Royal Cork Yacht Club will host the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final with eight other countries selected for Regional Finals

The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final and Regional Finals have now been confirmed for 2006. The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Ireland will host the Grand Final, with Reqional Finals hosted by Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, Great Britain, United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, the US Virgin Islands and New Zealand.

The ISAF Nations Cup is a match racing competition between nations. A total of seven Regional Finals will be held in geographical groups around the world. Each group will host an Open and a Women’s event, held over a four-day period, with the winning teams in the Open and Women’s event qualifying to represent their nation and their group at the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final.

ISAF has selected the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Ireland to host the Grand Final. Owning the honour of the oldest yacht club in the world, the Royal Cork has an excellent track record of hosting international events and is well known for its hospitality and event atmosphere. Previously hosted ISAF events in Ireland include the Nations Cup North European Qualifier in 1995 and the ISAF Team Racing World Championship in 1999. The Nations Cup Grand Final will be contested in J/24s on the non-tidal waters of Cork Harbour.

Delighted at being selected as the host venue, Peter Crowley (IRL), Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club commented: “The Royal Cork is proud to be selected to host the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in match racing. As the oldest yacht club in the world we are honoured to be chosen by the Irish Sailing Association and ISAF to run the Final in the year running up to the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Finals in Spain.”

In its opening year in 1991, the ISAF Nations Cup attracted 50 nations, and ISAF anticipates many more will be on the start line in 2006. Created to open the doors of opportunity to all ISAF Member National Authorities, the objective of the ISAF Nations Cup is to provide an inexpensive entry into the world of international match racing. To participate in the ISAF Nations Cup, wealth is not a deciding factor, with all equipment equalized and provided free of charge. It is the skill of the skipper and crew which provides the key to victory.

ISAF received 18 bids to host the Reqional Finals and Grand Final, which were shortlisted down to a final nine host venues. Venues were selected based on their ability to not only run the event, but also on the legacy for the ongoing development of match racing and support provided to competitors participating.