BBC Dorset


Read what BBC Dorset had to say about Weymouth and Portland hosting the sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics.

Excitement followed the news that Weymouth and Portland's National Sailing Academy would host the sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015