The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) marked 500 Days to the Games on March 15. This key turning point in the journey to the ultimate sporting event on Earth is pulling the 'eyes of the world' to the shores of Weymouth and Portland.
As the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has been transformed into a world class sports destination that will host the top water sports athletes from across the globe next summer.
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy annually hosts local schools events, national selections and championships as well as international youth regattas. The SailLaser School on site is constantly busy teaching youths from across Britain and PGL as well as the Official Test Centre regularly run general watersports courses and windsurfer training / tuition during the warmer months. The Academy in association with the Chesil Trust has also incorporated the successful 'Sail for a Fiver' into their core programme of events which to date has helped over 6,000 children try sailing for just £5 and is set to deliver a strong legacy with 1,600 children benefiting per year.
Ben Ainslie, CBE, WPNSA Director and Triple Gold Medalist, who grew up sailing on Dorset waters, is a supporter of legacy post the Games, 'a Sail for a Fiver child today may be a medal winner by 2016 and it is our job at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to ensure this opportunity is given to young people'.
500 days to go also marks the moment that the application process for London 2012 Olympic Games tickets opens. Tickets are available across 26 sports and 645 sessions and people can apply for tickets for the Games between March 15 and April 26 at http://www.tickets.london2012.com/. It is not a first come, first served system so applications can be made at any point during the period. Prices start at £20 for adults and there are special prices for young people under 16 and those over 60 at over 200 sessions. The London Organising Committee is currently undertaking the formal pre-planning consultation to seek the views of Weymouth and Portland residents with a view to offering a ticketed spectator experience in the Nothe Gardens, Weymouth for the duration of the London 2012 Olympic sailing competition. The consultation period will run until 31 March 2011.