A record 39 nations will compete at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships ©World Sailing

A record 39 nations are set to compete at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships, due to take place in Kiel in Germany from between June 19 and 25.

Prior to the early entry fee deadline, organisers claimed to receive a "huge uptake of entries".

The championships will take place during the world-renowned Kiel Week (Kieler-Woche) 2017, the world's largest annual sailing event with more than three million visitors attending.

The festival plays host to around 2,000 events in areas of culture, sailing, entertainment, science, politics, industry and sport.

The disciplines confirmed for inclusion in the 2017 Championships include an open Norlin 2.4 OD event, men's and women's Hansa 303 competitions as well as a mixed Weta Trimaran division.

An open, two person SKUD 18 championship has also been confirmed.

"The Para World Sailing Championships is a key step on the road to reinstatement back into the Paralympic Games for sailing and I am delighted that the hard work put in by World Sailing and its stakeholders is paying off," said Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager.

"The entries feature many new nations and sailors.

"Competitors from non-traditional Para World Sailing countries such as Chile, Indonesia, Latvia, Macau, Namibia, South Africa, Turkey, Tunisia and Uruguay have got behind the cause and I'm excited to see the competition on the water this coming June.

"While it is encouraging to see so many new nations competing, it is important that we don't lose focus and we continue to move Para World Sailing forward.

"Hopefully this is just the start of new countries and sailors getting involved and joining us in a sport we love."

Sir Philip Craven, bottom left, met with senior World Sailing officials to discuss their Para World Sailing Strategic Plan in March ©World Sailing
Sir Philip Craven, bottom left, met with senior World Sailing officials to discuss their Para World Sailing Strategic Plan in March ©World Sailing

Before the championships, World Sailing will be hosting a Paralympic development programme clinic, providing sailors with coaching and guidance from leading experts.

Two clinics were held earlier this year in Argentina and Hong Kong with further events also scheduled in Poland and France.

The Para World Sailing Championships are seen as a crucial event for World Sailing to demonstrate to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) it is worth of re-introduction into the programme for the 2024 Games.

Sailing was axed from the Paralympic schedule for Tokyo 2020, with the IPC ruling the sport did not fulfil minimum criteria for worldwide reach.

In March, IPC President Sir Philip Craven met with senior World Sailing officials to discuss the progress of the governing body's Para World Sailing Strategic Plan.

The plan was unveiled at the Para World Sailing Forum during the November 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona in Spain and outlined the strategic goals and tactics the governing body will adopt until 2020.

The plan has four main goals.

The first is to increase worldwide participation to 40 nations on four continents by the end of 2020 while the second is to expand competition, female and youth participation.

Effective marketing and communications to increase engagement with sailors and fans is another key point while the fourth area concerns ensuring that there is a sound governance framework in the discipline.