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ISAF Olympic Evaluation Trials - Challengers announced

by Roland Gaebler on 1 Feb 2012
Tornado Euro Champs TeamGaebler upwind - Olympic Mixed Multihull evaluation trials Team Gaebler
ISAF Olympic Evaluation Trials - Today ISAF have named the Multihulls who will compete at the evaluation trials in Santander, Spain during 17th to 25th March 2012.

We know our challengers, some boats from F16 class, Hobie 16 and Tiger and one really new 17.6 Foot design from Nacra and the Tornado Class made by Marstrom (Sweden) and Exploder (Poland).

The Tornado is the only boat above 18 Foot length. Sailors must decide now if they want to sail smaller boats in the future Olympics or continue the flights with the Tornado.

It’s a real surprise to see that the modern F18 designs and the AC Olympic Cat Campaign did not enter their boats into the ISAF Evaluation. They had really nice designs on the way with ultra-light boats, wavepiercer hulls, curved boards and carbon masts; especially the HiTech F18 Phantom Project which was looking really good. All of them gave up because they are not happy with the evaluation rules and some other points you may ask them directly.

It looks like we will end up in a race between mostly smaller cats and the Tornado at the top of the length. The sailors who come to Santander will decide what boats they want to sail in the Rio Olympics. It’s their vote which counts and we trust them.

We see that the AC45s are upgrading their wings with more sail-area to deliver more performance in light winds for media, spectators and sponsors. The forecast for Rio de Janeiro and the summer Olympics are mostly light winds. So our question is do we want a smaller boat at the Olympics or take a light wind flyer like the proven One Design Tornado which has already received a media award for the action the boats deliver.

We think a new boat will not change anything. We must change the racing system. To get more nations we need supplied boats for ISAF World Cup Events, World and Continental Championships and also Olympics. That’s why the Laser Class is so successful.

Sailors can fly in with a small bag from any point of the world, pay the charter fee and race. This system can also work for Olympic Multihull Sailing. But... to get the media, spectators and sponsors we need a real flyer.

We can be the F1 of Summer Olympics. The Multihull Sailing is a filet piece in Olympic Summer sports. In Rio de Janeiro we need a boat which can fly from three knots on. We are not sure a small cat can deliver this performance and the images in light-wind Rio. But let’s see and check what the sailors want and how the boats perform in Santander.

At the moment we have 16-17 spots at the Olympics in 2016. This is not a motivation for more nations to come into our sport. We need 30 plus nations at the combined ISAF Worlds in Santander, Spain in 2014 to get the right to ask for more spots at the Olympics in 2016. A new Multihull Class will not change anything. We really need to change the system. Supplied boats which will perform well in all wind conditions in the Olympic Sailing Arena are the only way to go.

The MNAs must decide what they want. Already they have lost the Star (Men) and the Elliots (Matchrace Women). Maybe they need new surf and kite boards too. Imagine how much boats and money they will lose in this period.

It’s a tough time in economics for every nation. Same way they burn money in a big style in Olympic sailing. Now they must decide if they want the same scenario in Multihull with a new class or take the proven boats and quality we have and use a new system with supplied boats for all nations. It looks like we are the boat which fulfill all the ISAF evaluation rules at its best so we are in a very good position. Tornado has boats on all continents ready to use for Olympic mixed sailing.

The Boats we will see in Santander:

Hobie 16
Nacra 16
Spitfire
Viper 16
Nacra 17
Hobie Tiger F18
Tornado Marstrom + Mixed Sailing website
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