Saturday, November 10, 2012

Go Fly a Kite

Go fly a kite.

Or maybe not.

First we heard that kiteboards will be in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Now ISAF has reversed that decision at their conference in Ireland this week.

Kiteboards are out. Windsurfers are back in. At least for 2016.

The final classes for sailing in the 2016 Olympics are...

Men's Board - RS:X
Women's Board - RS:X
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17 5

What do you think of these classes as representative of our sport?

Will these choices be good for the future of sailing?

Which one are you going to be sailing?


O Docker said...

Drat! Catalina 30's were overlooked AGAIN? I thought this time for sure.

I'm a bit surprised with all the Olympic class shakeups of late that the venerable 470 is still in there. Do they try to balance traditional with more innovative classes? Or does no one understand how they choose who's in and who's out?

Tillerman said...

Venerable 470? They just dropped the "venerable" Star (designed in 1910.) The 470 is a relative baby by comparison (designed in 1963.)

Based on this precedent, expect the RS-X to be around until at least 2104.

The process for choosing which classes are in is very simple. ISAF has a committee specifically charged with studying all the factors then making a considered decision. Then the Council try and overrule the decision. And if that doesn't work, the AGM does overrule it. It's a bit like the US system of government only less transparent and more corrupt.

splinter said...

I had thought that maybe Ben would have a crack at the Star for another record.

The windsurfers put on a good show at Weymouth, but it would be interesting to see how the kite racing would work out. I'm glad the radial has stayed (also means more good second hand sails for me to buy).

I was hoping that a 'clinker (lapstrake) dinghy designed prior to 1950' class would be introduced - or maybe a mixed handicap pursuit fleet?!

Tillerman said...

That last idea would be neat. Medal winners from each class participate in a 30 boat grand final mixed handicap pursuit race for 3 more medals and bragging rights as best sailors overall at the Games. That would look good on TV.

Sam Chapin said...

The smaller boats probably let more counties into the mix.

Tillerman said...

It's certainly true that adding the Laser and Laser Radial to the mix a few years back opened up Olympic sailing to many more countries.

O Docker said...

Hmm, politics? Maybe Richard Branson was politicking for inclusion of kiteboarding - but he probably would have been lobbying for it in the mixed team class.

Tim said...

Kite surfing was never a goer as an olympic event.

It would be impossible to have close racing without competitors getting their wires tangled at some point.

In which case the event would have been fought in the protest room, not on the water.

Don't think this would have made very good telly.

BlueVark said...

Why blame politics and corruption when simple incompetance will do? Quote from the BBC website:

"Israel's sailing chief Yehuda Maayan later revealed that, in voting for kiteboarding, delegates had probably been confused or did not understand the motion because of ambiguous language translations. Among those, the Spanish Sailing Federation has since acknowledged that its representative voted for kiteboarding by mistake."

JP said...

When are they going to bring back croquet??

Tillerman said...

Sadly I fear that croquet will not be back in the Olympics any time soon after the disgraceful behavior of the French at the Paris Olympics in 1900 when they won every single croquet Olympic medal awarded. Of course, it did help that 9 of the 10 "athletes" competing were French.

It is also reported that only one fan watched the croquet in the Olympics that year - some Englishman who traveled to Nice specially for the occasion. A relative of yours perhaps JP?

ourjourneytothesea said...

If windsurfing is an olympic sport then kitesurfing definitely should be as well.

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