Korea Cup 2012, to Dokdo and back
May 23, 2012
Yachters from across the world have gathered on Korea’s eastern coast for an exciting race to kick off the summer. The Korea Cup International Yacht Race 2012, which saw contestants take off on May 18 from Hupo Port in Uljin County, Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang Province), will close with a grand finale on May 24 in the waters off of Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo.
“The Korea Cup International Yacht Race is a first-rate competition with a beautiful course that can be considered one of the best in the East Asia region,” said Park Sun-ho, president of the Korea Sailing Federation, a main organizer for the event. “This year’s competition has not only raised the visibility of the marine sports industry in Korea but also helped to promote the importance of the oceans.”
Now heading into its fifth year, the Korea Cup International Yacht Race is the country’s largest yachting competition. Over 420 participants making up 200 teams from ten countries, including Russia, the United States, and England, have taken part in this year’s event, which includes short-distance inshore races as well as the longer offshore races.
The first inshore race took place on Friday, May 18, in Uljin County, attended by over 1,000 local spectators and 300 guests and dignitaries from associated organizations. The race was followed by an awards ceremony and a special performance by around 200 maritime academy students from Russia, who pulled into Hupo Port on a 108-meter-long sailing ship.
Cruise yachts, sailing yachts, and dinghy yachts were lined up for the public to try out, and will be available throughout the duration of the event.
The first leg of the main event, the offshore race to Dokdo, began from Uljin on May 19, ending early the following day. The second inshore race on May 22 saw the fleet of competing yachts head toward Jeodong Harbor on Ulleung Island.
The second leg of the offshore race will begin on May 23, in conjunction with a commemorative festival and live broadcasts by MBC and Arirang TV. The total distance spanned by the yachters during the offshore race will be 490 kilometers, including a 100-kilometer Friendship Parade procession.
“The Korea Cup International Yacht Race boasts the most ideal course linking Uljin, Ulleung Island, and Dokdo,” said Governor Im Gwang-won of Uljin County. “Moreover, this year’s race is an occasion to further develop the marine leisure sports industry in Korea and in the Uljin region, and will likely be the first of many large-scale leisure sports competitions to come.”
Uljin County estimates that the Korea Cup will attract at least 10,000 tourists to the area and that the boost to the regional economy will reach up to 30 billion won. With this year’s event coinciding with qualifying rounds for selection to the national team, it is expected that these figures will be easily surpassed.
This year’s Korea Cup International Yacht Race was co-sponsored by the Korea Sailing Federation and the Uljin and Ulleung County governments, with support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Korean Olympic Committee.
More information on the Korea Cup, including access to live footage from Dokdo
More information on the history of Dokdo as Korean territory, including evidence of Korea's sovereignty over the islands, can be found at the Current Affairs menu of Korea.net under "Dokdo and East Sea"
By Kwon Jungyun
Korea.net Staff Writer
Korea Cup, Korea Cup International Yachting Race 2012, Dokdo, East Sea, Korea Sailing Federation, Uljin, Ulleung
Department Global Communication and Contents Division