Abu Dhabi to host sailing World Cup finals

Abu Dhabi, July 18 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi will host the sailing World Cup final for the next six years, the international sailing federation (ISAF) has said here.

Ahmed Thani Al Romaithi, the chairman of the Abu Dhabi sailing and yacht club (ADSYC), said Thursday the winning bid was a major surge forward in Abu Dhabi's campaign to be recognised as an international sailing hub, reports Xinhua.

The ISAF said it was happy to promote the sport in the region.

"We have found a highly committed partner in Abu Dhabi and look forward to helping move forward the sailing ambitions of the emirate and the Arabian Gulf. This is a great opportunity for sailing as a sport," said ISAF president Carlo Croce.

The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final will take place in Abu Dhabi from November 26-30.

Around 350 sailors from 20 countries and regions are expected in Abu Dhabi to compete in all 10 Olympic events and a kite-surfing event, in and around Lulu Island off the UAE capital's corniche, said the official Abu Dhabi tourism body TCA that will work with the ISAF to host the event.

An associated deal sealed between ISAF and TCA Abu Dhabi will also see the UAE capital host the 2016 ISAF annual conference when delegates of the international sailing industry, sportsmen, sponsors and the media will discuss topics facing the sport.

The Asian Sailing Federation (ASF) has welcomed the deal as the finals in Abu Dhabi would have a "significant regional impact".

ASF presiden Malav Shroff said: "This is great news for Asian sailors aspiring to go to the Olympics as the world's best sailors will be seen in action in Asia and the Gulf Arab region."