World Sailing has announced that its 2017 World Cup Final will take place in the Spanish city of Santander, while the 2018 event has been awarded to Kiel in Germany.
The 2017 final will take place from June 4-11 and serve as the climax to a shortened series that also features events in the US city of Miami, and Hyeres in France. Miami will host the opening round from January 22-29, before the series head to Hyeres from April 23-30.
Santander hosted the most recent edition of the World Sailing Championships in 2014, with the event on the Bay of Biscay and Bay of Santander attracting more than 1,000 competitors and 400,000 spectators.
Kiel is known across the professional sailing market as host of the Kieler-Woche regatta. Dates for the 2018 final are yet to be confirmed by World Sailing, but the series-ending meeting will take place in June or July of 2018, preceded by events in Gamagori, Japan, in October 2017, Miami in January 2018 and Hyeres in May.
Carlo Croce, president of World Sailing, said: “Both Santander and Kiel offer excellent sailing conditions and the opportunity to excite sailing with the public attending each event and through digital media. Both venues have the Sailing World Cup vision at their heart and will provide the world's best sailors with a great opportunity to showcase our sport.”
Confirmation of the host cities comes after World Sailing in September unveiled plans to overhaul the series, with the next cycle commencing on the road to the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. World Sailing said that the Series will continue to showcase and develop Olympic sailing, as well as remain a key part of a sailor’s Olympic campaign and integrate Para World Sailing.
As part of the revamp, from the 2017-18 series, the Sailing World Cup will run from October to July every year, incorporating three rounds and a European Final, with sailors required to compete in each round of the series in order to qualify for the final event.
Miami was handed January events from 2017 through to 2020, with Hyeres guaranteed rounds in 2017 and 2018. Japan will host an event in October from 2017 through to 2019, before staging the final in 2020 ahead of the summer Olympic Games in the country’s capital of Tokyo.
Hosting rights for the 2018-19 World Cup final are yet to be assigned.