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World Sailing announces hosts of the new format 2026-2027 World Sailing Championships

by World Sailing 6 Jun 19:51 BST
Marina Gdynia, host venue for the two-person events © World Sailing

World Sailing has selected the cities of Valencia in Spain and Gdynia in Poland to host the 2026-2027 World Sailing Championships as the event moves to a split format for the first time.

Real Club Náutico Valencia (RCNV) will stage the one-person events while Marina Gdynia will be the host venue for the two-person events. The championships will serve as the first Olympic qualifier for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. In addition, both venues will stage Para Inclusive sailing events furthering World Sailing's commitment to Para Inclusive sailing following the incorporation of Para events in the quadrennial event for the first time in 2023.

Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, will host in the summer of 2026. It is known as a year-round training destination and the RCNV has a long history of hosting major international competitions, including the 32nd and 33rd editions of The America's Cup, world championships in 29er, Swan, Snipe, Formula 40 and 420 classes.

The RCNV, which has been promoting sailing activities since 1903, holds an Olympic Week every year as well as two of the biggest international sailing events in Spain, the Trofeo de SM La Reina cruising sailing competition, and Optiorange, which brings together 550 small Optimist sailors from 30 different countries. The club aspires to become the world's first fixed regatta base for dinghy sailing and to support the growth of the sport in the city ahead of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

The city of Gdynia will host in the summer of 2027 as the culmination of its centenary celebrations as 'Poland's window to the world.' Standing on the northern coast of Poland, Gdynia is a port city with a rich maritime history and a growing reputation as a sailing destination.

Together, Gdynia and the PYA have been developing the annual international Gdynia Sailing Days festival linking sport tourism and business for 25 years. Every year, the World and European Championships of Olympic and international classes are included in the festival. Hosting the World Sailing Championships will accelerate Gdynia's growth as the capital of Polish sailing and provide the impetus for a Sailing Academy in the city.

Selected from six formal bids, both cities have fully embraced the principles outlined in World Sailing's Olympic Vision to deliver the World Sailing Championships and will host a Test Event up to 12 months prior to the championships. Gdynia and Valencia will also deliver a full edition of World Sailing's Emerging Nations Program.

Quanhai Li, World Sailing President, said, "We are delighted to award the World Sailing Championships to the cities of Valencia and Gdynia. The new format will help to grow the sport and allows sailors to compete in the most suitable conditions for their event, while also proving more efficient and sustainable for host venues. With six strong bids to host the event, I am grateful to the sailing community for their support for this great event. The facilities at both venues are exceptional with plans in place to further enhance the field of play ahead of the championships. We are looking forward to an incredible World Sailing Championships in two of the world's most prestigious sailing cities."

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, added, "We received a number of proposals for these championships and all of them were of a very high quality. My appreciation goes to the cities, clubs and national federations for their interest and the considerable work they did for their tenders and presentations. The level of interest was very high and all bidders could have hosted a fantastic World Championships, so it was a difficult choice for the Evaluation Commission.

"A split championship format reflects the direction from our wider stakeholder group; the benefits of which are being seen already in that the level of interest was much higher as it reduces the financial and logistical resources required from the hosts. The proposals submitted by the cities of Valencia and Gdynia were excellent, they were 'sailors first' with a significant commitment to quality of competition, Para sailing and sustainability."

Marisa Arlandis, President of the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, said: "We are very happy to receive this great news about the selection of the city of Valencia and our club to host this major international event prior to the 2028 Olympic Games. The World Sailing Championships will further develop our reputation for hosting amazing sailing events - from the grassroots to the elite level.

"We have a radical and far-reaching ambition to support the development of sailing at a national and international level. Yacht clubs are the sports centres of the sea, and we do great work that is not seen except on these occasions through these great events. Many thanks to the committee that selected us and thanks to World Sailing for trusting Valencia and the Real Club Náutico de Valencia."

Tomasz Chamera, president of the Polish Sailing Association, said: "This is an event whose impact will be visible on many levels in the coming years. We want to show the beauty of our sport to the world. The World Sailing Championships will bring media interest from an international audience with the potential to reach millions of TV and online viewers on every continent.

"Sailors, hundreds of journalists and tourists from all over the world will come to Poland to follow the championships and to admire the beauty of our country on the shores of the Baltic.

"We believe that the World Sailing Championships will be the biggest sporting event in history of Gdynia and will be a driving force for the further development of sailing, the city, region and the country."

Slawomir Nitras, Minister of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland, said: "I'd like to congratulate everyone who effectively contributed to the bidding process bringing the World Sailing Championships to Gdynia, Poland. My appreciation to World Sailing for its decision. Sailing has been developing intensively in our country, Polish sailors win medals in numerous international events including the Olympic Games and lots of young people are taking up the sport. The championships will be a splendid showcase for Poland, Gdynia and the Polish Yachting Association itself."

Both cities have made sustainability a high priority ahead of the World Sailing Championships with many initiatives which align with World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 already in place. This includes prioritising gender equality, recycling programs, water conservation, and utilising green energy.

Gdynia will use wind-powered power plants in the Baltic Sea and small turbine systems on site to promote and establish an Energy of Elements program in regatta zones and the marina, using eco-farms for catering requirements while partnering with local food banks to transfer surplus food to humanitarian organisations and shelters. An eSailing zone will also be set up in the Gdynia Sailing Days tents to allow visitors to try virtual sailing.

Valencia has been elected the European Green Capital 2024, highlighting the importance of sustainability and a range of initiatives already in place. Valencia also became the first city in the world to verify and certify the carbon footprint of its tourist activity and RCNV is the first club in Spain to hold the Sustainability 'S' mark of recognition by the national tourism authority.

The World Sailing Championships in Valencia will be organised in partnership with the Generalitat Valenciana, the Valencia City Council, the Valencian Sailing Federation and Spanish Sailing Federation.

The World Sailing Championships in Gdynia will be organised by Polish Yachting Association in partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland, the regional government of Pomeranian Voivodship and the City of Gdynia.

Valencia 2026:

  • Men's Kite
  • Women's Kite
  • Men's Windsurfing
  • Women's Windsurfing
  • Men's Dinghy
  • Women's Dinghy

Para Inclusive events to be confirmed.

Gdynia 2027:

  • Men's Skiff
  • Women's Skiff
  • Mixed Dinghy
  • Mixed Multihull

Para Inclusive events to be confirmed.

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