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A new home for top-level sailors in Aarhus opened today by the Crown Prince Couple

Today Crown Prince Frederik opened the Aarhus International Sailing Centre, and it couldn’t be more fitting that that it should be him: the Crown Prince is an enthusiastic sailor in his boat Nanoq, a sleek classic ship in the Dragon class. His wife Crown Princess Mary, also attending the opening ceremony, doesn’t shun the salt water either.

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By Inger Stokkink

The sailing centre is a long-awaited landmark for both the city of Aarhus and the sailing sport as a whole in Denmark.

Situated at the tip of the present marina, offering a broad view over Aarhus Bugt, the centre boasts state-of-the-art facilities for professional sport sailors – and their boats.

A huge hall makes it easy for sailors to work on their boats and other sailing equipment. Top that with a fitness centre, conference rooms, and lounge areas, the sailors certainly have ample facilities.

Athletes, coaches, trainers, and the experts supporting them – from physiotherapists to dietitians and boat builders – will be meeting here, bringing the sailors, and the sport as a whole, to a higher level.

”It will be a place where sailors can feel at home,” says Lone Hansen.

She is director of Team Denmark, the top-level organisation of elite athletes in Denmark. The so-called Danish model of top-level and elite sport, which is the organising principle of athletic Denmark, is not exclusively focused on athletic and technical brilliance.

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Creating an environment, in the broadest sense of the word that can stimulate athletes on a personal level, is vital if not central to the Danish model. And the new Aarhus International Sailing Centre embraces all possibilities.

The timing of the opening couldn’t be better: the Sailing World Championships will take place in Aarhus this summer. The first of several events in which sailors from all over the world compete for a place at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, and of course, a big city festival, in which volunteers will be the decisive factor for the smooth running of such a large event.

” We still have room for more volunteers, especially with an international background,” says volunteer coordinator Anne-Sofie Thomsen.

”We need five to seven more hosts in the sailors’ lounge – which will be located right here in the Sailing Centre. We also need ten to fifteen volunteers on our Press and Communications Team. Their job is to help the international journalists find their way between the press centre and the launches, where the sailors are taking out to sea. In the VIP area we need five more hosts, too. And finally, we need a couple of international volunteers who speak Danish, as co-ordinators for the international volunteers!”

Anne-Sofie has lived in Spain for five years, and worked as a volunteer there, too.

”My experience is that it is nice to know that you can fall back on a friendly international face in the Danish crowd. Someone to tag along with to a social event, such as a Friday Bar – an event you might otherwise not go to. We really need international volunteers on our team, and we will ensure that they have a fantastic experience while volunteering during the Sailing World Championships here in Aarhus!”

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For more information, mail to Anne-Sofie Thomsen: