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Countdown to 2012 in Dorset

You are in: Dorset > Places > Countdown to 2012 in Dorset > The Olympic announcement


The Olympic announcement

Excitement followed the news that Weymouth and Portland's National Sailing Academy would host the sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics... What do you think? Have your say!

It was celebrations all round on Wednesday 6 July 2005. That was the day when London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games.

The announcement was made by International Olympic Committee at 1246 BST after the bid teams from London, Madrid, Paris, New York and Moscow had made their final official presentations to IOC members.

The British presentation was impressive enough to swing the votes to the London bid.

Local school children join in the celebrations

Local school children celebrate

And as part of the bid, Weymouth and Portland will host the sailing events, based around the National Sailing Academy at Osprey Quay on Portland which was developed from the old naval station.

Wild celebrations

The decision was greeted with wild celebrations in Weymouth and Portland. 

Crowds gathered at the Academy and on the waters of Portland Harbour where the sailing events will be held.

John Derbyshire from the National Sailing Academy said: "It's superb, fantastic, we always thought we could win - we've done it!  We're on top of the world now. 

The National Sailing Academy

The National Sailing Academy

"The kids are cheering here - who knows, in seven years one of them could be an Olympic champion."

Junior sailing champion Richard Glover told BBC Radio Solent: "I'm pretty overwhelmed, it's going to be the greatest thing."

Olympic Gold medallist Shirley Robertson was an ambassador for the Weymouth bid and said the natural amphitheatre of Portland Harbour makes it the perfect location: "The whole town is buzzing - it's a fantastic place to sail."

As soon as the announcement was made it was thought that the Olympics would undoubtedly put the Dorset coast in the world's spotlight, as well as bringing sportsmen and women from 200 countries to venues across the south as national teams set up training camps in the run-up to the competitions.

Benefits to Dorset

Advocates for bringing the sailing to Weymouth pointed to the economic benefits for the area which is one of the most deprived in Dorset. 

Supporters highlighted the financial boost,  not just for the period of the games but for local businesses and the hospitality industry as sailors would be training here for four years before 2012.

How do you feel about the 2012 Olympics in Dorset? Will it revive a neglected area? Has it changed your view of the county?

last updated: 17/04/2008 at 13:37
created: 17/02/2005

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Nick Moore
Do we know yet where each countries sailing teams will be training?Shoreham has a lot to offer including being able to launch at all but the very lowest of tides and of course reasonably priced local accomodation.

Stephen J Arnold
2012 its now start Q2 2009, it is not likely going to happen in a way that will be fondly remembered. Roads, rail Links, even boat links will not ease the inevetability of Total Gridlock. Grew up in Weymouth, Wyke Regis and Portland, tried to start a youth sailing club with other youngsters back in 1972, to join the Royal Dorset, Castle Cove and Portland Naval Sailing Club, but as usual, council indecission failed again and time to move on. The navy help by allowing some 6 dinghies to be looked after by a group of 12 eager young men and women, then of course as we know government cuts back and maggie came to Parliament. Ain't been the same since.The Sailing Academy needs to have a mountain load of method statements in place for the event. I doubt they have the suitable qualified persons for such a task, when do the Olypic people move in to raise the game and get things moving, may be too much too late!!

Greg Bedford, Portland.
Naturally, infrastructure is the key to success for Portland & Weymouth as hosts of the 2012 Sailing Olympics. Several integral features being: Start/finish the Brown Route! Supermarket(s) on Portland (to ease traffic on/off the island); improve train frequency/bring back the railway extension to Portland, if feasible!? New hotels (thank you Portland Spa Hotel); And divert traffic onto the Isle away from Fortuneswell (for good) through Portland Port, up Incline Road to give access to Tophill.Already the local business community is working together to ensure a legacy is left post 2012. However, without nearly all of the above, the only way the additional hundreds of thousands in 2012 will get to the area will be to dig a tunnel from London & sleep on boats!

Trev - Weymouth gets a week of free advertisement around the world! Which is fantastic for local tourism, if you and Weymouth don't want it then Scotland would have it straight away! Also sailing is a sport for everyone. Yes it is expensive for boat owners, but you have the option of crewing for someone else. Stop moaning and start enjoying the prospect of an Olympic venue on your doorstep!!!

John Vincent
Can Weymouth catch-up? The roads accessing Weymouth need improvement and there are not enough 'rooms'. Is Weymouth READY?

