RS-X and Techno Association of NZ appeal ISAF Decision
by Paul Mackenzie on 7 May 2012
"Let’’s train, get our parents and clubs to run races and see how far we can all go in our sport... " - A chance meeting in a Kiwi Yacht Club spurs a dream. Brian Haybittle©
What has Windsurfing done to be treated this way by ISAF?
The decision to kick the windsurfers out of the Olympics this time is not just kicking a class of boat out of the Olympics, it is removing a whole sport from the Olympic Arena.
Windsurfing has been a large and successful part of the sailing world for a number of years, and has been a valuable part of the fleet at ISAF regattas leading into Olympics. Since 2008 with the introduction of the Techno 293 windsurfing has run a successful youth recruitment and development plan catering for all ages.
The Techno class has it's own stand alone world champs with just last year 300 competitors in San Francisco and the Youth Olympics booked in for 2014. Once a sailor is old enough they then progress into the RS:X Youth program and Open Worlds and ISAF Worlds being a part of the regatta program. Once past the Youth age they progress onto the Senior RS:X with the recent Perth ISAF Worlds being a good example of high quality fleets and good sailing. Fleets of 120 male and 80 female.
Windsurfing also has a strong connection to yacht clubs with many windsurfers being members of the local yacht clubs and happily sailing the same course as the race fleets on race day. The RS:X and Techno happily sail in wind strengths of 5 - 27 knots and if the course is offshore, can get themselves to the course and back if the wind dies, which is quite common.
The facts are -
- windsurfers cater for all ages
- windsurfers have strong connections to yacht clubs
- they sail the same course at the same time as other fleets
- can sail in a wide range of wind and sea conditions
- do not need a mass rescue if the windspeed drops
- is a fast and exciting sport which is easily televised
- a great introduction to apparent wind sailing
- is one of the highest performing Olympic classes
- the cheapest Olympic class
- is already a one design built to tolerances already accepted by ISAF and the Olympic Committee.
This successful windsurf program exists now. It is not something that exists on paper or in people's minds to be implemented in the future. It is already happening.
So ISAF did you look at the facts or did they get lost in the heat of the moment? If that is the case what are you going to do about it? Thousands of people around the world are awaiting your answer.
Is this decision in the best interest of sailing?
NZ RS:X & Techno Association
How a role model sows dreams of Olympic success to youngsters. Ruined by ISAF in one night of poor decisions.
In just over 36 hours since ISAF made their decision:
13,000 people have joined the following : Appeal against Kite Surfing in the Olympics and putting Windsurfing back in the Olympics Facebook page:
5,000 people have signed petitions to Keep Windsurfing as an Olympic Discipline:
Techno 293 Videos:
2011 Techno Worlds:
Current NZL Olympic rep JP Tobin Training on RS:X:
Tom Ashley's story on winning Gold in 2008: