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24 September 2014

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The view from Torquay across the bay
Torquay harbour and Torbay

Torbay bids for Olympic role

Going for Gold...Torbay hopes to be used as a training base for the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics.

The 2012 London Olympics could have a spin-off for South Devon, with Torbay hoping to be used as a preparation base for competing yachtsmen.

The sailing events during the Olympics are to take place just up the coast in Weymouth, Dorset.

But for three years in the run-up to the 2012 games, competitors from around the world will be looking to train in similar conditions - and as close to Weymouth as possible.

Torbay Council is putting forward the resort's case for being used as a training base - and officials are optimistic, saying Torbay is ideally placed as a venue.

Torquay at sundown

Captain Kevin Mowatt, Torbay's director of maritime services, said: "This is great news for Torbay.

"We have some of the finest sailing conditions in the country here which compare favourably to those of Weymouth, an important factor for the teams' preparation.

"We believe that prevailing wind conditions, wave conditions and the impact of land mass will compare well and provide first class training conditions that will be ideal for the major teams."

Robert Horne, commodore of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, added: "Torbay has always had an excellent reputation for first class sailing, and hosting the Olympic training camps can only enhance this further."

Torbay Development Agency is working closely with Torbay Council's Cultural Services Department, the resort's yacht clubs and a wide range of private sector organisations in preparing a business plan to demonstrate that Torbay is the ideal location to host sailing preparation camps.

The sailing conditions in Torbay are perfect
Torbay has ideal sailing conditions

Torbay Council leader Chris Harris said: "All parties on the council agreed a full motion throwing our weight behind the bid, so of course we are delighted.

"The council and the Torbay Development Agency now have the opportunity to capitalize on the solid groundwork already put in place to ensure Torbay is the gold standard for sailing and marine activity."

Torbay Council and the Torbay Development Agency have been working in partnership to regenerate the harbours at Brixham and Torquay. Developing the additional facilities for the Olympic sailing preparation camps will complement existing work and act as a catalyst for future developments.

Richard Morgan, chief executive of the Torbay Development Agency said: "We now have the opportunity to invest in marine facilities that we will need to host the major teams.

"We have long cherished the concept of a maritime centre of excellence in Torbay and this should be exactly the trigger we need."

last updated: 07/07/05
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