So the olympics wil be here in 2012. What do the Porlanders get? The ex naval quarters done up, but for who? not the locals. A new hotel, not for the locals. Sailing isn't generaly classed as a spectator sport, so most of it will be watched via TV. When its gone, all that will be left is a expensive yatch club for the blue jacket and white trouser brigade, not the locals.

Lisa C
My only hope is that the children of Weymouth, Portland and the surrounding villages will benefit from the event, afterall there is not a lot for residents children to do in the area Everything is geared towards Hoidays! Time the council thought about the locals and whats really needed to sort this area out.

Avid Diver
I'm a keen diver and dive at Portland several times a year. The local dive centre i use there (one of the top best run in the country), have already been priced-out of their current location. I fear this is the start of things to come. The sailing freternity are probably seen as being wealthy sorts willing to pay inflated charges etc. I fear that the divers, who currently bring in a good trade to Portland, will be priced-out, and deprived of some of the best diving in the U.K. Then after the olympics they'll be begging for us back!

Deborah Perry
New resident to be in Charlton Down...Fantastic news for Weymouth. Much needed funding for the regeneration of this area and what an exciting time it will be. Let's hope the council tax will not be increased too much to compensate this - just remember we are country folk and not wealthy City dwellers

i think that portland itself needs a bit of a makeover in some places.what about the land and the people? dont we deserve a million or so too?


Toby Kelly
Weymouth is like a nasty older sibling to Portland trying to take what it has constantly. The local council even went as far as to change the road systems on Portland so that visitors don't have to drive onto the island. They are all mean and Portlanders deserve all the credit, as our business men and women have put in all the effort.

portia savage
I think this is great and it is somthing to look forward to.i cant wait!

James Stewart
Please do not forget that even though the sailing academy will be the main hosts,the smaller clubs like Weymouth sailing club will also be contributing by providing facilities for all the sailing persons and their guests.

Charlotte & Jennie
Well done Weymouth!! Looking forward to watching 2012 so close to home. Its a dream come true. Rock on Weymouth!!

Robin Wallace (Newport RI, USA)
I learned to sail in Weymouth Bay in the 'Falcons'. Looking forward to returning in 2006 for the World Youth Championships. Delighted to hear the Olympic news and hope the much needed improvements to the transportation systems will be forthcoming.

gary johnson
The sailing academy is Portlands not weymouths so i think it should be noted that it does belong to portland and portland should get all the profits from the academy. i also believe that if we do get enougth money together we should invest it in the younge persons of the island and build more faciltys for them.

Andrew Fletcher
Brilliant news and I hope that the development will be planned for the long term not just a flash in the pan.

Scarlett Wilson
Just to echo Stuart's comments; Underhill, particularly Fortuneswell is in desperate need of help. I hope and pray that the council/government don't throw all their funding at Weymouth and assume that no visitors will venture onto Portland. After years of Navy/Prisons and (great quote)"misguided social engineering" isn't it about time that Portland had a bit of a helping hand?

St. John.
Wonderful!! Iam looking forward to it.

Steve Morris
Fantastic news... lets hope it brings with it a road infrastructure that can cope. If it does the legacy of the Olympics will be the real win for the Island

Lawrence Mizen
I cant beleive we actually are having the olympic games here in dorset i think its amazing i will be there watching I SO Can't wait

Emma Gillim
It is absolutely amazin!!!!!! Can't wait for 2012!!! R.I.P 50+

Stuart Morris
Welcome to Portland, 2012 Olympics!! The Underhill area of The Island of Portland - the backdrop to the Sailing Academy is desperately in need of a lift. Its present state, described as 'deprived', is a shadow of its once prosperous nature. This is due to 50 years of misguided social engineering, which has caused a gross imbalance in the community structure. Now is the chance to give the district a major boost. We will see the former naval residential blocks brought back to life, and all the buildings around Victoria Square must be revamped and redeveloped to give once more a bright and welcoming gateway to Portland. A super hotel, a few quality houses (no more “affordable” boxes here please), and a supermarket nearby will also benefit visitors and residents alike. Above all we MUST get the relief roads - both the Dorchester - Weymouth and the Wyke Regis bypass routes. This will all bring immeasurable economic and environmental benefits to Portland - the heart of Dorset's World heritage Jurassic Coast.

