Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

2016 Olympics- The Shooting of the Star

by Andrew Campbell, Campbellsailing.com on 10 May 2011
Andrew Campbell and Brad Nichol (USA) in action in the Star class on day 5 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta. onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com

In what seems like yet another major oversight by the ISAF Council, the two keelboat classes: the Olympic Star and the Women’s Match Race formats were both dropped from the next Games in 2016 in Rio. This happens to some class or another every time there is a vote for classes at the Olympics.

The Star was dropped before the 2000 Games in Sydney before being reinstated. The Soling Match Race event was dropped for the 2004 Games. The Tornado Multihull was dropped for this upcoming Olympics in London and Weymouth. And now the Olympic Keelboat both Men’s and Women’s have been conspicuously omitted from the 2016 program in Rio. It’s a major disappointment for a lot of sailors both on and off of the Olympic circuit. Unlike Women’s Match Racing the Star has had a venerable run in Olympic competition having first been introduced in the 1932 Olympics. Yes, you read correctly, 80 years of Olympic history, finished. 2011 is almost ironically a big year for the Star class as it celebrates its 100th year of history at the Centennial Regatta in Larchmont, NY this September.

Without a doubt, Star sailing is what inspired me to pursue my Olympic ambitions first in the Laser and now in the premier one design keelboat in the world. San Diego Yacht Club’s hosting of the 1994 Star Worlds opened this 10-year-old’s eyes along with hundreds of other junior sailors showing us what world class international sailing was all about. We pushed trailers around the boat park and helped tie boats up to slips while we marveled at the many languages and experiences bellowing from these giants (quite literally in some cases) of the sport. These guys were my heroes in the midst of the America’s Cup also going on at SDYC at the time.


Today as I walk the docks of these foreign ports and mingle with the elite sailors of Olympic as well as professional sailing it is never lost on me that there are young eyes observing our every move, following our results, and practicing their skills long after we have left town with hopes that they may one day be able to compete with us and at our level. Perhaps the greatest asset that the Star class brought to the table for this Olympic selection was the caliber of the talent and its strong connection to fleets around the world. Each top sailor involved at the Olympic level has a strong connection with his home fleet in some way or another. That trickle down in the form of inspiration and exposure to sailors both young and old across the globe is not to be diminished as a major factor for the health of our sport.

While I understand the desire for ISAF to pursue the faster, more accessible, and media friendly classes for the Olympics, I cannot agree with their casting aside of the single most recognizable representation of our sport to sailors and non-sailors alike: the keelboat. I felt much the same way about the multihull and the decision to remove that sector of the sport from the docket in 2012. ISAF is missing a grand opportunity to showcase a very important part of our game by not presenting the multihull when the Olympics come to London and Weymouth. The difference in my mind is while multihulls are one sector of the sport, while keelboats are the mainstream.


Dinghy sailing is a precursor for sailors all over the world who will eventually pursue their passion in some form of keelboat sailing. Without a doubt the omission of the keelboats for both men and women will likewise omit some of the gravitas involved with Olympic competition in the future. Regardless of Olympic status the Star will continue to attract some of the best sailors in the world simply because of the support of its fleets and its history, but it will likely lose some of the elite competition driven by the additional weight of Olympic dreams.

Beyond that the class will remain as the single greatest example of any Olympic class in history for its evolution and adaptation to maintain Olympic status. Other classes on the chopping block should observe how the Star has preserved both its fantastic culture of racing at the Local, Regional, and International level, while also continuing as an Olympic Class. Other Olympic classes can boast one or the other, but not often both. The developmental nature of the class rules and the progressive and intuitive nature of its membership are quite simply unparalleled. What better year to be involved with the Olympic Star than 2011? This story will undoubtedly develop over the next few weeks as we head to Weymouth to start our Olympic Trials next month.

Stay tuned at www.CampbellSailing.com

For more information: StarClass.org

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge - the retrospective -Part III
In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast Interview with Nathan Outteridge and Tom Slingsby. In Part III, the Question and Answer session, we will discover why Nathan’s nick name is George and why Tom is so fast at post capsize recovery.
Posted on 9 Nov 2015
Blast from the past, do you remember this? Great Video!!
One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of most watched sailing events One particular race in the 2012 London Olympic Laser Radial regatta in Weymouth was one of the most watched sailing events of 2012. Watch it again to remember exactly why.
Posted on 8 Nov 2015
Lijia Xu ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 - THAT Speech
Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland: Lijia Xu (CHN) was crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 at an awards night in Dublin, Ireland. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. The acceptance speech from the China sailor was one of the most eloquent ever heard. If you have not heard it, you can catch it now.
Posted on 3 Nov 2013
Mat Belcher – 17 in a row - 'The harder I work, the luckier I get'
The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain The harder I work the luckier I get, is a quotation attributed variously to Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain but perhaps of Amish origin, but regardless the sentiment is well understood. And it’s something that one of Australia´s most successful Olympic class regatta sailors and his coach understands very well.
Posted on 20 Aug 2013
Ainslie- Close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death
I came close to quitting sailing after Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's death, says Sir Ben Ainslie. British sailing great, Sir Ben Ainslie writes in The Daily Telegraph on after the funeral service for his close friend, Andrew Simpson, killed in San Francisco as a result of an AC72 break up, during a training session.
Posted on 3 Jun 2013
A Tribute to Bart
This video pays tribute to Andrew Simpson's many sailing achievements, His Service is to held on May 31, in England Andrew 'Bart' Simpson died in the capsize of the Artemis Racing AC72 on May 9, 2013. His service will be held on Friday May 31 in Sherborne Abbey, UK, followed by a celebration of his life at Sherborne Castle. This video pays tribute to Bart's many sailing achievements
Posted on 31 May 2013
Ainslie knighted in New Year Honours, five others recognised
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has been Knighted in the New Year Honours list. British sailor and four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has capped a triumphant year of sailing with a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list. British Sailing has more cause for celebration, with honours also going to Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, and to Ainslie’s coach David Howlett, who were both named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Posted on 29 Dec 2012
2012 Paralympic Games a winner in global TV ratings
The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before. The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before and attracted their biggest ever international audience according to new figures published by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Posted on 28 Nov 2012
London Paralympic Games debrief to start in Rio
Paralympic Games committee will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees. The organising committee of what International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven defined as the best ever Paralympic Games, will share their knowledge and experiences of London 2012 with future organising committees and the 2020 candidate cities this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Posted on 21 Nov 2012
2012 Olympics- The Medalists thoughts on Kites and Windsurfers
The new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding At the Medal Winners Media Conference held after the Medal Ceremony for the Mens and Womens Windsurfing Event at the 2012 Olympics, the new Olympic Medalists were asked their thoughts on the decision to change the event from Windsurfing to Kiteboarding the 2016 Olympics.
Posted on 2 Nov 2012