Published: Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sailors and officials were welcomed to the 2015 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao at the opening ceremony of the event (Sept 14-20).

Isaf Sailing World Cup Qingdao Opens

More than 300 sailors from 32 nations have completed registration and are ready to race out of the venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao is the fifth regatta of the 2015 series and is the final qualification regatta in the build up to the 2015 Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. Whoever wins in each fleet will book their spot on the Abu Dhabi start line and the competition is set to be fierce over four days of fleet racing and Sunday's Medal Race.

Alongside Abu Dhabi qualification spots, sailors will be aiming for a share of the 150,000 Euro prize fund as well as an ISAF Sailing World Cup medal.

For Asian sailors in the Men's and Women's 470, Finn and Nacra 17, Qingdao holds extra significance as it is the qualifier for Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Across the four fleets, sailors from China, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will all be aiming to book a Rio 2016 spot.

Isaf Sailing World Cup Qingdao Opens 1

Ahead of racing, sailors had a few final moments of relaxation at the opening ceremony and were treated to a cultural dance, traditional song from a local children's choir as well as local cuisine.

"It is the third time Qingdao has hosted an ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta and it is very important for ISAF to continue our strong relationship with the Chinese Yachting Association and the Qingdao Municipal Government,” says ISAF Technical Delegate Antonio González de la Madrid. "The Olympic Games can leave an amazing legacy within each host nation and it's excellent to see the legacy of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games lives strong here, in Qingdao, China's Sailing City.”