by Craig Heydon
With preparations still being made for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Australian sailing fans prepare to take over an iconic pub on the south-west coast of England.
The Australian Sailing Team at the Cove House Inn
The Cove House Inn in Portland, within walking distance of the sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, will become a home away from home for the Australian Sailing Team during July and August 2012.
The venue will be set up as a meeting point for Australian sailing fans, family and friends of the competing athletes and media.
With the sailing competition at the Games taking place three hours south-west of London the Australian Sailing Team’s base at the Cove House Inn will provide traveling spectators with a base in the heart of the action.
The Cove House Inn is a unique venue, overlooking Chesil Beach on the island of Portland and featuring plenty of entertaining space outdoors and an intimate indoor setting and is set to draw in Australians during the two week event.
Australian Sailing Team High Performance Director Peter Conde said that the venue will be an ideal meeting point for Australians throughout the Games.
'In partnering with the Cove House Inn we wanted to create a bit of Australia in Portland, a home away from home for traveling Australians and I think we’ll certainly achieve that,' he said. 'We want as many sailing fans as possible to make themselves at home there during the event and we’ll be giving the venue a real Australian feel.
'We also want our athletes to have a venue where they can meet up with their families and friends within walking distance of the competition venue and the athlete village,' said Conde. 'The Australian Sailing Team has spent a lot of time in and around Weymouth and Portland over the last three years and the athletes feel at home there now and the Cove House Inn has become a favourite for the team since we started traveling to England on mass for the ISAF Sailing World Cup round in 2009.'
The Cove House Inn Portland
The Cove House Inn will have bands playing on a number of nights throughout the two weeks, an Australian flavoured menu and competitions.
The Australian Sailing Team officially launched the partnership at a function at the Cove House Inn on Saturday evening, with the team having made their way to England for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is an important event for the team with it designed to replicate the conditions that the sailors will face during the Games as closely as possible, including allowing just one crew per class per nation.
Racing begins with the Women’s Match Racing competition on Tuesday 2 August and concludes with the 49er, Finn and Star class medal races on Saturday 13 August.
Australian Sailing Team website