The State Government has secured an agreement that will ensure funding for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships - the biggest sailing event to be held in Western Australia since the 1987 America's Cup.
In a formal agreement finalised with the Federal Government at this week’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, it was confirmed that the State Government would contribute $8.8million, with the Federal Government providing $8.6million, to ensure the championships will be held in Australia for the first time.
The event, to be held in Fremantle in December 2011, is expected to attract more than 5,000 visitors and generate about $40million in direct expenditure for the State.
The event will bring together 1,420 leading international athletes in different classes of small yachts, including windsurfers, to compete in 10 individual world championships.
As part of the run-up to the event, athletes from 16 nations have participated in the first two of seven Emerging Nations Program training sessions in Perth this year. This program was one of the key initiatives that secured the event for WA.
Tourism Minister Liz Constable said the championships would give the State world-wide exposure with up to 450 interstate and international media covering the event.
“In securing this agreement on funding, we have ensured WA will be the stage for the championships which are the primary qualifying event for the London 2012 Olympic Games,” Dr Constable said.
“Sailing has always been a popular past-time for many Western Australians. We have already welcomed athletes from countries such as Chinese Taipei, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Moldova to come to experience the sport and see our State as part of the Emerging Nations Program.
“Our summer climate; excellent wind, weather and water conditions; and Fremantle’s rich sailing history makes WA a perfect location for sailing’s biggest international event.
“The championships will include celebrations and events for those in the grandstands, and large viewing screens showing all of the onshore and offshore action which will combine to create a vibrant festival atmosphere in Fremantle.”
The event will also provide many long term benefits such as the further development of the sport of sailing in Australia through the distribution of the fleet of Laser sailing boats; the establishment of a volunteer program; and training and education programs.
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