Richard Philpott
This is just what my home town needs to push through long needed changes in the infrastructure. As a keen sailor and with 2 budding sailor kids this is fantastic news. We will be there and it just be the trigger we need to return home from the bland flat lands of Cambridgeshire where I have to put up with pond (Grafham Water) sailing. Hi to anyone from Holy Trinity Junior School (1965-70).

i visit Weymouth pretty often, i don't live there but i go about 10 times a year for a week at a time. over the last 20 years i have seen the house prices sky-rocket out of proportion due to tourism, and i think that holding the Olympic sailing in Portland will send the prices off the scale!!!

Susan K. Jones
I'm from the States and it's too crowded in New York. Congratulations London on the best bid for the Olympics. Job well done.

Linda, Portland
Well, in a way I'm happy that we won the Olympic bid, but what about us Portlanders! Some days it takes me almost an hour to get to and from work in Weymouth when its grockel season. The powers that be, are gonna have to come up with some radical ideas to overcome the travel congestion the olympics will no doubt bring. There's only ONE road on and off the island!!

Perhaps now they'll improve the frequency of the Weymouth -Southampton -London railway line. At present the service frequency and connections are appauling! And, as the Times said today, a rail route to Portland wouldn't hurt.

Kernow (Bonnie Robertson)
Great news for Portland and Portland Harbour after years in the economic dark. Aren't we good neighbours for Weymouth as it can share in our success,too!

Rebecca Charlesworth
This is really cool,Now I will be alble to see it.

Norman adshead
Will the whole of Dorsets transport system be upgraded? I sincerely hope that this news gives it a kick start.

Phil Scott
Absolutely marvellous news, Weymouth deserves to host the sailing events it is an ideal location and will bring long lasting benefits to the area.

Tremendous news! Portland and Weymouth will be a tremendous venue and I look forward to the competition and excitement!

After 50+ years waiting for Weymouth the relief road, bet it gets built without delay now because of the Olympics, infact I think I can hear the diggers starting on it now.

A fantastic opportunity for Dorset. Like many other comments though - will something at last be done about the traffic through Upwey?

Marvellous! Great for the area. I come from Bridport originally. Can't wait to watch it LIVE x

Jan Barton
Wonderful news for the area but please do something about traffic through Upwey !!

Great news for the area, but will there be wind, as I have attended some Kite surfing events for the last 2 years and at both events over the each of the 4 days around 1-2 hrs of wind for the whole period

Ian Doherty
B*GGER. I'm looking to move to Weymouth and have been told by a couple of estate agents that if "we" got the olympics the house prices will rocket. GREAT! I just want to move near my elderly parents I don't care about sports at all. It's of no interest to me!

i always travel to weymouth From Bristol up to 15 times during the summer as the place is just appealing. well doen London and indeed Weymouth for the opportunity to stage such a huge sporting event

James, Dorchester
Fantastic news for Weymouth! But they need to get thinking about ways in which people watching from the shoreline can follow the action- with GPS tracking and live video maybe?

Andrew Gibson
This is fantastic news for the local economy. The attention the Olympics will bring to the region is bound to have a positive impact on house prices.

deanne carroll USA
congratulation brits well done another reason to come to england and party with you well done i am soo glad you beat the french woohoo

It's like the Dome all over again - a complete waste of tax payers money.

This will bring some much needed investment in the area and hopefully lead onto other things for Weymouth and Portland in the future. I just hope that the local council rises to the challenge they have been set.

Here's hoping that property in the area goes up in value now. I've just mortgaged myself up to the hilt !!

This is tremendous news from britain - just think, in 7 years, the Olympics will be in Weymouth!


I would like to see the sailing Olympics come to Weymouth but dread all the concerns about finance and whether we would be ready in time.

another drain of the council tax payers money.

heres hoping we win, weymouth and portland need this

william barnes
only trouble with sailing is that you can't actually see what's going on - but it would be good for the area.

Yes, would be great for weymouth, its such a wonderful place. I am sorry I left

As a former resident of Weymouth, I wonder where everyone will park? Of course, that's if they can actually get to Weymouth in the first place. Perhaps the Olympics would be the spur needed to build a proper road from Dorchester.

yey - way to go - it would be great if london won, am looking forward to seeing sailing at portland already ! lets hope we win!

jen, weymouth
it would be so fantastic if we had the olympics here

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