World Sailing has awarded hosting rights for its 2017 Youth World Championships to Sanya in China following the conclusion of a fresh bidding process for the event.
The Championships will be held on the waters off Hainan Island from December 9-16 and are expected to feature more than 400 sailors from over 60 nations. Sanya replaces the Israeli city of Akko as host of the event after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) withdrew its rights in November.
Akko’s event had been due to take place in July but the ISA was able to exercise the right to withdraw from hosting the Championships as a final contract had not been concluded.
Sanya was one of three cities that bid to replace Akko as host of this year’s event, alongside Mar del Plata in Argentina and Melbourne, Australia. The Youth Worlds Evaluation Panel made the recommendation of Sanya to World Sailing’s board of directors, who approved the selection.
“Sanya is an ambitious host city and has exceptional experience of running world-class sailing events and welcoming international visitors,” World Sailing president Kim Andersen said. “We're excited about working with the Sanya organising authority over the coming months to deliver the event.
“World Sailing received an excellent response from the community when the process to select a 2017 venue was reopened and I thank all of our members who submitted an interest in hosting.”
World Sailing was also forced to reassign hosting rights for its 2016 Youth World Championships from Oman to New Zealand, with Auckland eventually hosting last year's event from December 14-20. Reasons for Oman’s withdrawal were not explicitly confirmed, but in its statement on the matter the sport’s global governing body noted the publication of the World Sailing statement on Discrimination on January 13 last year.
The decision to award Sanya hosting rights to the 2017 Youth World Championships comes after the city last week agreed a deal to become a first-time host port and team partner for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The agreement covers the 2017-18 and 2019-20 editions of the biennial sailing event, with Sanya set to host a Clipper Race in the first quarter of 2018, and again in 2020, as part of the competition’s Asia Pacific leg. Race organisers said Sanya, China’s southernmost city, has made a multi-million dollar commitment to the organisation.
Sanya also hosted stopovers on the 2011-12 and 2014-15 (pictured) editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.