Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, will be available for interview on press day, 11th January 2008, at the Collins Stewart London Boat Show, Excel. Mark will be available for interview on the following topics:

WPNSA’s Olympic development – it will be the first Olympic venue to be ready in time for 201
WPNSA’s community sailing programmes
WPNSA’s sustainability commitments
WPNSA’s environmental policies
What the 2012 Olympics will mean for the Dorset Region
2008 events at the Academy

Please contact Helena Searcaigh at Fast Track Sailing for all interview requests: Helena.searcaigh@fastracksailing.com or 07870 565 394.

Come and visit the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), host sailing venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, at the Dinghy Sailing Show, Crystal Palace on the 1 and 2 March 2008.

The Academy provides a training and event facility for the local community and beyond. Having chosen the Academy as the home for the new Laser Sailing Centre, SailLaser offer a comprehensive range of RYA approved courses, using video tuition to ensure you get the best training possible. You can choose from Laser ‘Guru’ specialist training courses, corporate events and individual tuition, and can even train to become an RYA instructor yourself!

The Academy site has been developed to take advantage of some of the best sailing waters in the World. The combination of clean winds, sheltered waters and weak tides in Portland Harbour and the more challenging conditions of Weymouth Bay, provides race areas to suit all classes. The purpose-built facility is an unrivalled venue for competitions and boasts excellent facilities, with logistical and management expertise to match.

From 2009, the Academy will begin gearing up for the 2012 Olympics, with international test events booked in for summer 2010 and 011. As a result it is important for all dinghy classes and associations wishing to book an event at the Academy during 2009 and beyond to immediately contact Rosie Julian, Events and Marketing Manager:

Tel +44 (0)1305 866 000
Email rosie.julian@www.wpnsa.org.uk

Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy comments; “We are very much looking forward to the Dinghy Show 2008. It will be a great opportunity to showcase the first Olympic venue to be ready in time for 2012 and tell people a little more about the courses and event facilities we offer.”

Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is available for interview during the show on the following subjects

- The Academy’s Olympic development – it will be the first Olympic venue to be ready in time for 2012- The Academy’s community sailing programmes

Please contact Helena Searcaigh at Fast Track Sailing for all interview requests. Helena.searcaigh@fastracksailing.com or 07870 565 394.

2007 saw a busy and successful year of events at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, including the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (with 230 boats in action), The BUSA University Championships (over 140 boats), the National Match Racing Championships, the Optimist National Championships (400 participants), the Laser National Championships (nearly 300 competitors) and the Laser SB3 European Championships (80 boats).

From 2010, the Academy will begin gearing up for the 2012 Olympics, with international test events booked in for short periods in the summer of 2010 and 2011. These are likely to be “sole occupancy” events and, as a result it is important for all dinghy, sports boat, keel boat or windsurfing classes / associations wishing to book an event at the Academy during 2009 and beyond to contact Rosie Julian, Events and Marketing Manager at WPNSA as soon as possible to avoid disappointment:
Tel +44 (0)1305 866 000
Email rosie.julian@www.wpnsa.org.uk

The Academy site has been developed to take advantage of some of the best sailing waters in the World. The combination of clean winds, sheltered waters and weak tides in Portland Harbour and the more challenging conditions of Weymouth Bay, provides race areas to suit all classes.

The purpose-built facility, set in the centre of the World Heritage Coast, provides an unrivalled venue for competitions. Perfectly equipped to host a range of regattas, it boasts excellent facilities with logistical and management expertise to match. Spring 2008 will see the Academy undergo further development to its already impressive facilities. Funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority, the works will include new slipways, increased boat storage facilities, a new crane pier with two extra cranes and a Marina capable of accommodating 65 boats of up to 15 metres in length. A further 55 berths will be available in the Dean & Reddyhoff Portland Marina, which will also be available from the end of 2008. This significant building work is being undertaken with the express aim of avoiding any disruption to the Academy’s event season in 2008.

