In exactly six months’ time, the Allianz World Sailing, Kiteboarding and Windsurfing Championships will start (10 – 20 August 2023). This largest sailing tournament in Dutch history, in ten Olympic and three para-classes simultaneously, will be organised in sailing capital The Hague and for Para Sailing on the Braassemermeer. At the time of publication, 848 boats, 1,093 sailors are registered from 82 countries.
Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Grand tournament Organising the biggest sailing sports event, in the country where water sports is summer sport No 1, is unique in Dutch sports history. Participants from all over the world look forward to showcasing their skills and achievements on the North Sea. This quadrennial world championship is a crucial moment for all top sailors worldwide, as the ultimate global test of strength but also because it is an important qualification moment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Organisational feat More than 1,200 participants, 450 supervisors and 450 volunteers are expected to attend. Last summer, extensive testing has already taken place around the harbour and beaches of Scheveningen and on the North Sea, where sometimes tricky steep waves can be encountered and there is always a current. Besides these ‘test events’, the Allianz Youth World Sailing Championship in 2022 was also organised at the same location as a successful dress rehearsal.
Fan Zone During the Allianz World Sailing Championship 2023, Scheveningen will be ‘just’ up and running. This applies to the harbour, the beach and the boulevard. A day in The Hague and Scheveningen can easily be combined with a visit to the World Championships. Admission is free. Get close to the world-class athletes and be surprised with all kinds of activities in the Fan Zone on the beach. For example, children can play water sports themselves in the large, special World Championships pool. See illustration below.
Illustration of the Fan Zone on the beach in Scheveningen
The organisation is in the hands of the international sailing federation World Sailing, the Watersportverbond and TIG Sports, these parties are supported by a number of partners (Allianz, Gemeente Den Haag, Ministerie van VWS) and highly experienced race organising associations such as WV Braassemermeer, KZ & RV Hollandia, KWV De Kaag, KR & ZV De Maas, Jachtclub Scheveningen and the Royal Yacht Club Belgium.
The Hague sailing capital of the world in 2023 The Hague is a proven location for this grand tournament with a close cooperation with the Watersportverbond. In 2018, The Ocean Race finish line attracted more than 350,000 visitors and the National Top Sailing Centre has been the base and home port for the Netherlands’ top sailors for years. For the municipality, this World Cup is the icing on the cake in a ‘Summer of Sailing’ with The Ocean Race stopover two months earlier, from 11 – 15 June 2023.
Tournament director Dorian van Rijsselberghe is also looking forward to it: “How cool is this, only six months to go until this grand event, for which we have been preparing for more than two years. Under the motto ‘Bring the action’, we are looking forward to the world’s top sailors coming to Scheveningen to compete on the North Sea for world titles in ten Olympic disciplines and, of course, the three Para Sailing disciplines on the Braassemermeer. But with ‘Bring the action’, we also invite Hagenaren and Hagenezen to come and enjoy Watersports in the broadest sense of the word during the World Championships.”
Former windsurfer and two-time Olympic champion Van Rijsselberghe shares his task of tournament director with former top sailor Annemiek Bekkering. Bekkering, good for Olympic sailing bronze in Tokyo, added: “Sailing fans know: this is going to be wonderful. And we also know that sailing, surfing and kiting produce beautiful pictures, but that it is difficult to follow the nuances of the game and the race course. Therefore, as organisers, together with the Watersports Association and the international sailing federation World Sailing, we are determined to take a crack at that. And in any case, we are going to tell the stories behind these world champions in a clear and appealing way.”