The RYA has welcomed today’s UK Sport funding announcement for sailing, which will underpin the sport’s World Class Programme for the 2017-2020 Olympic cycle.

As a multi medal-winning sport for the fifth consecutive Games and top nation at the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing competition, the sport has been granted ‘Band 1’ status and £26.231 million to support its performance efforts towards Tokyo 2020.

“We’re proud that sailing once again delivered against its medal targets and contributed towards a hugely successful British performance at Rio 2016 which captivated the nation and inspired a new wave of aspiring young athletes and sailors,” said RYA Performance Director John Derbyshire.

“Clearly such a strong British team performance across the board and a difficult economic climate have posed some challenges and necessitated tough decisions for UK Sport.

“We are grateful to the UK Sport Board for the continued commitment they have shown to the RYA’s World Class Programme as a conscientious and successful beneficiary of both government and National Lottery funds.”

With sailing not currently on the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020, the sport is not eligible to receive a World Class Programme Paralympic funding award. The RYA will, however, continue to invest strategically in racing at selected Sailability and regional High Performance Clubs with the aim of developing racing participation and supporting World Sailing towards having the sport reinstated for the 2024 cycle.

“The economic environment as we head towards 2020 is a challenging one, with increasing international competition, foreign exchange fluctuations and operating costs in Tokyo meaning we will have to work hard to maximise impact and medal return on our investment,” Derbyshire continued.

“There will be a continued need to co-fund and source additional income streams in support of our programmes, but today’s decision is very welcome and means we can now move forward into the new cycle with clarity and confidence in our plans.”