Weymouth and Portland International Regatta – The Olympic Test Event

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy aerial view
© Dorset Police 2011
Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is being held from 31 July to 13 August 2011 and is the London 2012 Olympic Test Event.

The regatta is part of the London Prepares Series and allows the London 2012 Organizing Committee (LOCOG) to test its operations at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy one year ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is organized by LOCOG and ISAF and all of the Olympic sailing events will be contested with nations following games time rules where only one athlete per event is allowed.

Throughout the regatta the venue, systems, equipment, workforce and procedures will all be tested to ensure that they are up to the high standards required to host an Olympic Sailing Competition.

Alastair Fox, ISAF Events Manager, said, 'The Olympic Test Event offers a great opportunity for sailors, coaches and support staff from nations around the world to experience the sailing conditions and gain an understanding of the venue. Volunteers from the UK and around the world will all have a chance to train and learn together during the Olympic Test Event and ensure that everything is in place for the sailing events of the London 2012 Olympic Games.'

The main emphasis of the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is to test the technical aspects of holding an Olympic Sailing Competition. ISAF has appointed 65 International Technical Officials (ITOs) from around the world who will travel to Weymouth to work with more than 150 National Technical Officials (NTOs) to fine tune their activities from equipment inspection and race management to mark laying and umpiring as the clock ticks down with less than one year to go.

As well as the team of hardworking officials appointed by ISAF there will be a number of volunteers selected by LOCOG on hand to support staff to ensure the Test Event runs as smoothly as possible.

International journalists and photographers will also travel to Weymouth to gain valuable knowledge of the racing conditions, find their way around the venue and to prepare their media output for 2012. Around 250 members of the media are expected at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta and this number will double in size come this time next year. So while some aspects of the media process will be tested this year, come Games time we will see a much greater media process in action with live TV, blogging, tracking and a whole host of other forms of communication.

Throughout the regatta Swiss Timing will be testing their event timing and scoring data systems to ensure it is robust and reliable and can deliver to the accuracy that the Olympics will demand.

During London 2012 the Athletes Village will be based at the Osprey Quay residential development. Athletes at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta will not be housed at the Athletes Village with sailors anticipated to stay locally, as they would for other sailing regattas, but they will have the opportunity to take a tour of the Village for a preview of the facilities that will be available in 2012.

For the first time in sailing's long and prestigious Olympic history the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition will be ticketed allowing spectators to view the action from the Nothe Fort and Gardens. The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta will not be a ticketed event but will be a great opportunity for visitors to view the action from various vantage points around Weymouth and on the Nothe.

ISAF website