IOD approve final version competition schedule for the Beijing Olympicsm 30/10/06

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board has approved a final version of the competition schedule for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The Olympic Sailing Competition will take place in Qingdao from the 9-21 August, with the Medal Races taking place from 16-21 August. 22-23 August are scheduled as reserve days.

The first races begin the day after the Opening Ceremony on 9 August. The first two of sailing’s 11 Olympic Champions will be decided with the Medal Races on 16 August. One Medal Race will follow on 17 August, with two Medal Races per day from then on.

The Closing Ceremony for the Games is on 24 August.

ISAF Vice-President and Technical Delegate for the Olympic Sailing Competition David Kellett (AUS) commented: “The revised competition programme for the Olympic Sailing Competition extends the focus for sailing during the Olympic Games. For the media and fans the attention is on the medal days, and sailing will now have six medal days. The scheduled start times for sailing are excellent, with few other sports taking place at the same time. Sailing has a greater opportunity than ever before at the Olympic Games to reach the world.”

With the drama of the Medal Races spread over a six-day period, sailing has a terrific opportunity to present the excitement of the sport to a worldwide audience in August 2008. ISAF, the IOC and the Bejing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG) are also working hard towards maximizing the viewing areas for spectators at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre.

During the Olympic Test Event in August this year over 40,000 visitors bought tickets to watch the racing, with 8,000 spectators for the final day of Medal Races out on Fushan Bay.