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Abu Dhabi uses world stage to inspire young UAE sailors

Moves to draw a new generation of young Emiratis into sailing and steer the UAE's brightest young talent towards the top level are being boosted by the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi this week.

The climax to the World Cup series has brought an illustrious gathering of elite sailors to the UAE capital to battle for gold medals, a prospect which can inspire dozens of school children rubbing shoulders with the sport's best athletes.

Regatta hosts Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club (ADSYC) and ISAF, the International Sailing Federation, are using the World Cup stage to build for the future with the support of ADS Securities and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

This afternoon (Tuesday), a group of World Cup qualifiers joined teams of young optimist sailors from ADSYC, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Emirates Heritage Club and Abu Dhabi Sailing Club (ADSC) as they competed against other in a round robin series of races.

Meanwhile, in a move which reflects the true spirit of sailing camaraderie, ADSC has relocated its entire sailing school activities to the World Cup venue this week in order to reinforce Abu Dhabi's grass roots initiative.

Each day up until Saturday young sailors getting to know the sport will undergo extensive instruction using six Optimist boats and six Laser 4.7s. At the same time, ADSYC and ISAF will be conducting daily coaching sessions for the host club's own team of young Emirati laser sailors.

Sailing enthusiasts and others interested in getting to know more about the sport will equally find ADSYC a friendly and receptive host this week, with four days of racing starting at 12 noon on Thursday following the previous evening's official opening ceremony at the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

They will all have opportunities to meet and observe defending World Cup champions and gold medal hopefuls preparing for competition, and go out on to the water themselves on spectator boats for a close-up view of race action.

Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in the 470 class, Belgium's Evi Van Acker in the Laser Radials, Austria's Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar in the women's 470s, Britain's Bryony Shaw in the women's RS:X class, and fellow countryman Oliver Bridge in the open kiteboard competition, are among those defending their World Cup titles in Abu Dhabi.

Courtesy of Abu Dhabi-based Pindar Sailing, a special spectator attraction at ADSYC will be the majestic Volvo 60 Etihad Towers, the powerful racing yacht designed specifically for the purpose of around the world ocean racing.

Normally available for charter, the boat will welcome aboard spectators keen to take a look around one of the world's fastest 60-foot racing machines which will also be used for a few trips out to the World Cup final race courses.

More event details can be found at





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