CORK celebrates 50th anniversary of bringing the world to Kingston for sailing

With Kingston being known as the fresh water sailing capital of the world, it is no wonder an organization like CORK – the Canadian Olympic training Regatta Kingston – has managed to not only exist, but thrive for the past 50 years.

Established in 1969 by a volunteer group of “enthusiastic sailors,” CORK was founded based on its members’ belief that Kingston had something extraordinary to offer the sailing world.

“This volunteer team all agreed that Kingston offered fantastic fresh-water sailing, exceptional wind and wave conditions, race courses close to shore, knowledgeable officials and volunteers and a welcoming and vibrant city. In short Kingston was ideal for hosting large sailing regattas,” the organization said in a press release on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

With that idea and the dedication of its volunteers, CORK quickly became an established event on the international regatta circuit, and the excellent training opportunities CORK offered became a priority for athletes, coaches, and volunteers. From that experience and expertise, CORK put Kingston on the map for many outside the professional sailing world when it became the sailing venue for the 1967 Montreal Olympics.

Since then, CORK has hosted annual events each year, attracting participants of all ages from across the country and around the globe. CORK brings hundreds if not thousands of sailing enthusiasts to Kingston annually from June through September, with more than 100 boats competing each year. In its 50 years, CORK has hosted 43 World Championships, and more than double that number of North American and Canadian Championships.

In the last 15 years, CORK has boasted the following highlights:

  • 2007 ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships
  • 2010 Optimist North American Championship
  • 2014 29er World Championship
  • 2015 Laser Senior World Championships, the Laser Master World Championships and the Laser Radial Youth Championships.

As CORK kicks off its 50th year, it will once again welcome the world to Kingston throughout 2019. In the year ahead, the event program will include:

  • Two world championships: The ILCA Laser Radial Youth World championships and the ILCA Laser 4.7 Youth World Championship
  • Kingston’s Freshwater Sailing Festival, including the CORK International Optimist Regatta, CORK International & Sail Canada Youth Championships, CORK Olympic Classes Regatta & Sail Canada Senior Championships, The Soling and I14 North American Championships, the 5o5 Canadian Championship, the National Sea Cadet regatta, and finally the Fall Regatta in September

Throughout 2019, CORK will highlight the people and events that have contributed to the organization reaching its 50th anniversary, and invite Kingstonians and tourists alike to join in the celebration. Head down to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour this summer to take in the action, and check out the 2019 Event Schedule to plan ahead.

For more information on CORK, visit

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