Rosie Julian comments, “As a world class sailing venue, the Academy has all the essential elements in place to host international or national events catering for all class sizes from small dinghies to keel boats. The Academy is a very popular location for events due to its natural resources and its reputation has been further enhanced by its being chosen as the sailing venue for the 2012 Olympics. Although we still have some event availability during July and August 2008, we are expecting interest to increase significantly in the ead up to the Games in 2012, so I would urge anyone responsible for booking events for their class associations to make contact with us sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.”

A new winter sailing club for children is being set up at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The initiative is coordinated through Tony Wood (OnBoard Officer/Community Sailing Coach for the Weymouth area) and Sail Laser.

The new, reduced-rate club will run fortnightly throughout the winter months, every second Saturday morning at the Sail Laser centre at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Courses will run from 10:00–12:00 and all ages and abilities will be welcome. The cost is just £5 per session and the next course will be held on Saturday 1st December.

Matt Bridge, Centre Manager at Sail Laser, comments; “We are delighted to be involved with this new winter club and are sure that it will prove to be very popular. Sail Laser runs various community sailing courses at the Academy and we are committed to helping more local youngsters get involved with sailing. Our team of highly professional, friendly, RYA trained instructors have lots of experience of working with children, ensuring that they receive the highest possible level of tuition.”

But it’s not just the children who will be picking up new skills. Tony is also organising some sail and powerboat training for volunteers who would like to help out with the sessions. The training will run for two hours after each course.

Tony comments; “The idea is that those who can spare some time to assist with the sailing club will be able have some fun of their own, learning new skills on the water. The use of equipment has been agreed with Sail Laser and the training will be free! So if you fancy some time out on the water helping young people, please get in contact with me. Access and affordability are often barriers to sailing, so any time that you could spare will be most appreciated as it helps to drive down the costs of the courses for the children.” Tony’s post of Community Sailing Coach is funded by Active Dorset who aim to involve as many people as possible in sailing and other sporting activities.

Rosie Julian, Events and Marketing Manager at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy adds; “This is a fantastic opportunity for local youngsters to receive top level sailing tuition at the future venue of the 2012 Olympic sailing events! The children will also be able to take advantage of our great facilities here at the Academy, including the spacious changing rooms with showers. Parents can watch the action on the water from the comfort of our indoor viewing area and Spinnakers restaurant which overlooks the bay.”

To book a place on the course, please contact Matt Bridge at Sail Laser: matt.bridge@sail-laser.com or 0845 337 3214
To find out about becoming a volunteer, please contact Tony Wood: tony_wood@weymouth.ac.uk or 07702 779618

Like many coastal areas, Weymouth and Portland has its fair share of youngsters ‘not in education and not in employment’. As part of a strategy to meet this challenge, an initiative called “Entry to Employment (e2e)”, run by Weymouth College, has been established to provide an avenue for these youngsters to access local work schemes through a wide ranging education program. As part of the college’s curriculum for Sailing and Marine Studies, it was decided to introduce a sailing and watersports e2e course, to be run out of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in association with Sail Laser.
The e2e programme, developed by Holly Henderson, Sailing Curriculum Development Officer, is an eighteen-week course based around sailing and watersports for young people aged 16-18. The course provides a combination of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating, and adult skills qualifications. The course developed aims to increase personal and social skills and the employment potential of its students as well as to improve literacy and numeracy levels.

Critical to the success of the course is the built-in element of work experience for the students. The course provides important opportunities to gain work experience with companies such as Sail Laser; Windtek; the Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre; GB Yachting; and Portland Marine Training. In addition, with the course being run at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, there are opportunities for the students to gain event experience during major international sailing events such as the Sail for Gold Regatta and Weymouth Speed Week.
Progression routes for the students after they finish the course are varied. Weymouth College has developed links with local providers so the students can enter employment locally. Weymouth College is also running BTECs at Level 1 (Introductory), Level 2 (First) and Level 3 (National) in Sailing and Watersports, as such students have the opportunity to re-enter education.

Dr Henderson comments, “The prospectus has just been published for the September 08 courses which will expand on the ones we currently run. We will be offering BTEC levels 1,2 and 3 in Sport (Sailing and Watersports) and as well as two further foundation degrees – one in Sports Performance and one in Marine Leisure. It is natural progression for Weymouth College to increase its portfolio of sailing and marine courses. The ongoing curriculum development of Further Education and Higher Education programmes is essential and the opportunities for students who choose to enroll on our courses are phenomenal given the continued developments here at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Osprey Quay and the Borough. It is really fantastic that these youngsters who otherwise may not have had access to employment or training schemes, now have the chance to participate in them.”

Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of WPNSA adds, “It is fantastic that we are able to provide the facilities for these young people to help them with their personal development. It shows, once again, that here at the Academy we cater for individuals across the social spectrum.”

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was recently the venue for a party to celebrate the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Frank and Jeny Newton. Held in Spinnakers Restaurant, with fantastic views across Portland Harbour and Dorset’s Heritage Coast, the event was attended by many local people who have been involved with Frank & Jeny on race management, and also people from Silverstone in Northampton where Frank was the official Race Doctor until very recently. Also attending was Jim Saltanstall, another celebrity from the sailing world, who represented the Royal Yachting Association, and friends from Frank’s involvement with British Athletics – Frank and Jeny have traveled the world supporting numerous athletics events over the past 20 years.

Frank is a Founder Director of WPNSA and has been actively involved in the development of the world-class sailing facility in the area for over 30 years, from the very beginning when the planned site was where the current Pavilion developments are taking place. Frank is a renowned International Race Officer and had officiated as Principle Race Officer for many major international and national championships over the years including the British Olympic Trials (1996), Finn Gold Cup (2000), 29er World Championships (2006) and the SB3 European Championships (2007).

He has contributed hugely to the sailing world not just in Dorset, where he has worked with WPNSA and all the Yacht Clubs of Weymouth, but also throughout the UK and worldwide. The RYA paid tribute to this in 1996 by awarding him the RYA Award for Distinguished Services to Yachting – one of the institution’s highest possible accolades.

Paralympian Helena Lucas will be training hard at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the next three weeks. Helena a 2.4mR sailor, will be looking to perfect her technique on the water in the run up to the 2008 Olympics Games in Bejing.

The Academy building provides world class facilities for users, including those with disabilities and exceeds the standards required by the Disability Discrimination Act.

Helena comments; “I love training in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour as they offer a wide range of sailing conditions. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is an unbeatable venue for disabled sailors with new, purpose built, facilities. For example, there are disabled access hoists on the pontoons, providing the safest access to tidal waters for people with disabilities anywhere in the UK. I don’t know of any other sailing venue where the needs of sailors of all abilities are so well catered for.”

Some 300 sailors invaded Weymouth over the weekend (3-4 November), all hoping to walk away with the first BUSA (British University Sports Association) points of the season.

For the second year in a row Southampton University sailors thrived in the light winds to retain the Team Trophy. Their winning combination came from Ian Dobson and Katie Restall (RS200) who reclaimed their championship title in the Handicap fleet, narrowly beating team mates Jo Brigg and Lizz Willows (RS200) into second place, while Matt Findlay and Joanne Bailey came second in the Firefly class.

However Southampton were pushed all the way for the title, wins in the Laser (Nick Thompson) and Firefly (Tom Mallindine and Pete Matthews) fleets taking Exeter University within a point of the trophy. 2007 ISAF Youth Worlds silver medallists Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth did their best to put the Devon university in the ascendancy but they were unable to break up the dominance of the RS200s at the top of the Handicap fleet and were forced to settle for fourth place resulting in team victory for Southampton.

The Laser 2 Fleet saw some close racing with Pete Williams and David Kness from Surrey University keen to go one better than their second place last year. However, despite Surrey’s Lead overnight, the Brunel pair of Piers Arnold and Emanuel Koechert surprised the fleet on Sunday by scoring three bullets and clinching the title.

Sailors in the Handicap and Firefly fleets saw racing interrupted on Saturday afternoon after a pod of dolphins appeared in the harbour between the boats and their next mark!

Students will now be turning their focus to Team Racing with the Qualifiers for the Team Racing Championships due to take place throughout the country on the 2-3 February 2008.

