Archive for January 18th, 2011

Key Facts

Sport: Sailing, Paralympic Sailing
Capacity: No seats at venue
New or existing? Existing, Permanent
Travel and Tours: See below

Location and regeneration

The venue is a combination of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) and the adjoining commercial marina, in Dorset on England’s south coast.

It has kick-started the regeneration of the former Naval Air Station at Portland, now known as Osprey Quay, where new residential, commercial and marina facilities are already underway. It is an exposed spot at the western end of the English Channel, providing some of the best natural Sailing waters in the UK, with facilities on land to match.

About Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour

Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour provides some of the best natural sailing waters in the UK, with facilities on land to match.

The site has already hosted numerous international sailing events, including the 2006 ISAF World Youth Championships attended by over 60 nations.

Getting ready

Work to enhance the sailing facilities at Weymouth and Portland has been completed. The enhancements to the existing WPNSA facilities include a new permenant 250m slipway and new lifting and mooring facilities.

The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule, providing world-class facilities for elite athletes and the local community more than three years before the Games.

During the Games

Sailing has historically been a non-ticketed event. We are currently reviewing our ticketing strategy with a view to bringing a spectator experience to suit various levels. This may include free ‘Live Sites’; quiet cliff observation points; ticketed venues with TV, tracking and commentary; and ticketed and specific spectator boats.

The ticketing review process is currently underway.

After the Games

The National Sailing Academy will benefit from the improved facilities that the Games will leave behind, providing a state-of-the-art facility for elite training, competition and local community use.

This use has already started: from a community programme through to hosting the Olympic Windsurfing discipline, RS:X class World Championship in 2009. This events programme is extensive and will also include hosting the IFDS (Paralympic Sailing) World Championship in 2011.

About Weymouth
Weymouth’s heritage as a seaport and fishing centre is overshadowed by its 18th century renaissance as a watering-place, and its more recent revival as a popular seaside resort. Most of the finest buildings are remnants of the town’s glory days as a Georgian resort, but there are even earlier houses to be found, including the converted Tudor cottages on Trinity Street.

George III lived in Weymouth, at Gloucester House (now a hotel). Reminders of the monarch are not hard to find; his likeness is cut into the turf of a hill outside the town, and a large statue stands on the busy seafront near the Tourist Information Centre.

 The seafront is the hub of activity in Weymouth, a stretch of golden sand bestrewn with deckchairs and crowded with sun seekers in summer. More relaxing perhaps are the opportunities for fishing and boating in the area. Within walking distance of the town centre are two nature reserves. Radipole Lake is home to birds who love open water, reedbeds and scrubby bushes, and Lodmore offers flood meadows, rough pasture and saltmarsh habitat.

 Weymouth is located between two Heritage Coasts (Purbeck and West Dorset Heritage Coast), and inland from the sea the entire surrounding region has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is just north-east of the Isle of Portland, a wonderfully isolated coastal area tenuously joined to the mainland by the narrow sweep of Chesil Beach. Portland is excellent bird-watching territory, with Pulpit Rock a good spot to observe puffins during the early summer. On the north-east coast of the Isle is Portland Castle, one of the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal defenses.

Weymouth Beach
Weymouth Beach

Another, more modern defensive structure is Nothe Fort, built on a headland jutting into Portland Harbour in 1860. It was in service until 1956, and has since been transformed into a living museum, tracing the history of the fort, and in particular the role of Weymouth in the Second World War.

High speed ferries leave Weymouth harbour for the Channel Islands and St. Malo, in France.

Tours and Transport
Histouries UK are able to offer guided sightseeing tours of this stunning part of southern Britain including Dorset and Wiltshire.  We are able to offer tours from London to Weymouth visiting Stonehenge, Salisbury, Bath etc on route and vice-versa – ideal for famailies and small groups.  Maximise your time in Britain during the 2012 Olympics and book a tour (well in advance)

External links:
HisTOURies UK – Private guided tours
Coach Tours and Transport during the Olympics

London Tourist Information
Visit Weymouth and Visit Portland
The Official Tourist Information Website for Weymouth and Portland

Dorset Tourist Guide
Histouries UK – The Best Tours of Dorset and Wilsthire

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