Hong Kong to Host 2018 International 29er Class World Champs
Published: Thursday, 04 September 2014
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) has been awarded the 2018 edition of the event by the International 29er Class Association, following the recent 29er World Championship held in Ontario, Canada.
In congratulating the RHKYC, International 29er Class President Barry Johnson said, “RHKYC is a club known for its professionalism and its volunteer base both of which are integral in the running of a successful event. To say the class is excited in its decision to award such an event to Hong Kong would be an understatement.”
As an ISAF recognised one-design class and one of the few sailing disciplines where competition is not segregated on the basis of gender, the 29er is the largest asymmetric class in the world, having global appeal as a double-handed skiff with fractional spinnaker and trapeze. Youth sailors are drawn to its speed and handling, with 30 nations represented at the recent ISAF Youth Worlds in Tavira, Portugal and over 200 boats attracted to some of the international 29er regattas.
The 2018 event will represent the first time that the World Championship has been organised in Asia and it is hoped that this will encourage the development of the class in the region. Emerging 29er nations such as Thailand, India, Singapore and Japan are expected to attend, together with the more established fleets.
Hong Kong representative for the International 29er Class, Mei Han Cheung, predicted a surge in interest in the class, saying, “It is very exciting that Hong Kong will be the first Asian city to stage the 29er World Championships in 2018. It will be a milestone for 29er sailing in Hong Kong and Asia, and a target for the local youth sailors to strive for.”
RHKYC Commodore, Mark Whitehead felt that the Club would be ideally placed to host such a prestigious youth sailing event, having already built up a valuable reservoir of experience from organising the Flying Fifteen and Etchells World Championships in 2013 and 2015 respectively. "All at RHKYC are delighted to have the honour and privilege to host the 2018 29er Worlds, my only regret is that age and lack of agility (ability) prevent me from competing. It will be a great event" he said.