition to today's announcement, the dates for the 2016 Sailing World Cup Qingdao have been changed from 10-16 October to 19-25 September.
The change comes following a clash with Enoshima Olympic Week, set to be held during the original October dates.
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. 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 some of 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.
By Daniel Smith, World Sailing