Results in Brief:

Laser
1 st Nick Thompson Exeter 5 points
2 nd Dyfrig Mon Swansea 10 points
3 rd Sean Evans Swansea 12 points

Laser 2
1 st Piers Arnold/Emanuel Koechert Brunel 5 points
2 nd Pete Williams/David Kness Surrey 11 points
3 rd James Perry/Christopher Williams Birmingham 14 points

Firefly
1 st Tom Mallindine/Pete Matthews Exeter 4 points
2 nd Matt Findlay/Joanne Bailey Southampton 9 points
3 rd Matt Pinner/Ali Haylett Bristol 10 points

Handicap
1st Ian Dobson/ Katie Restall Southampton 9 points
2 nd Jo Brigg/Lizz Willows Southampton 19 points
3 rd Sam Littlejohn/Emma Hayward Bath 19 points

Team
1 st Southampton 5 points
2 nd Exeter 6 points
3 rd Brunel 15 points

Six British endurance athletes expect to spend Christmas in the Atlantic Ocean – as they attempt to smash the longest-standing record in ocean rowing.

The six – Simon Chalk, Guy Lavender, Ben Thackway, George Oliver, Mike Martin and Ian Couch – will formally announce details of their world record attempt on Friday (2nd November) at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Their epic bid will start a month later when they set off from the Canary Islands in their specially built, high-tech ocean rowing boat – the Oyster Shack Ocean Challenger.

“We will announce the record attempt on Friday and give people a chance to view the boat and hear from the crew who are undertaking this all-British attempt to break the record for the fastest unsupported rowing crossing of the Atlantic,” said Guy Lavender.

“On the 2nd December, the six of us will set out to smash the current World Record of 35 days which was set back in 1992 by a French team and is the most sought-after and longest standing record in ocean rowing. Over the last few months, we have been making final preparations to the revolutionary carbon fibre ocean rowing boat which has been designed and constructed by some of the finest boat builders in the country, based here in South West England. We have also assembled a team with a unique blend of skills, fitness and determination to have a real chance of success. People will be able to track our journey, support us and communicate with us via our website which we will launch next week at www.atlanticsix.com . We are rowing to raise funds for our chosen charity, WaterAid,” said Guy.

During the record attempt there will be 3 men rowing at any one time and 3 trying to get some rest. The boat will be stocked with all of their provisions for the duration of the crossing because they will not be allowed the slightest help during the record attempt.

“Despite the risks of rowing an ocean, we have prepared really well for this attempt; the boat carries a wide range of safety equipment and we have undergone a number of demanding training courses, so we are very happy with the safety aspects of the row,” said Guy.

The purpose-built Oyster Shack Challenger was designed by Simon Chalk, a world-renowned ocean-rower and was built in Devon where it is undergoing final preparations.

Mark Stubbings, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was on hand during today’s launch, commenting; “As an Olympic venue, we work very closely with Guy (Lavender, South West England Director for the 2012 Games ) to ensure that the South West maximises the potential from the Olympics in terms of economic and sustainable benefits. All of us here at the Academy are right behind the team and wish them the best of luck in their challenge!”

Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah Ayton has chosen the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy as her UK training venue this week. Sarah is gearing up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she hopes to retain her Gold Medal in the Yngling Class. Sarah has been training with her coach Paul Brotherton, himself a former Olympic Sailor.

Sarah comments; “In my mind, Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are the finest sailing areas in the UK , I like the combination of a sheltered harbour and more challenging meteorological and tidal conditions out in the bay. With the development of the new purpose built, on-shore facilities at the Academy, it’s in an unbeatable place to train, what ever your level. I am looking forward to more concentrated coaching sessions at this venue . ”

Paul Brotherton adds; “People tend to forget the hard work that athletes like Sarah put in with their coaches on a day to day basis away from the cameras. Training for the Olympics requires a very tough schedule so it is important that we have a decent facility to train out of. As you would expect from a world class sailing venue, the Academy has all the right elements in place to offer a superb training ground, complete with wifi access, lecture rooms, excellent catering, an on-site gym, indoor training area and spacious changing rooms with showers and secure storage. Coaches are confident they can launch coach boats easily and moore them on the Academy’s pontoon, whilst road trailers are stored nearby. All important points to constructive and productive training sessions.”