Sedgefield gearing up for 2014 RS Tera World Sailing Championships

With less than a week to go to the opening of the 2014 RS Tera World Sailing Championships, Sedgefield, the ‘slow town’ of Naturally Knysna, is gearing up to host an influx of visitors from 24 July.

Bhekumuzi Hani   Wanga Mbabe   Georgou Divaris  practice downwind technique
Bhekumuzi Hani, Wanga Mbabe and Georgou Divaris practice downwind technique

According to one of the organisers, Roeléén Schofield from  N2RS, there are 61 young sailors already registered for the championships, of whom 37 are from South Africa, and the rest from participating countries including Belgium, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark and Zimbabwe. Twenty four of these young sailors are from George, Knysna and Mossel Bay Yacht Clubs including the current world champion Georgou Divaris and world bronze medallist James Hellstrom.

Says Schofield: “Our local sailors are doing final preparations and intensive training has been taking place at the venue, Pine Lake Marina. The young competitors have been assisted by local coaches Evelyn Osborne, David Shilton and Mike Pogodin who are active members of George Lakes and Knysna Yacht Clubs.  Our International sailors are preparing in their own countries but will join the pre-world training camp which starts on 24 July.”

The programme of events for the championships starts with the opening ceremony on Sunday, 27 July, with the local Sedgefield Brass Band in attendance. There are 15 races throughout the week starting on Monday 28 July, and the closing ceremony will take place on 1 August with the crowning of the world champion. On Wednesday 30 July, there will be a ‘big braai bash’ for participants and spectators with local gumboot dancers entertaining the crowd.

RS Tera is an ISAF International Class sailing dinghy popular with young sailors between the ages of 8 and 18, and currently one of the fastest growing classes of sailing dinghy in the world. Boats are split into two classes according to the size of the rig.

CEO of Knysna Tourism, Greg Vogt said that Knysna was looking forward to hosting participants and spectators at the end of the month.

“The RS Tera World Championships is another fantastic event that will focus national and international attention on the region and will help to boost the local economy in the middle of the quiet winter months.

“I am grateful to Cathy Avierinos, the main organiser of the championships who is secretary of the RSA RS Tera Class Association and vice president International of the RS Tera Class Association, for all the hard work she put into bringing the event to Sedgefield.”

Knysna Tourism marketing manager, Johan van Schalkwyk said that he and his team are excited about getting the town of Sedgefield involved with the event. “We are offering special deals from local establishments to participants and spectators, and would love to see locals supporting the event at Pine Lake Marina,” he said.

For more information about accommodation and restaurant specials in Sedgefield during the championships, visit www.visitknysna.co.za or call Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510. For the full race programme, visit www.rstera.n2rs.com.

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