November 28 - London 2012 and international officials have praised the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) since the award winning venue’s official construction completion 12 months ago.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) completed work on new enhanced sailing facilities at the Academy in November last year in preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events to be held in Weymouth and Portland in 2012.
The completion of the works saw Weymouth and Portland become the first 2012-specific venue ready, delivering an early legacy of world-class facilities for all ages and abilities to use.
The new enhanced sailing facilities based next to some of the best boating waters on the planet have propelled Weymouth and Portland onto the world stage whilst maintaining a strong commitment to legacy in the local community.
Since opening the venue has already successfully hosted the final event of the 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series, Sail for Gold, RS:X and Techno World Championships, as well as hosting RYA elite training camps, Farr 45 Yacht Racing National Championships, match racing and numerous local dinghy events throughout 2009.
Representatives from across the international marine industry have been visiting the Academy, keen to see first-hand the venue's unique assets and understand further the reasons for enhanced construction and logistics of running a world class venue.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: "Since last November's completion of enhancement works, the WPNSA has hosted spectacular sailing competitions, held several training camps as well as running innovative community sailing schemes.
"Together with the adjacent commercial Portland Marina that was completed in the summer this year, London 2012 has its first fully operational new venue in place.
"In the coming year, we look forward to working with our venues and the local community as we progress our plans for hosting 14 days of Olympic sailing competition and six days of Paralympic sailing competition in the summer of 2012."
ODA director Ralph Luck said: "The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is a first-class venue and the enhanced facilities we have delivered for the Games in 2012 and the world class events leading up to them will help boost its deserved reputation as one of the best venues in the world.
"The 2012 project is driven by legacy and it is fantastic to see the enhanced facilities in Weymouth and Portland being used by sailors of all ages and abilities well ahead of the Games."
The venue has already received widespread praise from leading international officials.
David Kellet, the vice-president of the International Sailing Federation (ISF), said: "Judging by the reaction from the international sailors, the work carried out to upgrade the facilities at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy have been well planned and executed giving an excellent site for the Olympic Games and a world-class facility as a legacy to sport in Great Britain."
John Longley, the event director of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, was also full of praise for the facility but warned the rest of the sport that it would only make British sailing, already the best in the world, even stronger and more difficult to beat.
He said: "The Weymouth facility sets the standard for venues of this nature globally.
"With such a well thought out permanent facility, British sailing will be tough to beat in the foreseeable future.
"The fact that the facility is able to house so many yachts with apparent ease, in a relatively compact footprint, helps build the sense of a single event while still conducting multiple competitions across a number of classes.
"This sense of a single event and the camaraderie it builds across all the sailors of every class, is an aspect we aspire to replicate during Perth 2011."
David Campbell-James, the competitions manager of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), said that the new facility had helped establish Britain as one of the most important venues in the world for the sport.
He said: "The facilities upgrade at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is already providing legacy benefits for the RYA and British sailing.
"The major world events the RYA has already been able to stage at WPNSA as a result of these enhancements, and will continue to stage there between now and 2012, provide unique opportunities – not only for the sailors but also for the teams of race officials and volunteers who are gaining so much from these world class events which will benefit the sport for years to come."
Ben Ainslie, the triple Olympic gold medallist who is a director of the WPNSA, spoke on behalf of the sailors when he said: "Hosting the sailing events for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on the home waters of Weymouth and Portland is a major positive for Britain's sailors and windsurfers, these waters are some of the best on the planet for clean racing and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has demonstrated that it is a modern venue adept at coping with mass numbers of international participants who expect world class facilities to train and compete from."
September 2008: Sailing venue set to be ready before end of year
May 2008: Olympic venue looking for sponsors